It took a while for Cedar Lake Camp to come into its identity, changing hands three times in 20 years before the First Congregational Church of Los Angeles bought it in 1955. Since then, the staff has worked hard to establish it as a sanctuary of reflection, renewal, and recreation. The manmade lake clearly plays a central role in the retreat’s activities, from canoeing to swimming and fishing. The camp has also extended its recreational purview to include thrills such as ziplining, rope courses, and team-building activities. It rents its lodges out year-round to guests and bears looking for a place to hibernate, and often hosts summer camps for kids and families.
From its outpost just off Big Bear Lake's south shore, Massive Snowboards supplies peak-destined skiers and snowboarders with the gear they need to get down the area's slopes. The shop has been a Big Bear mainstay since 1999, a long tenure in the competitive on-mountain ski- and snowboard-gear-rental game. It attributes its run of success to a combination of knowledgeable salespeople and a deep selection of boards for rent. Mountaineers can also stop in the shop to purchase new gear from brands such as Dakine, Ride, Spy, and Giro.
The blue-and-red checkered floors of Ultimate Kickboxing & Fitness’s gym have withstood a lot of action, from swinging kettlebells to battle ropes and intense kickboxing classes. The instructors offer a variety of classes that focus on strengthening the body with full-body exercises that utilize boxing and kickboxing moves. Their classic cardio-kickboxing classes have students perform punching and kicking combinations including roundhouses and jabs to upbeat music. Power, Strength, and Rope Burn classes use simple rope exercises to help tighten and tone bodies, and 50/50 classes blend cardio and strength training to create a well-balanced workout.
In Block Crossfit's 5,000-square-foot gym, certified trainers create a motivating and welcoming environment while teaching a system that anyone can learn. The inclusiveness of CrossFit is what drew owners Joe and Chris to CrossFit in the first place. They wanted to create a place where a sense of community could blossom, as well as fitness. As they perform functional movements at a high intensity, encouragement to reach finish lines and meet goals abound from both trainers and students. Besides that positive reinforcement, they keep everyone engaged by changing routines daily and avoiding the boredom of repetition.
Joshua Tree Guides is exclusively staffed with passionate guides—each trained by the Professional Climbing Guides Institute—who convey their intimate knowledge of rock climbing in guided tours and classes for adventurers, families, and beginners. During private climbing tours, engaging guides lead climbers to one of an endless number of vertical opportunities and ensure that each rock scaler feels the thrill of conquering the terrain while remaining sturdy and safe. Each tour is customized to the climbers’ comfort levels, making the experience an excellent introduction to outdoor climbing or a chance for familiar climbers to pinch the cheeks of adorable rock faces they've never encountered. Whether climbing locally or during a custom trip with Joshua Tree, climbers put any number of territory-conquering techniques to use, such as slab climbing, top roping, and climbing in a single-pitch environment. Joshua Tree has also trained U.S. Special Forces teams in modern climbing techniques and works with a variety of national corporations, including Google and Red Bull.
When 20-year climbing veteran Zeke Federman started a rock-climbing guide service, he needed to situate its headquarters someplace that was more than simply rocky. The spot he settled on falls squarely in Joshua Tree National Park—an area boasting a varied landscape and steady climate that is friendly to year-round mountaineering and offers challenging routes to both beginners and experienced climbers with their own pet mountain goats. Zeke's climbing academy, Joshua Tree Guides, sets its students loose on guided excursions across the region's higher-altitude cliffs. His staff of Professional Climbing Guides Institute–trained guides has won points with clients for combining an easygoing demeanor with a serious attentiveness to safety and the needs of beginners to go slowly. In addition to small groups, the company has also guided successful climbing outings for large corporations such as Google and Frito-Lay.