Big Bear is home to several special attractions due to the unique qualities of the area. The Big Bear Discovery Center is operated cooperatively by the U.S. Forest Service and San Bernardino National Forest Association. Guests visit the center for naturalist-led interpretive programs, evening nature lectures, hiking and camping information and to view the changing exhibits which include every thing from native animals to fire prevention. Tours on foot or by canoe are available for the more adventuresome providing opportunities to learn about Big Bear waterfowl, aquatic and animal life. The Adventure Outpost is an onsite retail store which offers one-of-a-kind gifts.
Also unique to Big Bear is the Moonridge Zoo, a 2.5 acre facility for animals wounded in the wilderness. The area fires of 1959 brought about the need to house injured animals that could be treated and returned to the forest. For those healthy but non-releasable birds and animals, the Moonridge Zoo became their protective new home, and the Moonridge Animal Park was “born”. At least 200 injured wild birds and animals are treated annually at the park, and the majority are rehabilitated and released back into the wild. Expansion efforts are currently underway.
The Big Bear Solar Observatory (BBSO) takes advantage of the excellent climatic conditions of Big Bear to study the Sun. The observatory is located in the middle of Big Bear Lake to reduce image distortion, and turbulent motions in the air are also reduced by the smooth flow of the wind across the lake. These conditions, combined with the usually cloudless skies over Big Bear Lake and the clarity of the air at this elevation, make the observatory a premier site for solar observations.
No trip to Big Bear is complete without a visit to the Big Bear Valley Historical Museum. The museum has many exhibits that begin with the Indian period and include an 1875 log cabin, gold mining artifacts, cattle ranching and lumbering exhibits, and many other historical artifacts.
We’ve Got it All in Big Bear . . . Spring fever brings hiking, biking, horseback riding, off-roading, golfing, boating, waterskiing, parasailing, fishing, kayaking, and canoeing activities. Big Bear Lake is Southern California’s premier recreational lake. It has approximately 22 miles of shoreline and is seven miles long. When the colors start to change, and the temperatures drop, Big Bear begins to “think snow”. Downhill and cross country skiing, snowboarding, and moonlight snowshoeing move to the top of the “must do” list. Big Bear Mountain Resorts offer it all for both skier and snowboarder.
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