Offering tons of thrills no matter the season, Big Bear is one of the most popular destinations in Southern California. This outdoor playground in the San Bernardino Mountains is only a 2-hour drive from Los Angeles, and many families, nature lovers, and outdoor adventurers make the trip on the regular for activities like swimming, fishing, and wakeboarding in Big Bear Lake. Snow Summit and Bear Mountain ski resorts are the go-to spots for winter sports. There are lots of cheap Big Bear cabins to choose from, so you can save on accommodations and splurge on food and fun activities instead.

Cheap Big Bear Lake cabins

Big Bear Lake can refer to both the body of water and the small city on its southern shore. The lake itself has 22 miles of shoreline, and you’ll find hundreds of miles’ worth of hiking trails in the surrounding areas. Fishing is one of the top warm-weather pursuits in Big Bear Lake, but those looking for more adrenaline-pumping action can enjoy mountain biking, go-kart racing, and parasailing. You can also sign up for guided off-road tours through the more rugged terrain of the San Bernardino Mountains. Meanwhile, wintertime visits typically involve skiing and snowboarding at the Snow Summit and Bear Mountain ski resorts. You can find lakeside Big Bear cabins for less than $100 a night, and some of them offer partial lake views from their outdoor decks. Many affordable Big Bear Lake cabin rentals are ideal for couples, but there are also some spacious ones that can accommodate families and groups.

Affordable cabins in Sugarloaf

You don’t have to dig deep in your pockets for cabin rentals in Sugarloaf, a largely residential community around 8 miles from the eastern banks of Big Bear Lake. For around $80 a night, you can bed down in snug vacation homes that are perfect for small families, though you’ll also find more spacious cabins that can comfortably sleep as many as 8 guests. Most cabins here provide all the usual comforts of home, and some offer enticing extras like hot tubs and decks with fire pits. Should you need to run out for food or supplies, the shops in Big Bear City are less than a mile away. Big Bear City is also home to the seasonal Big Bear Historical Museum, where you can pan for gold, peek into old wooden cabins, and peruse artifacts and machinery from previous centuries.

Reasonably priced cabins in Fawnskin

Fawnskin is a community on the north shore of Big Bear Lake, across the placid waters from the lake’s namesake city. This tiny town was formerly an artists' colony and a stop for stagecoaches, and its streets are sprinkled with some of the oldest buildings in the Big Bear area. If you want a peaceful Big Bear vacation, the quieter environs in Fawnskin make the cabins here more enticing than Big Bear Lake, and they’re less likely to be flanked by other vacation rentals. However, Fawnskin cabin rentals tend to have slightly higher price tags, and you can expect to pay around $150 a night for vacation homes that sleep between 2 and 6 people. Staying in this part of the lake still gives you easy access to the many recreational activities on offer, including kayaking, jet skiing, and horseback riding. Cap off a day on the lake with sunset cocktails on your cabin’s deck.

Moonridge vacation homes for less

Another great location for cheap Big Bear cabin rentals is Moonridge, a hillside locale just south of Big Bear Lake. There’s a huge concentration of vacation home rentals in this neighborhood, thanks in large part to family-friendly attractions like Bear Mountain Ski Resort and Big Bear Alpine Zoo, and you’ll easily find cabins for groups of all sizes. Many Moonridge cabins are easy on the wallet, so you can allot a bigger slice of your trip budget for activities everyone in the family can enjoy, including horseback riding, snow tubing, and paddleboarding. After a day out on the lake or on the ski slopes, you can come home to a cozy wood cabin with modern comforts like Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, and well-stocked kitchens. Or, hang out on the spacious deck and recount the day’s adventures over grilled steaks and ice-cold refreshments—beer for the grownups and juice boxes for the kids.