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General Baldwin Lake – GBAL

  • Scenery & wildflowers
  • Long distance views
  • Rural
  • Easy off-hill access

Area Overview

Most side roads are hard packed dirt. Trees here are low growing and scattered allowing long open views across vast Baldwin Lake or its often dry lakebed. Electricity and telephone are the only public services provided. Homes of all sizes are available.

  • Views of the lake or lake bed and the surrounding mountains
  • Lakefront and lake views when the lake has water
  • Very easy access down the hill
  • Beautiful scenery all year and gorgeous wildflowers in spring and early summer
  • Limited public utilities available—easy to be ‘off the grid’

Natural Surroundings

At the east end of the valley this area gets the least snow and the most rain. With plenty of sunshine, any snow disappears quickly. The sunshine also brings a high-desert look to the landscape with mostly chaparral—especially sage and rabbitbrush—and short trees like pinion pine and live oak. There are several prime areas of beautiful (and endangered) pebble plain habitat—this habitat and its many endangered plants exist only in Big Bear and Holcomb Valleys and nowhere else in the world. In the spring and early summer, wildflowers bloom throughout the area (see things to do for areas.)

The lake can be filled with ducks, pelicans, coots, bald eagles hunting and other wildlife getting a drink, after a great rainy season. When it does not have water, the lakebed provides great open space views of the surrounding valley and mountains. The area is completely surrounded by National Forest with easy access to the nationally-known Pacific Crest Trail at two points (see things to do.)

Home Facts

  • Homes of all sizes; lots from small to acreage—most mid-sized

Things to Do

  • Horse-back riding, including renting horses from the stables
  • Petting zoo (at the Baldwin Lake Stables)
  • Visit the Pebble Plains habitats and wildflowers in spring and early summer:
  • – Down Holcomb Valley Road right before arriving at the dump transfer station
  • – Department of Fish and Game Baldwin Lake Ecological Preserve (north of Highway 18)
  • – Natural Heritage Foundation conservation area (along Shay Road on the south)
  • Hiking Trails:
  • Pacific Crest Trail (PCT)—a National Scenic trail – accessible off of Highway 18 just as it heads downhill and off of 2N02
  • Campgrounds:
  • Doble Trail Camp (on the PCT)

Historical Tidbits

  • Though it is most often dry, during heavy rainfall years, Baldwin Lake can be so full that it is right up to the edge of the highway.
  • In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Natural Heritage Foundation preserved several areas of endangered plants on the southern end of the lake bed.
  • Friends of the Big Bear Valley Preserve also petitioned to have areas of endangered plants set aside for conservation.


  • Propane: Ferrellgas
    • 42110 Big Bear Boulevard
    • Big Bear Lake, CA 92315
    • (909) 866-4605
  • Propane: Thomas Gas
    • 42100 Big Bear Road
    • PO Box 2848
    • Big Bear, CA 92315
    • (909) 866-3513
  • Water:
    • Private wells or Individual water tanks
  • Trash:
    • County Transfer Station (residents receive County Disposal Use Permit)
  • Sewer:
    • Septic tanks (note: I’m double-checking this)


  • Big Bear Middle School
    • (Grades 7-8 )
    • 41275 Big Bear Blvd. / PO Box 1607
    • Big Bear Lake, CA 92315
    • TEL: (909) 866-4634
  • Big Bear High School
    • (Grades 9-12 )
    • 351 Maple Lane / PO Box 1708
    • Big Bear Lake, CA 92315
    • TEL: (909) 585-6892
  • Chautauqua High School (Continuation)
    • (Grades 9-12)
    • 525 Maple Lane / PO Box 1815
    • Sugarloaf, CA / Big Bear Lake, CA 92315
    • TEL: (909) 585-2521
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