• Another blast of winter headed for Big Bear May 26, 2019
    Someone needs to inform Mother Nature that it's almost June.
  • FYI is here May 25, 2019
    Don't forget to browse the latest issue of FYI published by the Big Bear Grizzly
  • Delays possible on Highway 330 to Big Bear May 24, 2019
    Caltrans work on the bridge rail replacement on State Route 330 could cause significant delays for those traveling to Big Bear during the holiday weekend. Motorists are advised to use alternate routes if possible.
  • Summer survey May 22, 2019
    Summer, at least we hope, is around the corner. What's your favorite summer beverages? Help us out by taking this short survey, and your answers may appear in the June issue of Big Bear Now magazine.
  • May snow not unheard of in Big Bear Valley May 22, 2019
    It’s almost Memorial Day, do you know where spring is?
  • School district weighs options for Chautauqua May 22, 2019
    When the 2019-20 school year begins in August, the student population at Chautauqua High School is expected to drop as much as 50 percent. It’s just one of several reasons the Bear Valley Unified School District is exploring relocation of…
  • 15 minutes May 22, 2019
    In the United States that’s the measure of time for someone to die in an alcohol-related traffic collision. It’s a message the California Highway Patrol sends to students and parents through its Every 15 Minutes program each year.
  • Fire department trading cards as education tool May 22, 2019
    Big Bear Fire Department wants to educate children on the fire service. To achieve this goal, the department has launched a motivational educational program using fire department trading cards.

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.