August 2021 Big Bear Today Magazine


Ride with us into August with Big Bear Today Magazine! We have stories on the 2021 Tour de Big Bear cycling event, Conquer the Wall and Kodiak 100 running events too. Travel to the past at Big Bear Museum and discover wilderness-worthy views on Wildhorse Trail. Air conditioned fun at the Bowling Barn, free bird walks, and Discovery Center is open outdoors with activities the whole family will love. Calendar of events and recreation guide too!

Volume 33, No. 2 August 2021


The Mountain’s Monthly Lifestyle Magazine

So Cal



One Year Anniversary

• The Fawn Lodge Story

• Conquer The Wall, Kodiak 100

• Travel Back in Time at Museum

• Wilderness-Worthy Views on Wildhorse Trail

Page 2—August 2021

From the Publisher

From slots to movie

sets, Fawn Lodge had

quite the history

From slot machines to Perry Mason,

nine-piece orchestra dancing to lavish

dinners, the historic Fawn Lodge

has a long and colorful history.

The distinctive salmon-colored building

in Fawnskin with pseudo-western decor

has been shuttered for four decades

now. But in its heyday the building was

once the jewel of the San Bernardino

Mountains, where the elite skirted Prohibition

laws and guests stayed in cozy hotel

rooms without private baths.

In its 55-plus years of operation the

Fawn Lodge, known before that as the Tea

Room complete with stunning dome long

since removed, was the site of television

and movie shoots. It hosted weekly Big

Bear Lake Rotary meetings with owner

Glenn Wilson the club’s first president.

From retail space to restaurant the property

built in 1925 has seen a little bit of

everything, and perhaps the Fawn Lodge

story isn’t complete even today.

* * *

No wonder the Historical Society

meeting featuring a presentation on Fawn

Lodge by Richard Graham and Mark

Durban was packed last month. Drive into

quaint Fawnskin and the historic building

stands out. It’s impossible to miss and

while we’ve all wondered what the inside

looks like, few have seen it.

Graham is one who has. “The outside

is pretty torn up, but inside it’s much sturdier

than the outward appearance would

indicate,” he said. “It’s pretty structurally


While Fawn Lodge is mostly thought

of as a hotel, in fact its first decade or so

was spent as an entertainment hub. Built

as a business center by Henry Guio, it was

sold after one year to local developers including

Richard Thompson. While the first

floor saw a variety of businesses including

a barbershop, the second was run by

Thompson’s wife Francis as the Fawn Tea

Room for several years.

Here the well-to-do were pitched

mountain real estate dreams with music

and dancing on the beautiful second floor,

sometimes to a top nine-piece orchestra

from down the mountain. On-site there was

a cafe with kitchen, lounge, even comfortable

reading nook.

Prohibition might have put a damper

on the events but these were considered

private affairs where folks could bring their

own drink. There was plenty of bootleg

hootch, according to notes by old-timer

Pete Pedersen. The bashes were lavish

enough to draw the attention of major

newspapers including Los Angeles Times.

Alas, it’s likely the Depression took

its toll on the operation and little is known

of the Tea Room in the early 1930’s. It

doesn’t pop up in historical records till

1937, when an early photograph shows it

during a big snow year, dome now gone,

and under different ownership.

In 1946 the property was sold to a

group headed by Wilson for “better than

$50,000” according to a Big Bear Grizzly

article, ushering in its golden era. Ten hotel

rooms were built on the second floor.

While the rooms were nice they were deep

and narrow, somewhat spartan without private

baths, air conditioning or televisions.

The “House of Wilson” restaurant and

lounge was on the first floor and became

known for “distinctive” dining, at one time

even sporting five slot machines. Other adjoining

businesses in the early years included

Harey’s Liquor Store and a bait and

tackle shop.

It was the restaurant that was the lure.

Guests could enjoy dinner duets with steak

and lobster for $12.95, abalone steak for a

couple bucks less. Most prices were in the

five to eight dollar range, quite a sum in

those days.

While hotel rooms were somewhat

lacking, the lounge made up for it. A beautiful

50’ mural was painted with western

scenes like rider on horseback. The Wild

West look continued with wagon wheel

ceiling fans and stunning rock fireplace and

piano bar. Even the outside was given a

western theme with false fronts depicting

a jail, horse tie railings and wagon wheel.

Along the way Hollywood took notice.

Fawn Lodge can be seen in the cheesy

1958 film “Giant from the Unknown” and

Raymond Burr can be seen pulling up to

the building in a Perry Mason episode.

By 1971 Fawn Lodge was at its zenith,

one of 14 locations earning Mobile

Travel Guide awards for “Unusually Good

Value.” But by 1980 Wilson had sold the

property and the restaurant was serving

only steaks. It closed a year later and while

various owners have dabbled with it, timeshare

and bed and breakfast considered, it’s

never reopened.

The current owners still hope to get

investors to help restore it to its former

glory, Graham said. In the meantime it’s

Big Bear’s most famous attraction most of

us have never seen.

Have a good one.


ON THE COVER: Tour de Big Bear returns with Southern California’s favorite cycling

event, but there’s great biking every day in Big Bear. Just look aorund!

Volume 33, Number 2 August 2021







Marcus G. Dietz

Associate Publisher

Sandra L. Dietz

Publishing Consultant

Bret Colson

Technical Consultant

Charles Dietz


Steve Dietz

John Daskam

Mark Gauger

In This Issue...

Big Bear Today

Cyclists Tackle 6 Rides at Tour de BB

Glow ride, poker ride, gravel ride and Southern California’s

favorite ride all highlight the annual Tour de Big Bear. With all

this biking fun it’s no surprise that Big Bear has become the

region’s biking capital. Plus there’s great cycling everyday in

town the whole family will love, and we’re ready to take you

for a spin right here.

Blacksmiths, Panning a Trip Back in Time

Step back in time at Big Bear Museum where there’s a

working blacksmith shop and 1880’s-era five-stamp mill,

“gold” panning in the sluice box and much more. History

comes alive with exhibits from Big Bear’s mining, ranching and

logging past. Grab a cold sarsaparilla and enjoy!

Discovery Center Open Again, Outdoors

The gates at Big Bear Discovery Center have swung open

again for outdoor activities even as the inside gets remodeled.

There’s the half-mile Nature Discovery Trail the whole family

will enjoy, fun zone for kids with new activities, weekend

naturalist-led walks, story time and more.

Yesterday’s Classics at Wooden Boat Show

Gleaming wood boats from Criss-Craft and others again dot

the lake on August 21 as the annual Wooden Boat Show

returns to Pine Knot Marina after a year’s absence There may

even be antique cars too and there definitely will be rods plus

rides a week later at Cool Run in the Mountains, see page 3.

Wilderness-Worthy Views on Wildhorse

Thirty-minutes from Big Bear there’s remote hiking out of a

trailhead right on Hwy. 38 that leads to a cool trail camp and

beyond. You’re not likely to run into another soul and the

views are sprawling. Just watch for a silent rattlesnake!

Past and present owners of historic Fawn

Lodge. See story this page






From the Publisher


Area Map/

Calendar of Events

The Almanac

Big Bear's most complete

listings for recreation,

dining, and more.

Big Bear Today is a monthly magazine covering recreation,

dining, nightlife, and events in Big Bear. Reproduction of any

material, without the express written consent of the Publisher,

is prohibited. Advertising/editorial, call Big Bear Today at (909)

585-5533. Mailing address: PO Box 3180, Big Bear City, CA,

92314. E-Mail: Member, Visit Big

Bear and Big Bear Chamber of Commerce. Internet Address:

Production: Offset printing by G.W. Reed Printing, Inc.

Color prepress by 2-Bit Studio.

Manuscripts and Art: Contributions are welcome. Big

Bear Today is not responsible nor liable for unsolicited

manuscripts or art. Materials received will not be returned.

© Copyright 2021 Big Bear Today

Big Bear Today August 2021—Page 3


Two days of fun with experts, music, lake tours!

Celebrate eagles

with talks, cruises

Celebrate Big Bear’s renowned bald

eagles with two days of talks, activities and

more August 14-15.


is the

big day at

the Convention

Center with

the first annual



Eagles. Join


eagle lovers

at 11 a.m.

for talks

and discussions



Bear birds




a n d


whose egglaying


have drawn national attention the past

few years. The nest cam provided by

Friends of Big Bear Valley has brought

their antics to viewers around the world.

There will be presentations from local

experts and photographers with captivating

eagle images. In addition, Martin

Tyner of the Southwest Wildlife Foundation

will share knowledge and experience

of his wildlife friends. His Cedar City,

Utah-based organization is dedicated to

wildlife rescue, rehabilitation and education.

Join Big Bear Fire Department in exploring

drought tolerant landscaping with

the last of three virtual Xeriscape Garden

Tours on August 14.

