People arrived in waves in Big Bear Valley during the Memorial holiday weekend. Some just for the day, others taking advantage of short-term rentals or vacation homes to spend the holiday away from the big city.
When the San Bernardino National Forest announced earlier last week that it was opening many of its campgrounds, the response was overwhelming. “All but three of the ones we opened are run by CLM (California Land Management),” said Zach Behrens of the San Bernardino National Forest. “We opened the gates at noon Friday for the three first-come, first-serve campgrounds (near Big Bear), and they were filled within the hour.”
Behrens said all the open campsites were at capacity by that afternoon. Behrens said to expect the same thing this coming week.
“Serrano is full (Tuesday),” he said. “This weekend the reservable campsites are all booked up.”
Jeep enthusiasts, hikers, campers and mountain bikers went out on the trails on the North Shore and south shore trail systems. The parking lots at the Cougar Crest and Woodland trailheads were filled, with vehicles overflowing onto the side of the road.
One area on the national forest discouraged visitors was Aztec Falls and surrounding areas of Deep Creek. The area near Lake Arrowhead was officially closed May 22 because of growing traffic and parking problems leading to the creek. The closure is set to last one year as the Forest Service develops a recreation management plan to address congestion, parking, illegal campfires, graffiti and trash in the area.
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