Kayaking and Canoeing on Big Bear Lake is a whole different experience; you are so close to the water that you feel at one with nature. You are able to paddle into the shallowest of water in calm hidden coves and see fish beneath you and the beautiful Mallard ducks beside you. You can see sandy beaches and little hidden streams that you normally wouldn’t see. You can paddle along the edge of the rocks near China Island aka Garstin Island and you can test your skill by trying to maneuver between narrow rock passages, the good thing about a kayak is that if you get stuck you can easily back out; you can’t do this with any other type of watercraft.

Paddling anywhere around the edge of the lake will be fun, but kayaking around the rocks in the Boulder Bay Park area and the China Island aka Garstin Island area is special. Kayaking and Canoeing on Big Bear Lake is a great way to get introduced to the sport, and is fun and safe for people of all ages and athletic abilities; just remember to wear your life vest.

Visitors can bring their own Kayaks or Canoes and there are many places to launch including the East and West Public Launch Ramps. Lake Management charges $15 for a one-day permit, $25 for a two-day permit. You should always check with MWD in case the rate changes. If you don't own a kayak you can rent kayaks and canoes at one of the Marinas in Big Bear Lake for about $20 an hour.