Xeriscape tours have been popular

every-other-year summer events but inperson

has been canceled in 2021 for the

Tyner will be presenting Scout the

golden eagle, Belle the Harris hawk and

Helen the peregrine falcon for impressive

up-close viewing. Stick around after for

live music at Wyatt’s Grill & Saloon along

with western food and good drink. Admission

is free.

O n

Sunday festivities

move to the

lake where

bald eagles

may be observed


the wild.

Head out on

the water

aboard Big

B e a r

Cruzer for



with spotters



in viewing


hawks, falcons


other interesting


Tours depart Big Bear Marina where

there’s a brief meet and greet lakeside. During

the cruises there’s music and complimentary

beverages as Cruzer visits favored

eagle locations including feeding zones,

perching places and the area where the bald

eagles nest.

The tour sails at 11 a.m., plan on being

dockside at 10:30. A second tour has

been added, call for details. Eagle boat

tours cost $22 per person. For reservations

call Trish at (909) 436-0198.

View waterwise landscaping during virtual tour

Xeriscape Garden

Tour online Aug. 14

Classic cars, motorcyles, drawings and more!

See hot rides at

Cool Run Aug. 28

Hot rides are back at the 11th annual

Cool Run in the Mountains car and motorcycle

show August 28.

Rodriders Car Club of Big Bear presents

the show at the Convention Center

from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. There’s dozens of cool

cars and bikes to view, including 2019 Best

of Show winner, a 1931 Cadillac Cabriolet

replica owned by Larry Ramomeda.

second consecutive year. Instead virtual

tours are online from noon-1 p.m. with garden

tours and mini workshops.

“Keep Calm and Garden On” is the

theme presenting water- and fire-wise landscaping.

Read about how to create a

drought-tolerant and water wise landscape.

Participants can post their own Xeriscape

plant landscape photos with a chance to

win prizes. Visit Facebook and search Big

Bear Xeriscape Garden Tour.

Audio Maverick provides the sounds

and there’s drawings and awards to the top

20 rides. Spectator admission is free.

The “Cruisin to Stop the Bruisin”

show benefits DOVES with proceeds from

the $30-$35 fee vehicle owners pay to

show their rides. Other beneficiaries include

Big Bear Alpine Zoo, Barc and local

food banks.

The Convention Center is at 42900

Big Bear Blvd. at Division. Call (909) 585-

3000 or to enter the show call Dave Lepore

at (909) 800-8355.

Pirate Ship

Lake Tours




2 4 4 2 3 2 7

Pontoon Boat Rentals




• Waverunners & Jet Skis

• SUPs-Stand Up Paddleboards

• Wake Boarding / Waterskiing


1/2 mile north of Big Bear Blvd. on Edgemoor

2 miles west of the Village (turn at Log Cabin Restaurant)

3 miles east of the dam

Page 4—August 2021

Tour back with glow, gravel rides

Big Bear Today

Southern California’s favorite cycling

event returns after a year’s absence

with a four day riding festival

on August 5-8.

Tour de Big Bear on August 7 is the

showcase event, six rides of varying distances

on the main day. Preceding Tour de

Big Bear there’s the annual Friday poker

ride and after dark glow ride in the Village

shopping area on Thursday plus Sunday

recovery ride. It’s all “geared” to showcasing

Big Bear as the Southland’s cycling


With six rides to choose from Tour de

Big Bear offers a route for every cycling

enthusiast. The event has sold out 10

straight years prior to the virus, attracting

over 2,000 riders annually, for good reason.

Cyclists cruise alpine roadways and

trails around Big Bear and Baldwin Lakes

and over mountain passes including Onyx

Summit’s 8,443 elevation.

All routes feature course marshals.

legendary nutrition/hydration aid stations,

first aid attendants, and rider safety and repair

vehicles to deliver a professional-like

experience. Plus excellent signage and law

enforcement at major intersections for


Tour de Big Bear’s start/finish line and

expo with beer garden moves from the Village

to Bear Mountain for 2021. There’s a

shorter 5K ride for all ages that cruises

through quiet neighborhoods and new

Dirty Bear


gravel ride

that heads

out on dirt

roads and

trails to hist

o r i c



Tour de

Big Bear is

the event’s


ride, a 25-

mile route

with 1,100

feet of


Southern California’s favorite cycling event is back! Tour de Big Bear, Aug. 5-8

serving up panoramic lake and mountain

views. Big Bear Valley Tour is double the

distance at 50 miles and sports over 3,540

feet of climbing, continuing past Big Bear

dam to Snow Valley and back to the west

and Baldwin Lake to the east.

The Grand Tour is 70 miles with 5,400

ft. elevation gain, much of it climbing to

the top of Onyx Summit at 8,440 ft. At 106

miles The Climb sports 8,700 feet of challenging

elevation gain including ascending

Onyx Summit...twice!

All Tour de Big Bear riders receive

custom-made finisher medal and high performance

technical shirt along with complimentary

bike valet at the expo and beer


The two-day cycling expo Friday and

Saturday with vendors, entertainment and

beer garden on the Bear Mountain deck

attracts even non-riders. Plus cheer on cyclists

on the Freedom Ride from Bend, Ore.

to Newport Beach, raising awareness of

human trafficking.

The famous aid stations are worth the

price of admission themselves, known in

the past for delicacies like ribs, fruit, bacon,

smoothies and much more. Even a

chocolate fountain! Plus 3,000 gallons of

water, generously donated by Arrowhead.

Some 300 volunteers help Big Bear

Cycling produce a professional-quality

event that attracts riders from around the

Follow Hall by running up The Wall

If you think it‘s hard to ski down The

Wall at Snow Summit in winter, try running

up it in summer.

Ryan Hall’s fifth annual “Conquer the

Wall” on August 14 sees participants do

just that.Weekly timed one mile runs up

the resort’s signature black diamond run

were part of the training regimen for Hall,

the Big Bear Olympian who holds the

American record for the half-marathon

and competed in the Beijing Games, finishing

10th in the full marathon.

The high school cross-country team

still utilizes the course each summer—

three state champions later, it seems to be

working—and you can too during the 9

a.m. event. From the base area entrants

will face over a thousand-foot vertical

climb with much of that on The Wall.

Southland including top teams. In 2019

participants came from 18 states and six


Tour de Big Bear showcases the terrific

riding that makes Big Bear “Cycling

Capital of Southern California.” Wellmarked

bike routes through quiet neighborhoods,

paved paths next to the lake and

in the woods, miles of forest roads and

trails for mountain bikers, and Snow Summit

bike park, all combine to offer an incredible

array of cycling choices.

It’s a good idea to come up a few days

prior to Tour de Big Bear to acclimate to

Big Bear’s 7,000 ft. elevation. Free group

rides held by Big Bear Cycling are open to

all and help competitive and recreational

cyclists alike can get used to the elevation.

Or just find riding partners for their visit.

Of course any day’s a good one to

pedal Big Bear. Bring a bike or rent one at

Goldsmith’s, Chains Required and other

shops and explore Alpine Pedal Path, new

Stanfield Cutoff or neighborhood rides.

Weekly road rides depart Amangela’s

in the Village Mondays at 9 a.m with

Wednesday recovery rides leaving

Maggio’s at 5:30. Saturday community

rides meet at Copper Q in the Village at 9

a.m. Intermediate mountain bike rides are

at Chains Required Sundays 9:30 a.m.

Visit or

At the top finishers are rewarded with

sprawling views, refreshments and Sky

Chair ride down. Top male and female finisher

earn $100 cash prizes and there’s

custom awards for winners of age categories

and teams. Awards begin at the event’s

conclusion at the top of the mountain.

Register online at

for $40 till Aug. 4, then $60 till race day.

Registration packet pickup Aug. 13 at Big

Bear Community Church (40946 Big

Bear Blvd.) from 4-8 p.m., spaghetti dinner

for $10 from 6-8. Or register at Snow

Summit morning of the event from 7-8:30.

Participants receive a T-shirt and

Skychair ride.Spectators can hike up to

the finish line or buy a Skychair ticket for

a scenic uphill ride. Proceeds benefit the

cross-country program.

Big Bear Today August 2021—Page 5

Splash, speed, soar at Alpine Slide

Beat the heat with a day of play in the

spray on Alpine Slide’s refreshing

double water slide, a family favorite

since 1986.

A maze of twists and turns on each

flume takes riders on a thrilling downhill

journey that ends with a cooling splash in

the solar-heated pool at the bottom. The

recently-refurbished flumes are sliding as

good as new. Both flumes now sport shiny

blue surfaces allowing cascading water to

flow with less resistance, making for great

rides down long straightaways and myriad

of turns.

Flume #1 is considered the slower of

the two, with a more gentle descent at the

beginning but a series of sharp turns at the

bottom that really whip riders around.

Flume #2 on slider’s right drops quickly

at the onset of the ride and takes riders

through a series of gyrating turns.

Water slide rides are inexpensive—

$20 for an all day pass, 10 rides for $15,

or two bucks each. Going to be around for

a few days or coming back this summer?

Season passes are only $49 valid Sunday

through Friday, $69 anytime.

