Big Bear City is an unincorporated town and census – designated place in San Bernardino County located within the San Bernardino Mountains at an elevation of 6,772 feet. Big Bear City is located approximately 30 miles northeast of the city of San Bernardino and approximately 93 miles northeast of Pasadena. The residential town has a population of approximately 13,000. Most of the town, including the small business district, is centered on Big Bear Boulevard. Snow Summit and Bear Mountain are the two local ski resorts. Big Bear City Airport is a general aviation airport located within Big Bear City. There are currently no commercial services in operation at the small public airport. Big Bear City, which is not an incorporated, should not be confused with the nearby incorporated City of Big Bear Lake. Likewise, the City of Big Bear Lake should not be confused with the local lake known as Big Bear Lake. Sugarloaf is about eight miles from the east end of the lake.
Big Bear Lake
Big Bear Lake, incorporated in 1980, is a small city in San Bernardino County located within the San Bernardino Mountains along the south shore of the lake at an elevation of 6,752 feet. Big Bear Lake is located approximately 52 miles northeast of Riverside, and approximately 97 miles northeast of Downtown Los Angeles. The population is about 5,600.
Big Bear Lake
Big Bear Lake, not to be confused with the incorporated city of Big Bear Lake, is a large reservoir in San Bernardino County within the San Bernardino Mountains. The beautiful lake is approximately seven miles long and nearly one mile wide on average. Its maximum width is 2.5 miles and its maximum depth is 72 feet. Big Bear Lake is completely fed by snow and rain. The surface elevation of the lake averages 6,743 feet. Big Bear Lake is used for fishing, pleasure boating, water skiing, and swimming. The lake is absolutely beautiful and contains trout, largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie, and catfish. Several private marinas rent boats and offer parasailing.
Baker Pond, also known as Baker Lake, is the overflow area at the east end of Big Bear Lake. There are years when the area is covered with water all the way to the Big Bear City Airport.
Pleasure Point Marina
Pleasure Point Marina, established in 1914, is a private marina located on the south shore of Big Bear Lake. While the marina is for members only, several types of boats and jet ski rentals are available seven days a week. The marina is located at 603 Landlock Landing in Big Bear Lake. The location is excellent for fishing.
Big Bear Lake Fishing
Big Bear Lake, with 22 miles of shoreline, has rainbow trout, large-mouth bass, small-mouth bass, catfish, crappie, and bluegill in large numbers. Boat rentals are available from several private providers and there are also several good shoreline areas that are popular. Fishing licenses are required.
Metcalf Bay is a bay on the south shore of the lake and the location of Pleasure Point Marina and Holloway’s Marina. Bolder Bay is a bay on the south shore located at the western end of the lake not far from the dam. Eagle Point is an extension of land into the lake on the south shore, offering excellent views. Grout Bay is a bay on the north shore of the lake just south of Fawnskin. All of the bays are excellent locations for fishing.
Meadow Park is a 16.25-acre community park in Big Bear Lake that offers tennis, volleyball, 2 lighted sports fields, a children’s play area, picnic pavilions, restrooms and lots of beautiful park area.
Ski Beach is a two-acre community park in Big Bear Lake that offers a fishing pier, lake access, a children’s play area, restrooms, and fantastic views of the lake and surrounding mountains.
Old Bear Valley Dam
The Old Bear Valley Dam is a historical landmark that is not often visible because it is usually under water. The Old Bear Valley Dam was built in 1884 and created Big Bear Lake. The old dam was replaced by the existing dam in 1912 which is twenty feet higher and 200 feet to the west. The old dam was considered unsafe. The newer, existing dam increased both the surface size of the lake and the depth.
Baldwin Lake is an intermittent lake located east of Big Bear City in the San Bernardino Mountains. The lake is located at 6,752 feet and is the watershed and headwaters of the Santa Ana River which flows from San Bernardino County, southwest through Riverside County and Orange County into the Pacific Ocean just south of Huntington Beach. Baldwin Lake is within the 156 acre Baldwin Lake Ecological Reserve. Before each summer, the lake averages one mile across and is about 25 feet deep at its deepest point.
Moonridge - Big Bear
Moonridge is a large hillside area located south of Big Bear Lake, made up of several subdivisions. Moonridge was originally known as Moonridge Mountain Estates. The area is well known for its views of the lake, Snow Summit, and Bear Mountain. Moonridge is covered by beautiful trees, including pines and oaks, and is surrounded on three sides by San Bernardino National Forest land that can never be developed.
