Tucked into a verdant valley of the San Bernardino Mountains and rich with four unique seasons of natural splendor, it's no wonder that the area today known as Big Bear Lake has been populated and beloved for thousands of years. It's also no wonder that to this day it remains one of the top vacation destinations in all of California.
Known first by the Serrano Indian name Yuhaviat, Big Bear Lake, California received its striking title by Benjamin Davis Wilson, an esteemed California statesman and advocate of Native American rights. First visiting the area in 1845, Wilson was surprised to find an immense grizzly bear population, inspiring him to suggest the name. While Wilson only found bears, many Southern California prospectors found something else entirely: gold.
In 1949 Big Bear was one of the leading ski resorts in Southern California.
Even though the gold rush is long gone, people the world over still find reason to come to Big Bear all year-long. If not for the incredible snow sports, hiking, bird watching and boating, many people visit just for the glorious scenery. Hollywood, for instance, has returned time and again to film in Big Bear Valley. The famous musical "Paint Your Wagon" as well as "The Parent Trap" and episodes of "Bonanza" were all filmed here.
Get the most of your vacation in Big Bear Lake, California by staying at the Northwoods Resort and Conference Center. Located near the lake and less than three miles from the ski resorts, we do more than other hotels in Big Bear Lake to ensure you an effortless, fun-filled getaway.
Rely on our knowledgeable staff to guide you to the best attractions in Big Bear, or stop in with our friends at the Big Bear Discovery Center. Dedicated to the celebration and responsible enjoyment of Big Bear Valley and the San Bernardino National Forest, the Discovery Center is a one-stop-shop of activity and attraction information. Learn more.