A great way to beat the heat, and

parents who don’t want to play don’t have

to pay to get in, unlike the soaking they

get at down-the-hill water parks. Spread a

blanket out on the grass or take a seat on

one of the two outdoor decks and soak up

rays while the kids play. And don’t forget

the family-priced snack bar inside the base

lodge, including ice cream counter with a

selection of


Rides are

wet or dry at

Alpine Slide,

home to

u n i q u e


not found

elsewhere in

the region.



opened in

2020, only

ride of its

kind in


Cool off on Alpine Slides double water slide, then heat up on Mineshaft Coaster

Negotiate three complete 360° corkscrew

turns, steep descents, two 100-foot tunnels,

dips and drops galore during a thrilling

mile-long gravity-fueled adventure.

What makes Mineshaft Coaster

especially unique is that riders control their

own speed. Which can reach up to 30 mph

at multiple locations on the track. Or

slower, if that’s what they prefer.

Two up tracks on a motorized

bullwheel pulley system provide the uphill

lift, including a long one out of a cool new

start house built at the bottom. The real fun

is on two downhill tracks, as carts cross

three 200-foot bridges, shoot through S-

turns and catch a few whoop-di-doos.

The whole ride is elevated above the

ground, at times two dozen feet up and at

a minimum four feet, really giving riders a

sense of speed as surroundings blur by.

Mineshaft Coaster offers “Smart Cart”

technology with a computer controlled,

fail-safe magnetic braking system that

gently applies brakes if carts approach too

close to another. Plus each ride is equipped

with speed governor and centrifugal brake

to control top speed.

Mineshaft Coaster tickets are $20 per

person, children $10. The ride is open

seven days a week, all year long.

Alpine Slide is also home to the

downhill sleds of the same name, a

longtime favorite that delivers an Olympiclike

ride. Experience many of the same

gravitational forces bobsledders while

Continued on page 9

Page 6—August 2021

Time travel with blacksmiths, gold pans

Big Bear Today

Once again, the massive five-stamp

mill roars to life. Flatlander Jim is

telling yarns and pounding iron

into free pirate peanut butter knives for the

kids at the working blacksmith shop.

Much is the same at Big Bear

Museum, open again for the first time in

two years, but some things have changed.

Starting with the entrance and parking lot,

now at 800 Greenway instead of old Bear

City Park. Guests now pay their measly

five dollar admission to visit the museum

in the historic Caddy Shack at the west end

of the property instead of its longtime

entrance. There’s an expanded book and

gift store to explore inside the Caddy

Shack, a piece of history itself as part of

the famous Peter Pan Woodland Club, with

all kinds of treasures. Pan for gold

that’s really pyrite or go home with

the real stuff; the gift shop sells

vials of 14K gold for $10, an easy

mining shortcut.

Big Bear Museum remains

the best visitor value in the Valley

and is even better in 2021. History

comes alive at the museum where

the walls really do tell secrets.

Most of the buildings have been

moved to the property from other

locations, be it the Juniper Cabin

which was once lakeside and is

now decked out like a general

store and post office, or the

historic Shay Meadow cabin, now

home of the Peter Pan display.

Indeed with print shop,

dentist office and barbershop,

authentic schoolhouse and more,

the museum is really more of a

western town. There’s over a

million items on display reflecting

Big Bear’s varied mining,

ranching, logging and recreation

past. Tributes to famous Big Bear

Working blacksmith shop, stamp mill (left) and sluice for gold panning at museum

residents Mel Blanc, the voice of Bugs

Bunny and so many more cartoon

characters, and renowned western artist

Bob Brown are highlights.

As is the working five-stamp mill, one

of only two such working machines in

California. When it roars to life it literally

drops the hammer on ore and pulverizes it

to reveal gold inside. In the latter part of

the 19th century there were dozens of these

mills operating in BIg Bear, some with up

to 40 stamps, others just one or two.

Most famous of all was the 40-stamp

mill operated by Elias J. “Lucky” Baldwin,

who left his name all over Southern

California—Baldwin Park is named after

him. Baldwin founded Santa Anita

racetrack and made a fortune in real estate

and even at horse racing, only to give some

of it back on his 1875 mining operation in

east Big Bear Valley around Gold

Mountain with a huge 40-stamp mill.

It’s wasn’t so much that they didn’t

find gold because they did, in large

quantities, but it was mostly low grade stuff

that cost more to extract than it was worth.

Subsequent owner J.R. DeLaMar rebuilt

the mine working the so-called “Mountain

of Gold” in 1900, using an advanced

cyanide process to separate gold more

economically, and at its peak pulled $4,000

a week from Gold Mountain Mine, but it

eventually shut down around 1920.

The blacksmith shop meanwhile is an

ears-on experience. Children and parents

are regaled with stories about Big Bear’s

storied past by blacksmith and storyteller

extraordinaire Jim Lanners. Even as he

“stokes the fire” and “keeps his irons in

the fire” Lanners tells tall but true tales with

a steady stream of bad jokes mixed in.

All while pounding iron on one of the

museum’s historic anvils. One weighs a

whopping 623 lbs. and there’s forges from

the original Rose Mine in Big Bear. When

he pounds hot iron sparks fly like minifireworks,

drawing oohs and ahhs from

youngsters. All around the grounds there’s

mining equipment, like ore carts on tracks,

most of it from local operations including

Rose and Gold Mountain Mines.

Kids get psyched for class inside the

authentic schoolhouse, a look at what

learning was like 150 years ago. The

museum’s display is a re-creation of Anna

Crain’s one-room schoolhouse in Doble,

one of the mining towns that sprung up in

Big Bear during the gold rush, where she

taught during the early 1900’s.

It’s authentic because it’s based on an

old photo and even sports the original bell,

unearthed years ago and donated to the

museum. Even the building is real Big

Bear, built with wood from the

Damkeeper’s House built in 1884.

Even with the closure the museum

continued to acquire pieces. In front of the

general store is an ancient gas pump being

renovated that came from late Big Bear

Continued on page 8

Big Bear Today August 2021—Page 7

Discovery Center reopens outdoors

Big Bear Discovery Center is open

again, albeit with just outdoor activities and

services but still plenty to do.

Inside the facility remains closed till

its scheduled fall reopening after a major

remodel and the shutdown. But outside

there’s Nature Discovery Trail to hike and

naturalist guided treks on weekends, information

booths with Adventure Passes and

permits, fun activities for kids and more.

Nature Discovery Trail is an easy

half-mile loop the whole family will enjoy.

Fairly level with minimal elevation

gain, the trail winds through the forest with

several signposts noting mountain flora

like pinyon pine, service berry, Indian

paintbrush, Kennedy’s buckwheat and

more. There’s benches to take a break and

views that include the ski resorts and San

Gorgonio Wilderness in the distance, even

peek-a-boo vistas of Big Bear Lake.

Saturdays at 1 and 2 p.m. and Sundays

at 11 a.m. and noon see free Nature

Give the forest a helping hand by getting

your hands dirty as part of a longrunning

native plant restoration volunteer

program with two August dates on tap.

Greenthumbs workers will be in the

forest on Aug. 21. Greenthumbs volunteers

plant and seed native trees, shrubs

and wildflowers across many new sites

while maintaining existing projects.

Volunteers learn to identify, collect

and propagate native plants in the Forest

Service’s newly renovated nursery facilities.

These efforts improve habitat for

wildlife, plants, Monarch butterfly and

other pollinators.

Big Bear Ranger Station itself has

two greenhouses, a lathe house, and seed

storage shed, and volunteers use these facilities

to grow and outplant thousands

of native plants from seed they collect, to

give the forest a hand in its regenerative

Walks along Nature Discovery Trail led

by naturalists who describe in more detail

what visitors are seeing. These 30-minute

adventures are non-strenuous and fun for

the whole family.

Children experience the forest firsthand

in an outdoor “classroom” just for

them at Discovery Center. Ages 2-7 delight

in the Nature Discovery Zone—first one

in the National Forest system—which

combines education and unstructured play

areas just for youngsters, and now there’s

new areas to explore.

Nine interactive areas encourage outdoor

exploration and even children older

than the recommended age group enjoy the

activities. The zone lets kids climb and

crawl, build and dig, gather and enjoy art,

plus there’s Pollinator Pathway, Messy

Materials and Music and Movement.

Discovery Center is also a great place

to catch Cougar Crest Trail; park there

and no Adventure Pass is required unlike

Dirty hands give forest a helping hand

efforts. Hundreds of acres of habitat have

been enhanced in the process for wildlife,

federally listed plants and animals,

and other degraded lands in the program

since its inception in 1998.

Covid-compliant workdays are from

9 a.m.-3 p.m. Bring a mask plus lunch,

water, sun protection and sturdy shoes.

Gloves, tools, restrooms and hand sanitizer

provided. Confirm in advance.