Big Bear Alpine Zoo at Moonridge
The Big Bear Alpine Zoo at Moonridge, established in 1959, is a rehabilitation facility offering injured, orphaned and imprinted wild animals a safe, temporary haven while they heal, or a permanent home if they are unable to survive on their own. The zoo is located in the Moonridge area of Big Bear Lake in the San Bernardino Mountains at an elevation of 7,140 feet. Rescued animals at the zoo include grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, badgers, foxes, owls, hawks, eagles, bobcats, deer, coyotes, mountain lions, opossums, porcupines, raccoons, snow leopards, and others. The non-profit zoo is open to the public. Donations are greatly appreciated and memberships are available. The Big Bear Alpine Zoo is a great place to visit to learn about nature.
Friends of the Big Bear Alpine Zoo
Friends of the Big Bear Alpine Zoo, established in 1989, is a non-profit organization whose mission is to support the Big Bear Alpine Zoo at Moonridge. The organization is governed by an elected board of directors. The organization helps the zoo through fundraising, providing volunteers, and educational programs. Donations are put to good use and are greatly appreciated.
Rathbun Creek – Rathbone Creek
Rathbun Creek, also known as Rathbone Creek, is a popular fishing stream, in Moonridge, located about 1.4 miles south of Big Bear Lake near the Bear Mountain Golf Course and Big Bear Alpine Zoo.
Big Bear Discovery Center
The Big Bear Discovery Center, established in 1998, is an information and educational center located in Big Bear Valley on the north side of Big Bear Lake just east of Fawnskin. The Discovery Center is operated by the San Bernardino National Forest Association and the United States Forest Service, and is designed to educate people about the San Bernardino National Forest. The San Bernardino National Forest Association is a non-profit organization. The Pacific Crest Trail and Holcomb Valley are just north of the Big Bear Discovery Center. The facility is absolutely worth visiting.
Big Bear Solar Observatory
Big Bear Solar Observatory (BBSO) is located on the north shore of Big Bear Lake and is one of the only six solar observatories in the world. The observatory is operated by the New Jersey Institute of Technology. The nearby Big Bear Discovery Center has an excellent exhibit providing information and photos taken from the observatory. Fawnskin is just to the west of the Big Bear Solar Observatory.
Bluff Lake Reserve
Bluff Lake Reserve is an ecological reserve, located south of Big Bear Lake in the San Bernardino Mountains, open to visitors from May 1 through November 1 of each year. The property is usually covered with snow after the first week of November. Located at 7,600 feet, the beautiful reserve has a large meadow covered with wild flowers, a twenty acre lake, and towering pine trees. There are a number of endangered species within the Bluff Lake Reserve.
Fox Farm is a neighborhood on the south shore of Big Bear Lake bordered by Moonridge to the southeast and Pinewood Estates to the east. Subdivisions within Fox Farm include Alpine Woods Estates, Fox Farm, Eagle Mountain Estates and Castle Glen Estates.
Fawnskin is a small unincorporated community in San Bernardino County located at an altitude of 6,827 feet, on the north shore of Big Bear Lake. Fawnskin is just to the west of the Big Bear Discovery Center and only a few miles south of Holcomb Valley. Fawnskin has been designated as a protective habitat for golden and American bald eagles. It is a beautiful place.
Holcomb Valley – Belleville
Holcomb Valley is located about five miles north of Big Bear Lake in the San Bernardino Mountains. It was once the site of the largest gold deposits in Southern California and was named after William F. Holcomb, who discovered gold in the valley in 1860. The boomtown of Belleville grew up near Holcomb Valley and flourished for nearly twenty years before the gold started to run out and the town was abandoned. By 1900, the community had become a ghost town. During the period from mid-1860 to 1861, most of Belleville sided with the Confederate States of America and started to organize a succession movement. President Lincoln was required to send federal troops to San Bernardino County in 1861 to make certain that California would remain loyal to the union.
Miller Park is a 1.1 acre community park in Fawnskin that offers tennis, basketball, picnic areas, a children’s play area, restrooms, and Big Bear’s original school house.
Big Bear Valley Historical Society
The Big Bear Valley Historical Society, founded in 1967, established the Bear Valley Historical Museum. The goal of the non-profit organization is to support and sponsor activities in Big Bear history and traditions, and to preserve historical landmarks and artifacts. The museum is staffed by volunteers and is open only during the summer months. Memberships, donations, and sales of books and gifts support the museum. Big Bear Valley Museum is definitely worth visiting.
Pine Summit Big Bear Lake
The mission of Pine Summit Christian Camp is to provide life changing experience, where people connect with God and each other through excellent hospitality and outdoor fun. Pine Summit is a Salvation Army sponsored and operated camp located south of Big Bear Lake at 700 Wren Drive. The camp, which consists of 36.6 acres of beautiful land and trees, was founded in 1961.
