• Highway 38 closed for air rescue January 22, 2019
    Highway 38 is closed in both directions for an unknown duration for a air rescue operation. The closure will take place at the Jenks Lake Road site on Highway 38.
  • Traffic on and off the mountain from slow to a standstill January 20, 2019
    UPDATE: Sunday, Jan. 20, 2 p.m. — Downbound traffic on Highways 18/330 to Highland from Big Bear are experiencing 30-plus minute delays.
  • Total lunar eclipse set for Sunday, Jan. 20 January 20, 2019
    The storms have left, and the sky is clear in Big Bear. And that’s a good thing, especially if you want to see the first lunar eclipse of 2019.
  • Vehicle catches fire on highway January 18, 2019
    Expect delays on Highway 330 due to a vehicle fire.
  • Wet, windy Big Bear day January 17, 2019
    The final round of storms to hit the mountains is bringing rain and wind to Big Bear today.
  • Parolee arrested on firearms possession January 17, 2019
    Freddie Chavez, 26, of Big Bear Lake is in custody awaiting an arraignment hearing in San Bernardino. Chavez was arrested on charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm and violating his parole terms. There is a gang…
  • Public welcome at Ed Foundation meeting January 16, 2019
    The Bear Valley Unified School District Education Foundation meets Tuesday, Jan. 22, at 6 p.m. at the district office. All individuals interested in the discussion regarding recently-donated property are encouraged to attend the meeting.
  • On the agenda January 16, 2019
    The public can stay informed by attending and participating in local government meetings. Check each agency’s website for a copy of the latest meeting agenda or call them for more information.

Big Bear Lake

Big Bear refers to the region of Big Bear Valley which includes Big Bear Lake, Big Bear City, Fawnskin, Sugarloaf, and other nearby towns. The lakes in the area include Baldwin Lake, Erwin Lake, and Lake Williams. The location of the area lead to popular past times like Big bear camping, skiing, fishing, and other outdoor activities.

The area got its name when discovered by then mayor of little Los Angeles, Benjamin Wilson. During a chase, he rode high into the Santa Ana Canyon of San Bernadino. There, Wilson and his team found a storylike village with abundant plants and wildlife–particularly grizzly bears. For this reason, the area came to be called Big Bear Valley.

While it is true that Big Bear was indeed full of large grizzlies in the past, they were eventually eradicated from the area by hunting. Now, black bears reside in the valley, but the last known grizzly was seen there in 1906.

This valley was originally inhabited by the Serrano Native American tribe. These peoples hunted local wildlife, but they held the grizzly bear in high esteem; so high, in fact that they did not eat the animal’s meat or wear its fur. These people were a peaceful and gentle tribe. There is a museum exhibit in Big Bear that displays some artifacts found in the area. They had settlements called Yucaipa and Cucamonga, which are recalled in towns near the area today.