Remaining 2021 Greenthumbs days

are on September 25 (National Public

Lands Day) and October 23. Call (909)

382-2809 to pre-register or email

In conjunction with Greenthumbs are

Restoration volunteer days including Saturday,

Aug. 28. Workers will be in the forest

collecting seed 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Nature Discovery Zone is filled wtih fun kids activities like climbing and more

at the nearby trailhead. The short half-mile

connector path is a nice forest walk more

enjoyable than the beginning of Cougar

Crest trail anyway. Just be sure to return to

your car before Discovery Center gates

Visit the marina once frequented by

Roy Rogers and his wife Dale Evans for

fun times on the water.

Pleasure Point, the second oldest continually

operated marina on Big Bear Lake,

sports a fresh look with paved parking and

picnic and barbecue area. First opening in

1914 as Belt’s Boat House, in 1926 the

name was changed to Pleasure Point Marina

and the “History Wall” in the office

documents its treasured past.

close at 5 p.m.

Bring the youngsters for Story Time

for ages 6 and under. Discovery Center is

open Thursday-Monday 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Discovery Center (909) 382-2790

Rentals, picnic & BBQ area at Pleasure Pt.

Today Pleasure Point is a full-service

membership-owned marina that offers a

range of water activities including pontoon

and fishing boats, kayaks, jet skis, pedal

boats, and standup paddleboards including

the Super “8” that carries up to eight

people. Fishing charters too plus full-service

repair shop, snacks, fishing gear and

gas dock that’s open to all boaters.

Visit or call

(909) 866-2455.

Page 8—August 2021

Wooden Boat Show back with classics

See stunning vessels of yesteryear

during a free show on the lake August 21.

Gleaming wood vessels are on display

at the 37th annual Antique Classic Wooden

Boat Show at Pine Knot Marina, returning

outdoors after a year’s absence. Vintage

vessels from makers like Criss-Craft and

Hacker highlight the 9 a.m.-3 p.m. show,

presented by the Antique and Classic Boat

Society’s Southern California Chapter. Admission

is free

Typically there’s 40 or more spiffy

wood boats on display. Like a 1940, 27-

foot vessel that once cruised Big Bear Lake

waters. All have been painstakingly restored

to beautiful original condition, many

with the engines exposed and exquisite

wood shined to perfection.

Annual favorites include Noel Blanc’s

beautiful Bugs Bunny. “It’s a 1952 Criss-

Craft,” Blanc said. “It was the least expensive

Criss-Craft model they had at the time.

Dad had fiberglass put on the bottom so it

never leaks.

“I still have the boat my grandfather

and I put in, `Tweety” Blanc, who famed

late father Mel was the voice of Bugs and

other classic cartoon characters, added.

“When the lake is full I bring it to the show.

It doesn’t like lower lake levels.”

Then there’s a 1957 Glastron, inspired

by the 1956 Chevy Belair with more than

a few similarities between the two. Or 1955

Criss-Craft Cobra, built only one year and

influenced by the 1954 Corvette. And don’t

miss the stunning Notti Girl, owned by

Robin Hood Resort’s Charlie Brewster.

• Races Timed,

Fastest Times Posted

• Safety First With Helmets,

4-Point Restraints

• Single & Double Karts with

2 Steering Wheels

(Passenger must be

at least 40" tall)

With so many wood boats inspired by

automobiles, it’s only fitting that there is

typically a few classic cars on hand for

viewing as well. Plus the Inland Nautical

Society has several models on display.

Pine Knot Marina is at 400 Pine Knot

Ave. Call (909) 844-5337.

Museum time travel...

Continued from page 6

photographer Richard Millener’s estate.

Then there’s a still once operated by Jim

Johnson, who fought in the Civil War and

ended up in Cactus Flats around the 1890’s,

cutting Johnson Grade.

He tried ranching and prospecting and

was even the Doble postmaster for a time

but Cactus Jim was best at bootlegging,

supplying saloons in Holcomb Valley and

Doble with hootch. He was buried in a

cement crypt with the still till a grave

robber stole it.

While visiting Big Bear Museum be

sure to savor a cold Sioux City sarsaparilla

or cowboy root beer. The museum is open

from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesdays,

Saturdays and Sundays plus holiday

Mondays including September 6.

Admission is $5, 14 and under free.

The museum is at 800 Greenway in Big

Bear City. Call (909) 585-8100.

Real Gear...Real Track...

Real Racing!


Located at Big Bear Snow Play

Click Us Up!

42825 Big Bear Blvd. • Big Bear Lake

• Full-Featured

Sodi Kart Racing

• Grand Prix-Style



(909) 585-0075

Check our website for current operating hours


Open April – October

Daily Summer Season

Free Print Out

of Lap Time Results

• Open Year Round

• 6,400 square feet of challenges

37 obstacles including Skyrail ® Zipline

• 2 Stories Tall, 35 ft. above ground

Elite runners were ready to tackle anything

at last year’s Kodiak 100

Ultramarathon. Sustained running at 7,000

feet or above, nearly 17,000 feet of vertical

climbing, even Covid protocols, amazing

athletes were ready for anything Big

Bear could throw at them.

Now Kodiak 100 returns with 100-

mile and 100K runs on August 20-21, still

with distance running at altitude but hopefully

no virus issues. The Kodiak 100 is a

true mountain hundred-miler, technical

with steep climbs to 10,000 ft. summits and

flowing singletrack, through epic canyon

passages. The 100K is shorter but still 60-

plus miles at elevation. Runners spend

many hours on trail, even more than a full

Big Bear Today

Several dozen classics on display at the Wooden Boat Show on Aug. 21

Climbs, thin air test Kodiak 100 runners


Christmas Room!

day, with winners out nearly 20 grueling

hours, others 24 hours, some over 30.

The route is a clockwise loop around

Big Bear Lake sporting epic views and taxing

climbs, starting and finishing in the Village.

It climbs to the top of Sugarloaf

Mountain, highest peak in Big Bear Valley,

and descends into Siberia Creek Canyon

to Seven Oaks, then up to Grandview

Point before the finish. Saturday sees halfmarathon

and 10K out of the Village.

Proceeds benefit San Bernardino

Search & Rescue, Big Bear Valley Trails

Foundation, Mountain Top Radio Association,

Civil Air Patrol, and Middle School

Interact Club. For information or to register

call (917) 370-3712.

Our rooms are

filled with gifts

and treasures

from nearly

20 artists!

Come Up the Historic Staircase of the 1920's Navajo Hotel

• Bear-ly Used


• Jerky

• Pottery

• Aprons

• Sports


• Everything

Bears & More

Open 7 Days

a week

Big Bear's from 9:30 a.m.

Shopping Experience

There is not “Anything” we do not have!

Village Faire

40794 Village Dr.

(909) 866-8220

Above the Leather Depot in Big Bear Village

Big Bear Today August 2021—Page 9

See sites, sights on Queen lake tours

Cruise the lake aboard Big Bear

Queen with longtime captain Chris Bellows,

Big Bear’s top-ranked Tripadvisor

tour, now sailing out of Pine Knot Marina.

Big Bear’s original paddlewheeler

with colorful flags flapping in the breeze

has been plying the lake’s waters since

1989 after arriving from Newport Beach.

His dad Dave was the original skipper with

Chris serving as backup, and now son continues

the tradition, narrating local history

that he and family have knowledge of.

The Bellows family has been leading

narrated tours of the lake sites and sights

aboard the colorful Queen for over 30

years. Chris previously captained on the

lake aboard Pine Knot Landing’s original

Alpine Slide after dark...

Continued from page 5

descending two quarter-mile cement tracks

filled with long straightaways, S-turns and

banked curves on individually-controlled


Riders determine how fast—or

slow—they go down the track in the most

unique ride around. The sleds sport ballbearing

wheels and teflon runners so snow

and ice aren’t necessary, but otherwise the

ride is the same, so real bobsledders could

train at Alpine Slide.

Each sled carries one or two riders—

typically parent with a young child. Pulling

the control handle toward you applies

brake and slows the sled down; pushing

forward releases it and allows the sled to

tour boat Sierra before taking over Big

Bear Queen two decades ago.

Spread out on upper and lower decks

plus open air bow and be entertained by

colorful Big Bear stories and history, while

experiencing first hand Big Bear Lake and

surrounding mountains that include the ski

areas plus 11,502 ft. Mt. San Gorgonio.

While capacity is 60 passengers, Big Bear

Queen sails with fewer than that to allow

plenty of personal space.

The open air design on both decks allows

guests to experience as well as see

the lake, as they can hear the boat ply

through the water and taste lake spray and

breezes. New old-time photos line the

Queen’s sides, depicting Big Bear history.

roll freely. Far from an amusement park

attraction where there’s little or no guest

interaction, Alpine Slide offers an experience

that’s different every time down, since

riders control their own speed.

Similar tracks are found worldwide

and at a couple dozen locations in the country,

mostly at prominent ski resorts, but Big

Bear’s is the only one in Southern California

and the closest is in Park City, Utah.

Each ride serves up the ultimate Go Pro

moment as drivers with cameras donned

shoot through the turns. Bobsled rides cost

just $7 each, or $30 for a five-ride book.