Cedar Lake is a three acre, man – made lake and reservoir in San Bernardino County located in the San Bernardino Mountains just south of the City of Big Bear Lake. The lake was formed by the construction in 1928 of Cedar Lake Dam built on Metcalf Creek. Metcalf Creek flows out of the San Bernardino National Forest into Bear Creek which flows into the Santa Ana River. The Santa Ana River flows into the Pacific Ocean at Huntington Beach in Orange County. Cedar Lake is within Cedar Lake Camp, a private, 270 acre retreat owned and operated by the First Congregation Church of Los Angeles. Cedar Lake is a popular filming location.
Big Bear Peaks
There are seven mountain peaks that surround Big Bear Lake: Bertha Peak, Grays Peaks, Gold Mountain, Delamar Mountain, Sugarloaf Mountain, and San Gorgonio.
Snow Summit – Big Bear
Snow Summit, established in 1952, is a popular Southern California ski resort in the San Bernardino Mountains located just outside of Big Bear Lake. Its sister ski resort is Bear Mountain. The two resorts are known as Big Bear Mountain Resort. Snow Summit has 240 skiable acres, 31 runs, and a top elevation of 8,174 feet. Night skiing is available.
Bear Mountain – Big Bear
Bear Mountain, previously called Goldmine Mountain, is a popular Southern California ski resort located just outside Big Bear Lake. Its sister ski resort is Snow Summit. The two resorts are known as Big Bear Mountain Resorts. Bear Mountain has 748 skiable acres, 24 runs, and a top elevation of 8,805 feet. Night skiing is not available.
Alpine Slide – Bear Bear
The Magic Mountain Recreation Area at Big Bear Lake is home to the world famous Alpine Slide which offers an authentic bobsled experience. Riders navigate their own individually controlled sleds down their choice of two quarter mile long cement tracks filled with high-banked turns and long straightways. There is also a water slide and go-karts. It is a great place for both children of all ages and adults.
Big Bear Oktoberfest
Big Bear Lake has been celebrating Oktoberfest since 1971 complete with great food, dancing and entertainment. The celebration usually runs for eight weeks ending on October 31 of each year.
Big Bear Valley
The Big Bear Valley Community Arts Theater Society is a local, non-profit theater arts organization in Big Bear, California that offers plays, musicals, and other events utilizing the Big Bear Performing Arts Center. Past performances have included Annie Get Your Gun, The Wizard of Oz, A Christmas Carol, Cats, Oklahoma, The King and I, Oliver, My Fair Lady, The Music Man, Camelot, Cinderella, Guys and Dolls, Annie, Carousel, The Sound of Music, Man of La Mancha, Life With Father, The Miracle Worker, and Fiddler on the Roof.
Big Bear Lake Performing Arts Center
The Big Bear Lake Performing Arts Center is a first-class, 400 seat, state-of-the art theater that is utilized by the Big Bear Valley Community Arts Theater Society and other professional theater organizations to offer plays, musicals, and other performing arts in Big Bear year round. The theater is beautiful and absolutely worth visiting.
The Arts Council of Big Bear Valley
The Arts Council of Big Bear Valley is a non-profit organization founded in 1988. The Arts Council of Big Bear Valley provides the community an opportunity to enjoy significant cultural activities related to visual arts, live performances, music, dance, film, and related entertainment. Events include the Big Bear Lake Artwalk Festival, Art on the Lake Festival, Music at the Mansion, Fourth Friday Gallery Receptions, Performing Arts Center performances and much more.
Big Bear Chamber of Commerce
The Big Bear Chamber of Commerce represents the interested of the more than 400 member business in the area, and operates a Visitor Center. Membership includes, networking opportunities, low cost advertising opportunities, a directory listing, referrals, educational opportunities and much more. Members include businesses located in Big Bear City, Big Bear Lake, Fawnskin, Crestline, Running Springs, Lake Arrowhead, Blue Jay, Cedar Glen, and San Bernardino.
Henry Washington Survey Marker
The Henry Washington Survey Marker is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The historic survey marker is located in the San Bernardino National Forest, in San Bernardino County, near Big Bear. It served as the original, initial point for the San Bernardino Baseline and Meridian which was the starting point for all land surveys in Southern California starting in 1852. A new, initial point for all surveys has replaced the Henry Washington Survey Marker for purposes of surveying.
Pacific Realtors has created a historical timeline for those having an interest in the history of San Bernardino County.
Big Bear - Land
If you would like to sell or acquire land in Big Bear or in the surrounding areas, please contact an agent in our land division. We have land specialists that can help you buy or sell land anywhere in California.
Big Bear- Real Estate
Homes in Big Bear consist of both single family detached homes and attached homes that may be townhomes or stacked condominiums. Prices range from moderate to high depending upon the neighborhood. Our real estate agents and brokers can show you any homes listed for sale with any real estate brokerage firm.
If you searched for any of the following terms, you have found the right website: