Big Bear Lake is a city which is situated in the state of California in the county of San Bernardino. It sits on the shore of Big Bear Lake and is approximately twenty-fives miles northeast of the city of San Bernardino. It covers an area of six and a half square miles, and has a population of around fifty-five hundred residents. The city can trace its roots back over two thousand years when the area was inhabited by a Native American tribe known as the Serrano Indians. The area also had a large native population of grizzly bears, and the area received its name from them. The area was first explored by Justice of the Peace of the Inland Territory, Benjamin Wilson. In 1845, while he was pursuing a band of Ute Indians who had stole horses from local ranchers, Mr. Wilson took his men into an area known as Starvation Flatts. He noticed they area had a large number of grizzly and black bears and decided to name it Big Bear Lake. While he was there, Mr. Wilson and his men went on a bear hunt and gathered twenty-two pelts. It is not known if he ever captured the Ute
Indian party. During the California Gold Rush (which lasted from 1861 to 1912), the community of Big Bear Lake grew at an exponential rate. With the invention of a bus line between San Bernardino and Big Bear Lake, the villages around it began to grow and the area became the first mountain recreation area in California. In 1921, forty acres of land was purchased in the area by Emile Jesserun, who built the first resort in the city Pan Hot Springs Hotel. Soon other resorts began to open up attracting many of the Hollywood stars of the day. Today, the city is a bustling resort town that attracts visitors from all over the United States and the world.
One of its most popular attractions is Big Bear Mountain Resorts. This resort is the name for two resorts, Bear Mountain and Snow Summit. Bear Mountain has three peaks which include Goldmine Mountain, Silver Mountain and Bear Peak. Bear peak is eighty-eight hundred feet and is Southern California’s highest peak that is serviced by lifts. Bear Mountain has a base elevation of seventy-one hundred feet and has a skiable area of almost two hundred acres. There are a total of twenty-four runs located here with fifteen percent of them beginner level, fifty-five percent intermediate level and thirty percent advanced level. The long run it has is Geronimo Run which is one and a half miles long. Bear Mountain has twelve lifts; three which are quad chair-lifts, two are triple chairs, four double chairs and three surface lifts. These lifts give the mountain a skier capacity of over sixteen thousand skiers an hour. Snow Summit has a top elevation of eighty-two hundred feet and a base elevation of seven thousand feet.It has over two hundred and forty acres of skiable terrain, most of it
manmade. Snow Summit has twelve lifts and thirty one runs. The longest run is Westridge Run and is runs about one and a quarter mile long.
Another prominent attraction is Big Bear Solar Observatory. This telescopic observatory main point of interest is studying the sun and its physical properties. All the instruments located here are specially designed for this task. This observatory is located on the northern shore of Big Bear Lake in the San Bernardino Mountains. It was built in 1969 by the California Institute of Technology and its funding comes from various agencies such as the United States Air Force, NASA and the National Science Foundation. Big Bear Solar Observatory has a sixty-five centimeter vacuum reflector telescope, a twenty-five centimeter refractor and a twenty centimeter full disc telescope. In 2007, a plan has been drawn up that will replace the three scopes with a single one and a half meter clear aperture telescope. About an hour outside of Big Bear lake in Valencia, California is Six Flags Magic Mountain. This is an amusement park that was opened in 1971 and known simply as Magic Mountain. Eight years later it was purchased by Six Flags and renamed Six Flags Magic Mountain. It has a large collection of roller coasters and rides which include Atom Smasher, Batman: The Ride, Buccaneer, Alpine Slide, Colossus, Canyon Blaster, Goliath, Ninja, Percy’s Railway, Roaring Rapids, Superman: The Escape, Thrill Shot, Viper, Yosemite Sam Sierra Falls and Terminator Salvation: The Ride.
Moonridge Animal Park is another attraction that is popular with people of all ages. This zoo features alpine wildlife in its natural habitat. It has over one hundred and eighty animals that are taken from eighty-five different species. Examples of the wildlife that is located here includes Black Bears, Barn Owls, Red Tailed Hawks, Raccoon, Grizzly Bears, Bobcat, Mountain Lions, Skunk, Timber Wolves, Snow Leopards, Turkey Vultures, White Pelicans, Wood Bison, Mule Deer, Golden Eagles, Bald Eagles, Coyotes, Fisher, Great Blue Herons, Red Fox, Grey Fox, White Pelicans and American Kestrel. The zoo also has a library, gift shop, a grizzly rescue program and various educational events.
Other attractions at Big Bear Lake include Big Bear Lake, Big Bear Queen Lake Tours, Champion Lodgepole Pine, Hangman’s Tree, Pine Knot Village, Big Bear
Discovery Center, Baldwin Lake Stables, Bear Mountain Trading Company, Knickerbocker Mansion Country Inn, Mountain Bear Essentials, Big Bear Off-Road
Adventures, United States Adaptive Recreation Center, Lucky Bear Fishing Charters, Boo Bear’s Den Restaurant, Evergreen International Restaurant, Teddy Bear
Restaurant, Thundercloud Resort and Hotel, Kujo’s BLT Restaurant, Log Cabin Restaurant, Peppercorn Grille, Block Hotel At Big Bear, Snow Lake Lodge, Fireside
Lodge, Alpenhorn Bed and Breakfast Hotel, Eagle’s Nest Bed & Breakfast,Jensens Lake Front Lodge, Grey Squirrel Resort, Big Bear Lake Adventure Hostel, Old
Country Inn, Black Forest Lodge-Cabins & Motel Resort, Forest Shores Inn Lakefront Condos, Timber Haven Lodge, Goldmine Lodge, Cathy’s Cottages, Big Bear
Bilingual Resort and Golden Bear Cottages.