Alpine Slide is open daily 10 a.m-6

p.m. with five of its six attractions open

till 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

Alpine Slide is at 800 Wildrose Ln. on

Big Bear Blvd. Call (909) 866-4626.

Bring your favorite beverage and see the sights and sites on Big Bear Queen

On board potty too.

Captain Chris expertly navigates the

boat he’d piloted for so many years around

China Island and past the Zebra Room.

Talks about the creation of the dam, aeration

system, Teetering Rock, the old

damkeeper house and many more fascinating

points of interest. Cruising past the

Solar Observatory is another highlight and

bald eagles sometimes thrill guests, soaring

above the boat and swooping down.

Sail past the homes of celebrities—if

you’re lucky Noel Blanc, who with his father

Mel mouthed the voices of Bugs

Bunny, Porky Pig and other legendary

characters for decades, will come out to

hail Big Bear Queen guests.

Each cruise is 90 minutes, departing

from Pine Knot Marina with up to four

tours daily at 11 a.m. plus 1, 3 and 5 p.m.

which returns near sunset for awesome

vistas. Big Bear Queen, pioneer of guaranteed

lake tours that sail no matter how

many are on board, guarantees the 1 and 3

p.m. tours sail..

Guests are welcome to bring their own

beer, wine (there’s a corkscrew on board),

champagne or cocktails, picnic baskets etc.

Daily Big Bear Queen fares are $25,

senior-military $23, ages 3-12 $16, under

three free. Book online for contact-free

reervations at

Page 10—August 2021

Chirp’s new nest, monthly bird walks

Check out the new “nest” for Chirp

Nature Center plus monthly bird walks and

online events in August.

Chirp, which carries everything

birding enthusiasts could want whether

they’re beginners or veterans, moved to a

larger upgraded location last month just

west of Big Bear Village near the Bowling

Barn at 578 Bonanza Trail.

Explore the expanded “Feeder Forest,”

test premium bird watching optics,

choose from a wide variety of high-quality

wild bird feed, or browse a growing selection

of educational books and guides.

Chirp’s new location is the starting

point for its monthly in-person bird walks

that visit avian hot spots in Big Bear Valley.

Including the Aug. 7 trek which departs

Chirp promptly at 8 a.m.

Birders of all experience levels enjoy

observing and identifying local Big Bear

birds and discover prime viewing locations.

There’s free species checklists provided

by Chirp to aid in recognizing birds

and tally what you’ve seen. Experienced

birders can practice identification skills and

share with fellow enthusiasts.

Outings last around an hour-and-ahalf

with moderate walking or hiking.

Complimentary refreshments follow at

Chirp Nature Center with questions and


Future in-person bird walks are on

September 4 and October 2, which is ac-

○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○

Sip, shop, stroll during Fall Wine Walk

Shop, stroll and sip when the 12th annual

Fall Wine Walk through Big Bear

Lake Village returns on September 18.

Enjoy fine wines and even beers from

around the world. There’s music and hors

d’oeuvres to go along with sipping and

shopping, plus lake and mountain views,

as this popular event that always sells out

returns after a year’s absence.

Two dozen businesses in the unique

shopping district participate in the Wine

Walk, held from 3:30-7 p.m. Contributing

restaurants include Sonora Cantina, Captains

Anchorage, Sister My Sister Bake

Shop, Stillwells and Gaby’s Latin Flavors.

Guest check-in begins earlier in 2021

at 11 a..m. on the corner of Pine Knot Ave.

and Village Dr. and additional tables have

been added to expedite the process. Walkers

receive a map of participating businesses,

commemorative wine glass, 12 tasting

tickets, badge and wristband. Regular

tickets are $35 if purchased before Sept.

2, $45 after.

An additional $10 buys Dial-A-Ride

roundtrip transportation and wine yoke.

Food only tickets are $20. Following Wine

Walk there’s drawings for raffle prizes.

Participants must be at least 21 years

old. A portion of the proceeds benefits Big

Bear Valley Education Trust, Halloween

and Christmas in the Village, and youth

scholarships. Purchase tickets onine at

tually a lake cruise aboard Big Bear Queen

to observe waterfowl and perhaps even

bald eagles. Bring water and binoculars

and scopes for better viewing.

Virtual Bird Walks are also a blast,

held the second Wednesday each month including

Aug. 11 and streamed live online

via Facebook and YouTube. Tune in at 5

p.m. for 30 minutes of Big Bear’s natural

splendor, as participants learn about wild

birds, points of interest and fun facts.

Remaining virtual walks are on Sept.

8 and Oct. 13. Free, and after the program

participants can take a quiz and win prizes.

Chirp hosts Expert Bird Talks, also virtual,

on the third Saturday each month, with

Aug. 21 featuring “Rad Raptors.” Guest

speaker Stan Tekiela presents these amazing

birds of prey with razor-sharp talons

Big Bear Today

Monthly bird walks, talks and more by Chirp Nature Center, now at new location

and exceptional hunting skills to support

their meat-based diet. There are over 500

species of raptors found on every continent

but Antarctica.

Tekiela is a wildlife photographer and

writer who has authored over 200 books

and field guides in his 35-plus year career.

He’s a noted columnist and radio personality

who has received national awards.

Each hour-long interactive presentation

highlights a particular nature-theme

topic with expert insights from noteworthy

authors, scientists and naturalists. Talks

are at 10 a.m. and are streamed live on

Facebook and YouTube. Future programs

are set for Sept. 18 and Oct. 16.

Chirp is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily.

Chirp Nature Center is at 578 Bonanza

Trail. Call (888) 412-4477.







Big Bear’s Largest

Pool and Outdoor Spa

Motel Rooms $75

with Fireplace & Queen Bed


Cabins $99

with Fireplace, Private Deck

Spa Rooms & Cabins!

with Cozy Fireplaces

(Offer Good Sunday-Thursday / non-holiday)

(800) 255-4378

local (909) 866-2166

41121 Big Bear Blvd. • Big Bear Lake, CA 92315

Big Bear Today August 2021—Page 11

Glow Bowling, Laser Maze at Barn

Hot fun, cool air conditioning at the

Bowling Barn, with good times on the

lanes plus Laser Maze, great food and

drink, video games and more.

Sixteen sanitized lanes separated by

plastic welding screens ensure bowlers social

distance safely while having a great

time. “The screens give the feeling that you

are in your own little space down there,”

said Bowling Barn’s Bill Ross. “There’s

only a handful of alleys in the country using

them and I’ve personally only seen one

other with them.”

When the house lights go down and

black lights kick up for Glow Bowling, the

experience gets surreal as the screen barriers

are something else to reflect light off.

Even neon bowling balls, sanitized of

course, illuminate with fluorescent color

Laser Maze is like limbo with lights for one or two players

under the black lights in dazzling orange,

blue, green and red hues.

The Bowling Barn has high-powered

speakers and amps to kick up the sound

system a few decibels and really get the

party going. There’s laser lights, dancing

and spinning on the lanes and above the

pins, while center screen drops down to

play music videos, flanked by two more

screens on each side.

State-of-the-art scorekeeping on video

screens above each lane tallies not just pin

total, spares and strikes but also running

player handicaps and even the speed of

their rolls. Easy to see why Glow Bowling

is so popular, held after 2 p.m. on Saturday

and Sunday, after 5 p.m. on Tuesday

and Friday, and after 8:30 p.m. other days.

For more social distance fun head to

the Laser Maze

for challenge

that’s straight out

of an action

movie. Enter the

Arena and try to

break into the

vault on the other

side of the room

by avoiding

countless crisscrossing


of light, accented

by fog to make

them stand out.

Crawl, jump,

slide, roll, what-

Screens separate guests at the Bowling Barn, which lights up for Glow Bowling

ever it takes to cross the obstacle course of

light. Hurry...the clock is ticking!

Break a beam and the penalty isn’t

death like in the movies, just time added

to your score. Once across hold your hand

on the master key, money and red hand

scanner to complete the mission. Takes true

Ninja skills and while the game is easy to

learn, it’s impossible to master with four

different skill levels to choose from.

Beam Buster in contrast sees players

trying to bust each laser beam before time

runs out. Both games are fun for the whole

family with top scores posted outside the

arena. Even record your experience on

video for just a buck.! Each game is $3 for

single player or $6 for two.

Alley Oops Sports Bar is open with

reduced seating and full cocktail service

including specialty drinks, microbrews and

domestics on tap.. Bowling Barn has great

grab and go food too like barbecue chicken

pizza, street tacos, chicken wraps, flaming

hot onion rings and carne asada fries.

There’s a myriad of video and action

games at Bowling Barn, like Hoop Fever,

pool tables, air hockey and many more. Including

old favorites like Alpine Skier and

Dance Revolution and today’s latest machines.

Kids who register at get two free games all

summer long as part of a nationwide program

Bowling Barn participates in.

