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Big Bear Lake History

Located in the heart of the San Bernardino National Forest, Big Bear Lake is a four-season alpine resort community known for its rich history, pristine mountain scenery, and abundant recreational opportunities.

Originally known as Yuhaviat ("Pine Place") and home to the Serrano Indians, Big Bear Lake bear huntBig Bear received its modern name in 1845 when Benjamin Davis Wilson rode into the Valley and
Big Bear Facts

Big Bear Lake: A fresh water lake 7 miles long and 1 mile across at its widest point. It has a maximum depth of 72 feet and over 22 miles of shoreline. The water temperature averages 30°F in the Winter and 72°F in the Summer.

Location: Big Bear Lake, surrounded by the San Bernardino National Forest, is a four-season alpine resort community located in San Bernardino County, 100 miles northeast of Los Angeles.

Elevation: Altitude ranges from 6,743 (lake level) to 9,952 feet (Sugarloaf Mountain).

Environment: Big Bear's alpine environment is dominated by pine and oak forests. The area provides a natural habitat for approximately 30 winter bald eagles and 29 species of rare plants, ten of which are indigenous to the area.

Population: 21,000 permanent residents.

Climate: Summer temperatures average approximately 72 degrees during the day and 45 degrees at night. There are generally over 300 days of sunshine each year. Winter brings about 100 inches of snowfall and temperatures in the low 40s during the day and mid 20s at night.

found it swarming with bear. Modern Big Bear Lake was created in 1885 when a hand cut rock damn was built to water the thirsty citrus groves below in Redlands, and was at the time, the largest manmade lake in the world.

The 1860 discovery of gold brought the first significant numbers of people to Big Bear. In fact, Big Bear produced the Big Bear Lake damsecond largest gold strike in California, and one of its mining towns narrowly missed becoming the seat of San Bernardino County. Visitors today can still see many historic remains from this rich part of Big Bear history.

Early visitors to Big Bear had to endure several days of travel Big Bear Lake Villageon the back of a burro to reach the Valley. At the turn of the Century, the combination of modern motor car travel, improved all-weather roads, and comfortable lodging saw a significant increase in Big Bear tourism. Visitors were attracted to the Valley's tranquil beauty and abundant recreation. Hollywood, too, has taken advantage of Big Bear's dramatic scenery having filmed numerous movies and commercials in what has been called "Hollywood's back lot".

Since its early popularity in the 1950s, winter snow sports have flourished in Big Bear. Big Bear Lake skiingLocal ski resorts have been instrumental in pioneering key advances in winter sports, including snowboarding and snowmaking. Today Big Bear ski resorts host more than a half-million skier visits a year, and employ one of the largest snowmaking systems in the world, allowing Big Bear to provide a quality snow experience regardless of natural snow fall.

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