Use of Bear Lake and the Beaches
BVRI maintains the beaches at Bear Lake for its members and their guests. The beaches may be available for group or private functions if certain conditions are met (see below). The beaches at Bear Lake are maintained by BVRI. If you wish to use the Lake and are not already members of BVRI, then join via the Membership section of this website. The lake and beach are for all members and their guests to enjoy, and everyone is encouraged to help protect this beautiful Alpine environment.
Included in this page:
Conditions for Using Bear Lake and Beaches
What is expected and allowed:
- Bear Lake Beach hours are 8 am – 11 pm.
- We encourage you to enjoy the picnic tables, volleyball court, and the beautiful views and to utilize the bear-proof dumpsters and portable toilets.
- All guests may swim, paddleboard, and kayak, but they do so at their own risk. Bear Lake does not have a lifeguard.
- No cars are allowed on the dirt roads leading to the Big or Small beaches. The easiest place to launch boats is at the end of Lake Road, where there is direct lake access.
- Be considerate noise-wise of those who have houses around the lake, and of other visitors to the beach. Keep the music and the fun at a reasonable decibel level.
- A campfire is currently permitted in the ringed campfire area. This may change based on local “fire danger” conditions. Your campfire must be attended at all times and after use, thoroughly doused with water to ensure fire is completely extinguished before leaving the area. Please clean the area after use as well.
- Please put all your trash and recycling in the bear-proof dumpster. If they are full, please take your garbage with you, to the bigger dumpsters when you leave, across from the Bear Valley School on Bear Valley Road.
What is NOT allowed:
- No dogs or other pets are allowed on the small or large beach, even leashed, due to Bear Lake’s special legislative exemption as a drinking reservoir. (They can be walked across the dam on a leash.)
- Please do not use residents’ kayaks, paddleboards, watercraft or paddles/oars, even if they are not locked.
- No loud music or other noise on either beach after 9 p.m. (Beaches remain open until 11 p.m.)
- No drone flying.
- No fireworks.
- Campfires allowed only when Alpine County current “fire danger” conditions permit.
These rules are updated by the BVRI Board which is responsible for the activities related to the lake. It is important that we keep our lake clean and healthy.
Please take the time to read our Lake Manual 2015 for maintaining the beauty of Bear Lake.
Conditions for Fishing in Bear Lake
- Only current BVRI members may fish in the lake. In addition, those fishing must have a valid California Department of Fish and Wildlife License unless exempt.
- No fishing is allowed between sunset and sunrise.
- Those utilizing the lake for fishing must follow the current edition of the California Fresh Water Sport Fishing Regulations.
- Fishing licenses must be exhibited on demand. 8.
- Because of the sensitive ecology of the lake, the limit for trout is two (2) fish per day.
- The lake contains smaller yellow perch for which no limit will be imposed.
Boats should be stored neatly on or in front of the storage rack (at the main beach). They should be stored in an orderly fashion at the smaller beach. Please remember others when you store your boats so that everyone can access their own when they come to the lake. Boats must be removed before winter — we usually send out a call to do so around the first week of October.
Private Use of Bear Lake and Beaches for Special Events
If you are interested in using Bear Lake for a special event, you must complete the Application for Usage of Bear Valley’s Private Beaches form.
Please note that even if there is a private party, BVRI members will still be allowed to use the beach. For a private party, the following is required: (1) being an active BVRI member, 2) filling out the form; and 3) paying the $200 fee.