Property at a Glance: Gold Rush Resort Rentals
This resort's centerpiece is Big Bear Lake, an idyllic spot to cast out for bluegill and rainbow trout or to kayak along the pine-fringed shore as the sun sets. It doesn't get much more rustic than this mountainside setting, which you can admire from privately owned cabins trimmed in woodsy decor. You can choose from select cabins that sleep up to 10 people and feature full kitchens and amenities ranging from private hot tubs to flat-screen TVs.
- Cabin amenities vary but may include wood-burning fireplaces and views of Big Bear Lake.
- Big Bear Lake Village resembles an alpine hamlet with Bavarian-style buildings that house saloons, fudge shops, and boutiques. On chilly nights, you can warm up around an outdoor fire pit.
- Family-friendly fun: Youngsters can pan for gold and other gemstones with the resort's old-fashioned mining adventure.
- Outdoor adventure: Dive into Big Bear Lake on an afternoon swim, or skim the surface parasailing. By land, you can hike or mountain bike along trails shaded by towering pine trees in the San Bernardino Mountains.
Big Bear Lake, California: Outdoorsy Resort Community in the Foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains
Big Bear Lake is situated nearly 7,000 feet above sea level and surrounded by the San Bernardino National Forest and the snowy peaks of the San Bernardino Mountains. Los Angeles is less than 100 miles to the west, which is probably why Big Bear Valley has served as a backdrop for so many films and TV shows, including The Parent Trap, Doctor Dolittle, and Bonanza.
The lake is a popular destination for boating, fishing, and swimming during the warm months. You’ll find miles of hiking and mountain-biking trails in the surrounding forest. The 2-mile Castle Rock Trail weaves through groves of pine and cedar trees and past a waterfall before rewarding trekkers with a panoramic view of the water. But Big Bear isn’t entirely rustic—head to the village, located on the south shore, for restaurants, shopping, an arcade, a bowling alley, and a visitors' center.
True to its name, the area once supported a thriving grizzly-bear population. Though that’s no longer the case, you still might see bald eagles, mule deer, coyotes, gray foxes, and even the occasional bobcat or black bear. For a guaranteed glimpse of wildlife, visit the Big Bear Alpine Zoo, a rehabilitation facility for injured and orphaned mountain lions, grizzly bears, wolves, and other animals.