April 29, 2021 ~ San Bernardino Mountains
We drove the first half of the scenic drive that I found on the site myscenicdrives.com last week and left off in Running Springs. In case you did not see the last post where we shared the first half of this drive, you can click here to find it.
“Running Springs is situated at the junction of SR-18 and SR-330. It is a major gateway to the mountain communities of Lake Arrowhead, Arrowbear, Green Valley Lake, and Big Bear, and is the closest community to Snow Valley Mountain Resort. It lies some 16 miles northeast of the city of Highland, California, up State Route 330, at an elevation of 6,030 feet.” ~ VisitRunningSprings.com
Just past Running Springs (heading west on SR-18 on your right just before Arrowbear) there is an easy to miss turn off for Keller Peak. We have visited there many times in the past and especially have enjoyed the easy and peaceful walk through the Children’s Forest. If you continue to the end of the road, you can also visit the Keller Peak Fire Lookout station. It is scheduled to reopen to the public on Memorial Day, but regardless, the views from the base of the station are still well worth the drive.
I have written about one of our past excursions to Keller Peak, and you can check it out here.
The ski resort of Snow Valley is just a few more miles if you continue driving west on SR-18. It looks pretty bare and bleak with no snow! Normally during the summer, they offer mountain biking and chair lift rides. There website shows it will open again on May 21st. You can click here for their latest information.
The drive continues through forested areas with expansive views.
Big Bear Lake is a four season destination with activities ranging from boating, fishing, snow skiing, hiking, biking, canoeing, shopping, camping, dining out, and so much more. Cabin, Motel and AirBnb rentals are at a premium, now more than ever.
Continue past Big Bear head south onto Scenic Highway CA-38.
Not mentioned on the drive, we took a slight detour to check out Jenks Lake. Unless the drought ends, don’t bother as it is little more than a mud puddle these days with the water level way down. The fishing and birdwatching may still be good however.
We ended our drive in the town of Mentone.
GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today I am grateful that we once again got out of the house for a lovely drive. Tim has had both of his vaccines now, and by the time this post goes live, he will be in the safe zone (2 weeks post second shot). We are looking forward to making more excursion plans as our life slowly get closer to normal, or at least a new safer normal. We hope that things are improving for all of you as well, and that you are seeing some encouraging news in your neck of the woods.
P. S. We have a new Facebook page called, A Note From Abroad: Let’s Travel where we post a variety of travel related topics including, travel updates, super travel deals, RVing and road trip tips and tricks, scenic pictures from our magnificent National Parks as well as favorites from around the globe. If you love to travel, are new to traveling, or simply think that someday you might like to travel, there is something here for you. Please click this link to join that group. All are welcome!
It’s good to see a little wilderness in Southern California, Joanne, Always hard to imagine given LA. –Curt
The San Bernardino National Forest is beautiful. Our cabin sits right on the edge and we are often visited by black bears, coyotes, raccoons, many squirrels, colorful and sometimes demanding birds, and the occasional fox. There have also been sightings of a mountain lion, but we have yet to see it.
Sounds like your wildlife is the same as ours at our little home in the wilderness. The big thing now is the 8 pregnant does that are bedded down on our property. 🙂 I think they are trying to avoid the cougar. Good that you have a cabin! –Curt
We have had our cabin for 20+ years now and absolutely love it. After we sold our family home to travel, this became home base whenever we returned to Southern California. It has simply been HOME the past couple of years. We have seen the occasional deer further down the hill, but rarely around here.
We can identify! We moved in here 10 years ago and have never looked back, Joanne. We have a million acres of National Forest land abutting to our back property. We do get a bit nervous during fire season, however. As I am sure you do. –Curt
Isn’t it wonderful! I’m guessing you too don’t have to search for long for a place to walk or hike 🙂 Yes, fire season is always a big worry. It used to be just in the fall that we would worry. Now with more and more drought, it is almost a year-round concern. Even yesterday the main road that connects us to “down the hill” was closed for a bit due to a brush fire.
Lots of places to hike, Joanne. In fact, I just built a mile trail up the mountain. Hiking is fine in the winter but the summer brings burrs, poison oak and ticks. My trail is designed to avoid those three hassles. 🙂 Plus there are lots of other trails in our area.
We think of having five seasons, now. The regulate four plus fire. We have two roads off our property and two roads out of our area. When it hits level two we are packed and ready to go. –Curt
We have three basic routes down the mountain, which seems far two few when the entire mountain needs to evacuate. Stay safe!