5 sites · Lodging5 acres · Big Bear, San Bernardino
This is a truly unique piece of land, for travelers who want to experience pure nature and the spirit of a bygone age.
The ranch sits at 7,000 feet, surrounded by towering old-growth Jeffrey pines. While nearly all the other camping spots in Big Bear Valley are packed tightly together, as soon as you enter our private five-acre Sky Ranch, you can discover true seclusion.
This land was homesteaded by a Swiss woman, who called it home from 1915 until 1988.
Step onto the broad wooden Star Deck, and you're looking at an alpine forest which has changed little since the Serrano Indians first arrived here 3,000 years ago. There are no homes visible -- and immediately adjacent to your camping spot, you'll find the trails of the San Bernardino National Forest, winding through hundreds of square miles of pure nature.
This property is quiet night and day, the perfect break from harried city life. The only sounds you're likely to hear are wind through the trees, and birds which glide from tree to tree. And when the brilliant colors of sunset subside, thousands of stars emerge to remind you of why the Milky Way got its name.
* Yes, dogs can come too!
* During holidays, we may ask a 3-night minimum stay.
* For special events, see calendar at Big Bear website.
The Sky Ranch is adjacent to hundreds of square miles of forest. The famous Pacific Crest Trail, which stretches 2,663 miles from Canada to Mexico, passes just east of us.
This land is a perfect retreat — whether you’re escaping the city or taking a break from a PCT trek. Even on big holiday weekends, you'll be completely isolated from traffic and crowds.
In the Summer, Big Bear Valley offers countless hiking trails, boating and fishing in the lake, mountain and road biking, horseback riding, golf, ziplining, the zoo, and many other outdoor activities. In Winter, there's skiing/boarding, snowshoeing, sledding, and more.
For kids, there's a "fort," swings, and a huge sandbox in a boat. They're also welcome to help feed our chickens. That's always a big hit! And we have a telescope for stargazing.
Some guests swear they can feel the spirits of the Native Americans and others who lived here. Is it real? You tell us.
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The nearest stores and restaurants are within five minutes by car or bus. The center of Big Bear Lake is 10 to 20 minutes away, and offer scores of restaurants, boutiques, and galleries.
There are also two supermarkets, multiple drug stores, and a hospital.
Also within minutes by car/bus are...
> Two ski and snowboard resorts, Snow Summit and Bear Mountain, offering 26 lifts and 55 runs. There are excellent schools and family areas, as well as serious terrain parks and an Olympic-size halfpipe. This is where Shaun White learned to fly!
> Big Bear's famous alpine lake, which offers fishing, all forms of boating, and other water sports.
> Stanfield Marsh Boardwalk & Wildlife Preserve, where you can stroll the boardwalk, have a picnic in the gazebo, or just sit and enjoy the lake and mountain views.
> The U.S. Forest Service Discovery Center, which offers a variety of nature programs.
> A truly remarkable animal park -- one of only two alpine zoos in the U.S. -- housing grizzlies, wood bison, cougars, timber wolves, eagles, and much more.
> Big Bear Valley Museum. Although you're staying in one of the rarest historical homes in California, the museum has some great exhibits as well, including an example of a stamp mill which was used to crush gold ore in the era when this cabin was built.
> Bear Mountain Golf Course. At 7,000 feet, it's an entirely different game.
For those seeking a true wilderness adventure, the San Bernardino Mountains offer spectacular terrain. While the Serranos have called these mountains home for many centuries, Europeans didn't venture into this rugged land till 1850. It's one of the youngest mountain ranges in the world (in geological terms) and features scores of steep, challenging peaks, which stretch from the natural hot springs of Deep Creek in the west, to huge Yucca forests in the east.
11,500-foot Mount San Gorgonio, named by Spanish missionaries in the early 17th century, is at the center of the first designated wilderness area in America. Also known as "Old Greyback," San Gorgonio and the 11 surrounding peaks over 10,000 feet are home to an extremely rare herd of bighorn sheep.
The headwaters of the Santa Ana and Mojave rivers offer premier wild trout streams such as Bear Creek, accessible only by foot.
Hundreds of miles of unpaved National Forest roads offer every type of off-road experience -- ranging from an easy drive to Pioneertown, to the most radical 4WD trails imaginable (11 Difficults, six Most Difficults). The Cabin is right in the middle of the major routes.
After a day here, you may find it hard to believe that you're just 100 miles (and perhaps a century) away from Downtown Los Angeles.
(See additional info below the Japanese.)
Dogs are always welcome, and a spacious dog corral is available. We do ask guests to pay an added fee of $5 per pup per day.
Propane stoves are OK, and we have a natural-gas BBQ grill available for use. Outdoor wood fires and/or lighter fluid are never allowed.
There is easy parking for any number of cars. RVs and trailers are no problem either. Total charges will depend of the number of guests and vehicles.
Cell phones on Verizon and Sprint will have coverage. The AT&T and T-Mobile networks still do not cover this area, however the wifi near our home enables calls/texts on most phones.
The public bus stop is a short walk. Surprisingly, it is possible to take public transit from any train station in SoCal all the way to our bus stop (and vice
versa). Cheaper than driving, and no worries about weather. Ask us for details.
If you're bringing kids, let us know the ages. You may get a discount. :)
For equestrians, we have a two-acre horse corral, plus hay barn and covered stall.
Legal Note: Upon booking, you will gain access to a Ranch Manual, which includes the rental contract for your stay. Be sure to familiarize yourself with all terms in advance.