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Reviewed 24 June 2016

Pineknot (one word) Campground is a small, basic campground just to the east of the Snow Summit ski area in Big Bear Lake, California.

The access road is quite hard to find. Enter the Snow Summit parking lot. On your left you will see a red "Yield" triangular sign. Turn just before the sign. Continue ahead and around the S curve to your right. The curve straightens out behind a long row of condominiums. Continue about 50 yards east. You will see the Pineknot Campground sign on your right. Turn right (uphill) into the campground.

The campground is closed during the winter.

The location is terrific, immediately adjacent to the Snow Summit ski area. Big Bear Lake shops and restaurants are close by, as well as the lake itself.

The campground is very basic, with only flush toilets and running water. There are no showers, and no electricity.

Reservations must be made using recreation.gov (search for "Pineknot"). The site fee was a little over $27/night as of summer, 2016.

The campground is a good mix of pine trees and sunny areas.

No ranger office. Only a camp "host".

Maximum 8 people per campsite. Pets okay.

This campground is in Big Bear Lake, California, not Bristlecone, CA, as noted under the title!

Stayed: June 2016, travelled with family
2  Thank paulfriedman7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 September 2015

We just returned from a quick weekend camping trip to Big Bear. We stayed on sites 20 & 21 at Pineknot campground and had a great experience.

I had booked the two sites so we would be next to each other, but these sites were very far apart. The sites were so clean we didn't have to pick up any trash before unpacking our things (a first since we moved to California). It was so clean! Also, the sites are nestled at the bottom of Snow Summit in a lovely, quiet, wooded area.

There is no check in area, but the camp hosts drove up and checked me in within minutes of arriving. They were so nice and seemed caring and knowledgeable and made themselves available if we needed anything.

Site 21 was really great. Tons of space and one nice flat area to put our large, 10 x 15 tent. Our friends were able to put their smaller tent on our site as well, but were on a bit of a slope. Site 20 I would not book again. It is right on top of another site (18). One thing we did not know was that we could have two cars there and up to 8 people. We thought we had to have another site if we had another tent.

We walked to Snow Summit from the campground and rode the lift up to the top of the mountain and hiked down. The mountain has mountain biking during the summer, and the place was busy, but not over crowded.

Pineknot is also in great proximity to downtown and the lake. It is a 5-10 minute drive to the cute little main street with the shops.

Bathrooms - immaculate and smelled nice. No soap or paper towels and no showers (but you can shower at the other campground, Serrano, if you need to).

Overall, awesome place!! I will be back.

  • Stayed: September 2015, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Tasiadoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 September 2015

If you looking to ride the Snow Summit ski lifts for mountain biking this is a great campground. Literally, right at the bottom of Snow Summit Ski Resort (5min walk). The entrance to the campground is located just to the left of the Snow Summit entrance. There are town-homes and vacation rentals located on that street, but if you had a campsite in the middle or up from the street you couldn't tell. If you are mountain biking, a lot of the hiking/biking routes end/start at Pineknot. The bathrooms are very basic and relatively clean, no showers so take your shower bags. No hot water either, but not a deal breaker since we like to rough it. There is potable water located throughout the campground. The only downside to the campground is that it is located at the base of a mountain, so some of the camp-site's are sloped. Best camp-sites are 44, 48, 33 (ADA), 16, 27, 28 and 21. These are all relatively flat or slightly sloped and middle of the campgrounds. We camped there in July 2014.

Stayed: September 2014, travelled with family
3  Thank Dinorah V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 July 2015 via mobile

We loved this campground, its location, distance from home, and the genuine mountain feeling. Sites are located amongst the trees but campground is a little tricky to locate. Follow the directions listed on website and do not listen to your GPS or you will be taken on a joyride! You actually drive through the parking lot at Snow Summit to get there. Easy access to town and only minutes away from the lake. We found the campground to be very pleasant and overall pretty quiet. Definitely true about the slopes inside the campsites which could make tent pitching a little difficult. Had it not been for that, I would have given it 5 stars. We found the bathroom to be adequate but a little bit of a hike from our location at sites 41 and 39. It was not much of a problem during the day but a little too much of a steep hill climb for coming back up in the middle of the night. Other than that I think we had the best campsites in the entire place. Hosts were extremely helpful and diligent with their job. They came by our campsite and took care of business so we did not need to go seek them out. Open sites are clearly marked for drop in campers and even let you know if the site is available for one or more nights. We all agreed it was a terrific campground. Yes, you could occasionally hear the traffic from town but overall did not matter for all the other conveniences and atmosphere.

Stayed: July 2015, travelled with family
2  Thank mommermom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 May 2015 via mobile

We spent this Memorial Day weekend here and it was fantastic. The campsites are spacious and not too close to the next. The hosts were very friendly too. Although it's close to town it doesn't feel that way once your on the grounds. This was our first visit to Pineknot and we would go back there in a heartbeat.

Stayed: May 2015
2  Thank Megan C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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