Bowling Barn is at 40625 Big Bear

Blvd. (enter on Bonanza). Call 878-BOWL.

Pine Knot Marina & Fun Dock

Jet Skis & Boat Rentals

• Pontoons

• Fishing Boats

• Guided Fishing Tours!

Bait and Tackle Shop! (818) 434-5420

Kayaks & Paddleboard Rentals

courtesy of Get Boards (909) 878-3155

439 Pine Knot Ave • Located At the Foot of the Village

Page 12—August 2021

Thrills galore at Speedway, Ropes Course

t age 15 AJ Wayne wasn’t old

enough to drive but he already had

a license. To race, in fact, at Big ABear Speedway, where he registered the

track’s second fastest time of the day.

Better yet, his clocking of 25.77 at Big

Bear Speedway was faster than dad Matt’s

time of 26.02. Allowing the unlicensed

driver bragging rights, at least for the day.

Feed your need for speed at Big Bear

Speedway, where racers negotiate hightech

Sodi Karts around a one-fifth mile

Grand Prix-style track. Tires squealing in

the turns, engines roaring, push the karts

to the limit in a real Go-Pro experience

while hitting speeds up to 30 mph. Tecpro

barriers used in Formula 1 and circuits

around the world line the track to make

the experience even more authentic.

These aren’t your parent’s go-karts

from yesteryear; Sodi’s RT8 is a fully featured

vehicle with self-adjusting hydraulic

brakes and vacuum fuel pumps that

come straight from the automotive industry.

The karts handle like race cars and the

Honda Whisper Motors generate amazing

power, enough to lay rubber through turns

though virtually impossible to roll.

The racing experience at Big Bear’s

fastest attraction begins with first time

guests viewing a short safety video. Then

they’re issued Big Bear Speedway licenses—complete

with picture—good for

one year and assigned a heat number.

After donning head socks and helmets

adorned with visors and hearing last

minute instructions, the pit crew waves

drivers onto the track in staggered starts,

no more than 11 cars per

heat. First lap is not timed

so racers can get a feel for

the kart and track. Timing

starts with the second lap

and drivers get about seven

to nine laps or more depending

on how fast they

go. At the end of the heat

drivers are waved in to the

pit area and get a printout

of their time and the six

fastest times in the heat.

Initial Big Bear Speedway

membership is $20

(double kart $25) which includes

license valid for one

year, one race and mandatory head sock

worn under the helmet. Subsequent visits

cost $15 per race or buy credits in advance

which are stored on your license for a year

and save up to 30%.

For thrills above ground there’s adjacent

Big Bear Ropes Course. Explore a

6,400 ft. mix of suspension bridges, ropes,

spinning log, curved bars and more that

has proven wildly popular since the stateof-the-art

ropes course, only one in Big

Bear, opened two years ago. Two stories

high, the mix of obstacles and challenges

is sure to bring out the Ninja warrior in all

of us as participants ranging from small

children to adults climb, trek, stretch and

balance their way through, social distancing

all the time.

Unlike Ninjas, guests are wearing

Big Bear Today

Hit speeds up to 30 mph on the Grand Prix-style track at Big Bear Speedway

five-point, full-body safety harnesses that

are tethered into the structure, so there’s

zero chance of falling as they navigate a

variety of rope challenges. Many of the 37

elements on the towering ropes course are

exposed to nothing but air.

There’s curved bars that adventurers

wind their way around and swinging steps.

Along with a variety of suspension bridges,

some with wide-open gaps and others with

merely dangling ropes to grasp onto. Even

an 80-foot descent on the Sky Rail zipline

with automatic braking. Each 20-minute

session is $12. Operators are on the course

at all times for participants who need assistance.

The long-awaited snack bar in the

has opened with 3,000 sq. ft. of seating.

Big Bear Speedway/Ropes Course is

at 42825 Big Bear Blvd. (909) 585-0075.

Full Hot & Cold Deli

Groceries • Firewood & Propane • Spirits • Lotto

Try Our Famous

Rotisserie Chicken

& Kabobs!

We cut the highest

Quality Meats









Chamber of



in Business!

Fully-Cooked Delicious Heat & Serve Meals Like Tri-Tip,

Smoked Pork Loin, Enchiladas & More! • Fresh Produce Too!

(909) 585-2641 • Open 7 Days

Community Market

100 E. Big Bear Blvd. (at Greenway) • Big Bear City

1 mile east of The Convention Center

Big Bear Today


With Us!





To To Los Angeles

and Orange County

Captain John’s




West Boat Ramp



North Shore


Castle Rock






1989 25 YEARS 2014

The Mountain’s Monthly Lifestyle Magazine




BAY Marina

Big Bear and Vicinity



Performing Arts

Center (PAC)

Polique Canyon


Solar Observatory


Mill Creek

Mill Creek

Alpine Slide

at Magic Mtn.

Pine Knot


Cougar Crest




Discovery Center



East Boat





Big Bear

Pine Knot



Meadow Park

Town Trail



August 2021—Page 13


Club View Drive

Big Bear City


Big Bear Mountain

To Victorville, Barstow

& Las Vegas


Big Bear

Alpine Zoo

To Angelus Oaks

and Redlands



Free ree Lessons!






Log Cabin




Big Bear Blvd.

Also on the North Shore at

North Shore Landing!





Big Bear.




Antique Wooden Boat Show

returns on Aug. 21

Must dial area code (909) with all

number unless otherwise noted


3, 10, 17, 24, 31

Bear Valley Farmers Market

8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Convention

Center; fresh produce,

vendors. Free. 585-3000.


Tour de Big Bear 25, 50, 70,

100 and 125 mile rides plus 5K

and 50 mile gravel ride, cycling

festival at Bear, Sunday recovery



Free Bird Walk leaves Chirp Nature

Center (578 Bonanza Trail)

8 a.m. sharp; refreshments follow.

(888) 412-4477.


Vintage Van Halen tribute at

The Cave, Stranglehold Ted

Nugent tribute opens. $15. 878-



5th Annual Ryan Hall Conquer

the Wall at Snow Summit 9

a.m.-noon with run up the mountain.


Celebration of Eagles 11 a.m.

at the Convention Center with

local experts, live bird presentations,

special guest Martin Tyner

of Southwest Wildlife Foundation

and more. Free, live music

at Wyatt’s follows. 585-3000.


Kodiak 100 Ultra Marathon and

50 Mile, half-marathon and 10K

trail runs at noon Friday, 6 a.m.

Saturday with finish festival in

the Village.


Guttermouth Fest at The Cave

with 2 nights of punk rock bands.

$25. 878-0204.


Greenthumbs Native Plant Restoration

Program with volunteers

scheduled to work with

virus protocols from 9 a.m.-3

p.m.; meet at the Ranger Station,

call to confirm. 382-2809.


Antique Wooden Boat Show at

Pine Knot Marina 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

has classic boats, cars, free admission.



Cool Run in the Mountains car

show 9 a.m.-3 p.m. the at Convention

Center benefits DOVES,

zoo, food banks. Free admission.



Restoration Volunteer Day 8:30

a.m.-12:30 p.m.; seed collection.

Must preregister



One Drop Redemption tribute to

Bob Marley 8 p.m. at The Cave;

Ganda opens. $20. 878-0204.



Free Fishing Day on the lake; no

fishing license required..


51st Annual Oktoberfest at

Wyatt’s at the Convention Center

kicks off nine weekends with

The Express Band. 585-3000.


Golf Club Demo Day at the Bear

Mountain course 11 a.m.-3 p.m.;

free club demos and fitting by

Cleveland Golf and Srixon. (844)



Fall Wine Walk in the Village

3:30-7 p.m. $35 till Aug. 31,

then $45 (VIP add $10), food

only $20.


51st Annual Oktoberfest at

Wyatt’s at the Convention Center

continues its nine weekend

run with The Express Band. 585-



Fox US Open of Mountain Biking

at Snow Summit with downhill,

Enduro series. 866-5766.


Grizzly 100/Mountain Bike Gran

Fondo held by Bear Valley Bikes

with 30/50/75/100K rides starting

in the Village.

Oktoberfest begins Sept. 11-12!

For updated calendar of events visit us on the Internet!














Page 14—August 2021



Alpine Slide

Shoot down a tobogan-style ride at Magic

Mountain, as a hand lever allows you to

control the speed. After an exhilerating

run, ride the chairlift back to the top for

more fun. $7/ride, 5-ride books $30. Open

daily. Also Mineshaft Coaster, miniature

golf, go-karts, Soaring Eagle,. water slide.

Family-priced snack bar, video games. Big

Bear Blvd., 1/4 mile west of the Village.

(909) 866-4626.

Big Bear Speedway

Soki Kart racing with timed heats and

authentic track experience. Reach speeds

up to 30 mph while negotiating hairpin

turns and straightaways on the Grand Prixstyle

course. Double Karts allow younger

riders to go too. $20 on first visit includes

license valid one year, head sock and race

($25 double Kart). Base lodge with snack

bar. At Big Bear Snow Play next to Motel

6. (909) 585-0075.

