Archive for August, 2009

Big Bear Lake

Saturday, August 29th, 2009

Big Bear Island

Big Bear Island

Big Bear is a lake high in the San Bernadino mountains. It is 7 miles (11.2 KM) long and 2.5 miles (4 KM)
wide. It is 72 feet (22 meters) deep at the deepest point up by the dam. The lake is a snow fed lake. The only water comes from the melting snow on the surrounding mountains.

The warmest month is July when the temperature approaches 80 F (27 C) in the daytime. At night it is still cold 47 F (8.4 C). The coldest month is January. The normal January day time temp is 47 F (8.4 C) and 20 F (-6.3 C). The coldest temperature ever recorded was January 29 1979 of -25 F (-32 C).

The elevation of the lake is at 6750 Feet (2060 meters). It receives and average of 61.8 inches (157 cm) of snow each year and 100 inches (254 cm) falls above 8000 feet (2400 meters) .

There are 3 ways to get to Big Bear. Highway 330 from Running Springs splits at treasure island and becomes the north and south shore roads. The south shore road goes through the community of Big Bear Lake and then goes to Big Bear City at the east end of the lake.

Highway 38 from the southeast joins the south shore road at Big Bear City. Highway 18 joins at Big Bear City coming from Apple Valley to the north.

There are 3 ski resorts around the lake. They are Snow Summit, Big Bear, and Stanfield Cutoff.


The Big Bear area was populated by Serrano Indians for 2500 years. They thought Bears were their ancestors so the bear population in the valley was out of control because the Indians did not hunt bears. The first white man to discover the lake was Benjamin Wilson in the 1850’s . The Indians had been raiding the riverside ranches for cattle and horses. Benjamin led a party of 22 men to bring back the lost livestock. When they found the valley full of bears they became a hunting party and killed 11 bears. William Holcomb discovered gold in 1859 and the valley was soon swarming with miners.

The first dam was built in 1884 and held back 25,000 acre feet of water. In 1912 a second dam was built 300 feet (91 meters) below the first dam. This dam held back 73,000 area feet.


We left Big Sur and headed south on Interstate 5. Our destination was Big Bear.  We came from the west on highway 330 from Running Springs. We drove the south shore until we reached Big Bear City then we drove the north shore. We drove through the town of Fawnskin and camped at lighthouse camp. It was warm during the day but it was cold at night even though it was mid July.

The scenery was awesome and it was a couple of days to relax from the cares of the world.

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I hope everyone enjoyed this week’s story. Before you go please be sure and check out our list of products on the right under our blogroll. Just click on any of the links that interest you and you will travel to that products website. Everyone have a safe and productive week and we will see you next week with a new adventure.