Big Bear Lake Discovery Center

More than 250,000 annual visitors stop in at the Big Bear Lake Discovery Center located on the North Shore of Big Bear Lake, just three miles east of Fawnskin, for useful information including hiking, biking, and camping. You’ll also find permit information and enjoy point of purchase for Adventure Passes. The center is also a great environmental family learning hub starting with free guided nature walks available year-round on Saturdays and Sunday to gain a basic understanding of local plant life, wildlife, and interesting historical facts.

Seasonally, snowshoe, kayak and Holcomb Valley Gold Rush guided tours by naturalist are available on weekends for families to experience the sport, learn seasonal ecology, and the wildlife. From Memorial Day to Labor Day Weekends, family oriented programming is expanded on Saturdays and Sundays to include nature crafts, animal tracking, map and compass, gold panning, Junior Forest Ranger, along with special events aimed at families learning together how to become more responsible caretakers and to heighten their enjoyment of our National Forest.

Evening Events include Music in the Mountains, a summer concert services, offering the best classic rock tribute music in the San Bernardino National Forest along with a summer campfire series offering different nature themes for families to enjoy and learn.

The Big Bear Lake Discovery Center is also an outdoor classroom for school and youth groups. To book a group, an event, or concert, and check out applicable fees, please visit or phone 909.382.2790.

More About Gold Panning and Animal Tracking;

  • Animal tracking a living art – Jim Sullivan, a 75-year-old naturalist who lives in the forests outside Occidental, has made a name for himself as an animal tracker.
  • Photography and Animal Tracking Fun – In Dee’s Woods – Tales of trails to travel…backpacking, on horseback and biking… in Central and Northern California and beyond… (And be sure to click “older posts” at the bottom of this page to see more stories! Happy trails!) …


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