Bike Rentals

Bear Valley Bikes across from Alpine

Slide has a variety of bike rentals. Front

suspension $10/hour, $30/4 hours, $40/all

day. Full suspension $20/hour, $50/4 hours,

$70/all day. Full suspension demo $25/

hour, $60/4 hours, $85/all day. 40298 Big

Bear Blvd. Call (909) 866-8000.

Goldsmiths Pedego Electric Bike Shop


at North Shore Landing

& Holloway’s Marina

Pirate Ship Lake Tours Aboard ‘Time Bandit’

Narrated lake tours aboard

1/3 replica of a Spanish galleon

seen in the movie ‘Time Bandits’

• Pirate Booty for the Kids

• Cocktails for Adults • Sunset Tours


has a variety of electric bike rentals, 42071

Big Bear Blvd. (909) 866-2728.


The Elks Lodge hosts stirring Bingo games

each Friday night at 7 p.m. All are welcome

ages 18 and over. Also new Cook Shack

open Wednesday-Sunday. 40611 Big Bear

Blvd. west of the Village, across from

Lakeview. (909) 866-3557.

Boat Rentals

Sailboats, pontoon boats, speed and fishing

boats plus paddleboards and canoes are

available for rental from the lake's marinas.

Big Bear Marina (909-866-3218),

Holloway's Marina (909-866-5706),

North Shore Landing (909-878-4FUN).

Boat Tours

“Big Bear Queen” sails daily from Pine

Knot Marina with the lake’s most guaranteed

daily tours and most experienced captain,

Chris Bellows. Tours daily at 11 a.m.,

1, 3 and 5 p.m. Adults $23, seniors/military

$23, 12 and under $16, 3 and under free.

Sunset cruises Saturdays 7 p.m., bring your

favorite beverages. (909) 744-4948.

Pirate Ship Lake Tours aboard newly

refurbished "Time Bandit," a one-third scale

replica of a 1600's galleon that appeared in

the movie of the same name, sail daily from

Holloway's Marina...complete with canon

fire! Full bar with beer, wine and cocktails.

Fares $29, seniors $27, ages 12 and under

$21, lap child free. (909) 878-4040.

“Miss Liberty” paddlewheeler with enclosed,

heated deck and snack bar, leaves

Pine Knot Marina for scenic tours of Big

Bear Lake. View the homes of celebrities,

• Waverunners • Jet Skis

• Sea Doos! • Kayaks, SUP

• Wakeboard/Water Ski Rides

• Poontoon Boats

and Fishing Boats!

Big Bear Today

Recreation • Dining • Nightlife • And More

Road Conditions: (800) 427-ROAD

Miss Liberty, Big Bear’s largest tour boat, sails daily from Pine Knot Marina with

spacious covered deck and lots of seating. Call (909) 866-8129

solar observatory, and much more. $25,

$23 senior/military, $16 ages 3-12, four

and under free. (909) 866-8129.

Big Bear Cruzer is the lake’s newest tour

boat, sailing out of Big Bear Marina daily.

The open air boat with sunshade departs

several times daily with no passenger minimum..

$22, senior $20, 12 and under $15

(909) 866-3218.


The Bowling Barn offers new lanes with

automated scoring for bowling enjoyment.

Also laser maze, arcade games, great food

and full-service cocktail lounge with pool.

Glow Bowling after dark with black lights,

videos. Open daily. 40625 Big Bear Blvd.,

enter on Bonanza. (909) 878-BOWL

Charter Fishing

Catch some fun with Big Bear Charter

Fishing on a 22' fully loaded, super comfortable

boat with afriendly, expert guide

Aaron Armstrong. Open or private charters

for individuals or groups of all ages.

All gear provided—rods, reels, bait, lures,

drinks and snacks. Bass fishing too aboard

a Ranger Comanche. At Holloway’s Marina;

(909) 866-2240.

Gold Rush Mining Adv.

The adventures are real and so are the

treasures! Pan for gemstones and fossils

millions of years old in the working sluice

with water wheel, crack geodes to reveal

prescious stones within, find real pearls in

oysters and unearth dinosaur bones and

poop. Emporium with mining and dinosaur

theme gifts plus old fashioned fudge,

candy, sarsaparilla and more. 50016 Big

Bear Blvd. (909) 866-5678.

Helicopter Tours

See Big Bear from above during aerial

tours by Helicopter Big Bear. The lake, ski

resorts, desert and surrounding mountains

can be viewed aboard a climate-controlled

Robinson R44 helicopter flying daily from

Big Bear Airport. Tours start at $35 per

person based on two passengers. (909)



There’s dozens of trails and natural areas to

enjoy the rugged beauty of the San

Continued on page 15 or




Also Available

Lakeside RV Park


Full Hookups!

Remodeled Bathrooms and Store


Big Bear Today August 2021—Page 15

1/4 mile to Grand View Point for spectacular

180-degree vistas.

Holcomb Valley


At one time, Big Bear Valley was thriving

gold country. The last remaining signs of

this historic chapter in Big Bear history are QUALITY...

featured in a driving tour through what is

known as Holcomb Valley. Totaling 11.6

miles over a dirt road, the tour offers stops

at Two Gun Bill’s Saloon, Hangman’s

Tree, Pigmy Cabin, Metzger Mine, and

more. Free maps available at the Big Bear

Discovery Center on the North Shore—

call 866-3437. Allow three hours or more.

Horseback Riding

Baldwin Lake Stable is open year-round



for horseback riding. Rates are by the hour,

offering one, two, three and four-hour rides



Beat the heat on a wavrunner! Call Get Wet Water Sports (909) 878-4FUN with longer rides heading along the famous

Pacific Crest Trail plus sunset rides. A



Bernardino National Forest. From easy (each way) hike. As it winds above the variety of spectacular mountain trails with

strolls along the lake to stenuous climbs lake’s north shore, it offers up great views horses for all riding abilities. For little



into the mountains, there are trails for all of water and the surrounding mountains. buckeroos there’s hand-led pony rides and

abilities, including families, within a short Trailhead is on North Shore Dr. about two petting zoo. Reservations suggested for all Voted Big Bear's

drive of Big Bear. For information on all miles west of Stanfield Cutoff, .6 mile rides. Big Bear Blvd. east to stop sign at

trails in the Valley and the required from the Discovery Center where you can Hwy. 38, go through intersection, veer left Best Breakfast!

Adventure Pass, visit the Discovery Center park without an Adventure Pass. on Shay Rd. to 46475 Pioneertown Rd.,

on North Shore Dr., about two miles west Woodland Interpretive Trail is a short, Big Bear City. (909) 585-6482.

DAILY Breakfast Special!

of Stanfield Cutoff. (909) 866-3437. scenic family stroll with minimal elevation

Alpine Pedal Path is a very easy 3.5 mile gain, located on the north shore near Cougar Mineshaft Coaster

Every Saturday Night

(each way) paved trek following the lake Crest. Free trail maps (available at the First ride of its kind in California! Ride

on the north shore. Popular with hikers, trailhead or Discovery Center) identify carts you control on a mile-long track with

bikers, skaters, strollers and wheelchairs markers along the route noting local steep drops and climbs, 360-degree


as it passes Carol Morrison East Boat vegetation, wildlife areas, etc.

corkscrew turns, two mining tunnels and

Launch, Discovery Center, Serrano Pacific Crest Trail comes through Big more. Up to two can ride at one time. Open

Beef Ribs!

campground, Solar Observatory and more. Bear from Onyx Summit through the East daily at Alpine Slide, on the boulevard 1/4

Castle Rock Trail is a short but strenuous Valley to Hwy. 18 and then past Holcomb mile west of the Village. (909) 866-4626.

hike, that ends with a panoramic view of Valley Rd. and Cougar Crest through Miniature Golf/Go Karts

Big Bear Lake. Legend has it that a beautiful Holcomb Valley before continuing its 2,638 Putt ‘N Around, located at the Alpine Slide NIGHTLY DINNER SPECIALS

Indian maiden, jilted by her lover, took her mile journey from Mexico to Canada. Call at Magic Mountain, features a landscaped

life by leaping from this towering 100 ft. the Discovery Center to find out where to


18-hole miniature golf course complete

monolith. It’s reached after a mostly uphill, catch this famous international trail.


with water hazards and breaking greens.

.8 mile walk past a stream and featuring Pine Knot Trail from Aspen Glen picnic Then there’s an oval-shaped go-kart track FRIDAY—HOMEMADE CHICKEN POT PIES

beautiful views. Located on Hwy. 18 area climbs the southern ridge above Alpine with high-banked turns, which nine Can OR SURF & TURF

between Boulder Bay and the dam; park on Slide three miles (each way) to Skyline Dr. Am racers—including four two-seaters— SAT—ALL-U-CAN-EAT BEEF RIBS

the lake side of the road.

2N10, through lush meadow and stands of with Honda 5.5 horsepowers engines and CHICKEN POT PIES IF AVAILABLE

Cougar Crest Trail is moderate two-mile white fir and Jeffrey Pine. Continue another an array of safety features zip around. SUN-HOLIDAYS—PRIME RIB

Open till 9 p.m. daily. 866-4626.


After Dark...


An authentic, restored log cabins, gold

After lunch or dinner...

mining artifacts, rebuilt stamp mill, cattle

ranching and logging memorabilia,

treat yourself from our

information on native animals, birds and

Big Bear’s Nightlife & Entertainment Guide

reptiles, and much more are found at the Bakery!

Eleanor Abbott Big Bear Museum. Open

ALLEY OOPS SPORTS BAR—Full cocktail service in Alley Oops Sports Bar at the Saturdays, Sundays, Wednesdays and Caramel-topped apple

Bowling Barn. Watch the big game on big screen TVs, pool tables, good food, holiday Mondays from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. dumplings...cheesecakes...

40625 Big Bear Blvd. (909) 878-BOWL.

beginning May 29 through second week in

BIG BEAR BAR & GRILL—Live music weekends and midweek karaoke, horseshoe September. Park in new lot at 800 Greenway apple streudel...fresh-baked pies

pit, great food and drinks. 42164 Moonridge Rd. (909) 878-0802

just off the boulevard in Big Bear City. $5, of the season!

BIG BEAR MOUNTAIN BREWERY— Craft microbrew beers, food in a cozy 14 and under free. (909) 585-8100.

atmosphere. Live music weekends including Brad Riesau from Silver Moon Aug.

Also Available to Go!

○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○

○ ○ ○ ○ Soaring Eagle

○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○

5, 13 and 27. 40260 Big Bear Blvd. 866-BEER.

Zip 500' downhill on the new Soaring

Dine Next to Our 2 Cozy

THE BONE YARD—Over 40 beers on tap plus large selection of wines and spirits.

Eagle attraction at Alpine Slide, only one

560 Pine Knot Ave. (909) 878-0401.

Fireplaces or Under Trees on

of its kind in California. Reach speeds up to

NOTTINGHAMS TAVERN— Dayton Borders Thursdays on the patio from 6-8 p.m. 26 mph during the dramatic downhill

Our Outdoor Patio!

40797 Big Bear Blvd. near Bartlett. 866-4644.

descent—only after riding backwards to

THE CAVE BIG BEAR—Your favorite artists up close and personal! See national

337 W. Big Bear Blvd.

the top! Up to two can ride at one time.

performers, top tribute bands and more in Big Bear’s hot new intimate concert Open daily. On the boulevard 1/4 mile (2 miles east of the Convention

venue. Good food and full cocktail service.

west of the Village. (909) 866-4626.

Center in Big Bear City)

THE LODGE AT BIG BEAR LAKE—Brad Riesau from Silver Moon on Stillwells Patio


6-9 p.m. August 7 and 21. 40650 Village Dr. (909) 866-3121.

The new ZBig Bear Alpine Zoo is open!

THE PINES LAKEFRONT/TAVERN—Live music on the outdoor patio Saturdays

(909) 585-7005

Grizzly and black bears, bobcats, coyotes,

with Duke Michaels and Peggy Baldwin 1-4 p.m. Mike Cross on the piano Fridays,

joined by top bass players on Saturdays. 350 Alden Rd. (909) 878--0506. mountain lions, , eagles, and other animals

now have a new state-of-the-art home with

WYATT’S CAFE & SALOON—Wednesdays see country dancing, Sunday brunch,

creature comforts for both animals residents

live music Fridays and Saturdays. August 6-7: American River Band, Terry

and guests. Open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. with animal


McRaven Band. Aug. 13-14: Southern Spirit. Aug. 20-21: Kasandra Long Band,

Jimi Nelson Band. Aug. 27-28: Terry McRaven Band, American River Band. presentations and special programing. 747

September 3-4: Terry McRaven Bnd, Big Fat Steve Band. Wyatt’s at Convention Clubview off Moonridge Rd. $15 adults,

Center, Big Bear Blvd. at Division. (909) 585-3000.

$10 ages over 60 and children 3-12, two


and under free. (909) 584-1299.

Page 16—August 2021


Wilderness-worthy views on Wildhorse

Wild horses once roamed this

land, released by the U.S. Cavalry

after World War I with the

realization that machines, not beasts, would

be fighting future battles.

Today there’s no horses to be seen on

Wildhorse Trail, nor people. It’s just me

and dozens (hundreds?) of scampering lizards

and one rattlesnake that I almost step

on returning to the trailhead. Hiking all day

and not encountering another soul is easy

on this under-the-radar trail filled with expansive

180-degree views.

Wildhorse Trail is located just west of

Heartbar turnout on Hwy. 38 and countless

people drive by it every day going to

and from Big Bear, 30 minutes or so away.

Yet it’s probably the most underutilized

trail around, certainly considering the easy

access it affords with parking right off the

highway. Rarely is there more than one or

two cars at the trailhead, usually none.

The upside to Wildhorse Trail are the

sprawling views that stretch out everywhere,

from the San Gorgonio Wilderness

across the way to Mt. Baldy in the distant

west. Go far enough and you’ll come to

the very scenic trail camp of the same


Further along it connects with the trail

going to the summit of Sugarloaf Mountain,

at 9,952 feet the highest point in Big

Bear Valley. Here wild horses roamed after

being set free by the military in the

1920’s and `30’s, and Wildhorse Meadow

• 909.866.4626 • FAMILY FUN! • 909.866.4626 • FAMILY FUN! • 909.866.4626 • FAMILY FUN! •

Ride Our




Water Slide Rides • $20 All Day • 10 Rides ... $15

• Single Ride ... $2

Summer is



Water Slide

Season Passes!

$69 Anytime,

$49 Sun-Fri


Soaring Eagle Ride

that the trail skirts is named for them.

Downside is that hikers have to march

at least a rugged mile uphill to reap the rewards,

starting with uninspired forest road

terrain and ending with a long straight slog

with no switchbacks through a nasty rock

field where at least one rattler likes to hang

out. He was sunning on my return, oblivious

to my approach, never once shaking

his rattle, even after becoming aware of me

and slithering off the trail. Apparently they

don’t always issue warning rattles.

Beyond the rock pile Wildhorse Trail

improves significantly, singletrack path

that rises up the thousand-plus foot ridge.

There’s precious little shade with terrain

dotted by manzanita, chaparral and sage

instead of towering pine trees, so expect

plenty of sun exposure, especially midday.

As hikers climb they’re treated to an

expansive mountain panorama. The jagged

peaks of 10,000 Foot Ridge around Mt. San

Gorgonio begin to loom in the distance

while below Heartbar Campground and the

highway are visible. The trail serves up big

mountain hiking reminiscent of the Wilderness

or even the Sierras.

After three miles the trail crests the

saddle above 8,000 feet and pine trees begin

to emerge, a welcome sight after the

sunny climb. The trail begins to descend a

couple hundred feet for the next mile or so

down the canyon before reaching

Wildhorse Trail Camp, a wonderful spot

to take a break surrounded by trees and

Don’t let the views distract you too much on Wildhorse Trail, which leads to a

scenic camp for overnighters

flanked by meadow.

It’s also a good overnight

spot for those

making a backpack out

of the hike with two

good sites.

The small creek

next to camp is barely

wet thanks to the

drought and not something

you’d want to

drink from except in a

pinch. Still very scenic,

and the trail

crosses it to the other

side where it ascends further up the mountain,

adjacent to the water. Eventually it

reaches the saddle above where it connects

with Sugarloaf Trail from the other side

and continues to the summit, over 16 miles

with 4,000 feet of elevation gain. Or just

Big Bear Today

turn around at trail camp after four miles

and over a thousand feet of climbing,

which is what I did.

Just watch for the rattler!

—by Marcus Dietz

FAMILY FUN! • 909.866.4626 • FAMILY FUN! • 909.866.4626 • FAMILY FUN! • 909.866.4626 • FAMILY FUN! • 909.866.4626 • FAMILY FUN! • 909.866.4626 •

Great at Alpine Slide!

Your Alpine Slide experience begins

with a scenic chairlift ride above the

beautiful Big Bear Lake. Then, with

you controlling the speed, your toboggan

plummets back down the mountain creating a thrill you’ll want to relive

again and again!

Now Open!

• Minature Golf • Go Karts

• Video Game Room • Delicious Snack Bar

Parents!... Sun On Our Spacious Deck While The Kids Play!

Year-Round Family Fun

With 300 Clear Days A Year!


Summer Spot

Check website for current operating hours

FAMILY FUN! • 909.866.4626 • FAMILY FUN! • 909.866.4626 • FAMILY FUN! • 909.866.4626 • FAMILY FUN! • 909.866.4626 • FAMILY FUN! • 909.866.4626

FAMILY FUN! • 909.866.4626 • FAMILY FUN! • 909.866.4626 • FAMILY FUN! • 909.866.4626 •

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