About this listing
Enjoy a Natural Mountain Experience in Our Vintage Chalet on the 5-Acre Sky Ranch, Surrounded by National Forest, Trails, and Open Meadows.
Home-Baked Goodies, Continental Breakfast, Adventure Pass, and More!
(See our guest reviews.)
This hand-laid stone walk is typical of the tender loving care that went into the building of the Chalet.
The Chalet is a true piece of art, for people who want a mountain holiday that's out of the ordinary.
This home was built by hand in the classic Swiss style by a family of professional artisans. Special touches are visible everywhere, from floors of solid oak two inches thick, to custom benches and cabinets, to hand-painted artwork on beams and railings. Although the home is only 40 years old, its craftsmanship derives directly from centuries of European tradition.
The Chalet is surrounded by old-growth Jeffrey pine trees over 100 feet tall. It's adjacent to an alpine meadow, which has changed little since the Serrano Indians first arrived here 3,000 years ago. And there is nothing to the south and west except hundreds of square miles of trees and the trails of the San Bernardino National Forest.
This is one of very few homes in Big Bear Valley that is truly secluded. Located at 7,000 feet on our private five-acre Sky Ranch, the Chalet is quiet night and day, with the nearest neighbor (us) 100 yards away. A perfect break from city life. No crowds...no concerns about traffic or noise...just tranquility. The only sounds you are likely to hear are the wind through the trees, and the birds who come to drink natural spring water from our pond.
If you're looking for a relaxing holiday retreat in the woods, in a home overflowing with warmth and tradition, this is your destination.
Note: During major holidays, we
often ask a 3-night minimum stay.
Tip: See Big Bear Events at Eventbrite
to see what's happening.
The Chalet is the perfect gateway to hiking, running, biking, horseback riding, sledding, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. Established hiking paths literally begin at your back door, and the 2,663-mile Pacific Crest Trail passes nearby.
Inside the Chalet, you will enjoy a spacious living room with wood-burning fireplace, an adjoining formal dining room, and a large deck with BBQ which overlooks the pond, tall poplars, a broad meadow, and the towering pines. Weddings have been held in the meadow, which still shows evidence of its heritage as a summertime camp for the native Serranos.
The kitchen is roomy and equipped with full-size appliances (including new refrigerator, stove, oven, and dishwasher) plus all the cooking gear you need to create memorable meals (even a crockpot). If you don't see what you want, just talk to Kay!
The home features two extra-large bedrooms, each of which holds a large bed for two. Each bedroom has a full attached bathroom, and all towels as well as bedding are provided.
One of our bedrooms is actually double the normal size, and offers a set of bunk beds.
For a little creative work, or just meditation, our den features two vintage desks, and 180-degree views of the spring and forest.
The living room offers a queen-size fold-out bed, and the living room can also accommodate an airbed. For maximum comfort, we recommend no more than eight adults in the Chalet.
In back, there's a large veranda, with relaxing chairs and a stunning panorama of tall pines.
The large hot tub is literally next to the forest, just a few steps from the Sun Room, and offers a commanding view of trees and sky.
We have a real horseshoes course, archery course, a campfire ring, and a nice telescope for stargazing.
For kids, there's a "fort," swings, and a sandbox in a boat.
In the Summer, the valley offers countless hiking trails, boating and fishing in the lake, mountain and road biking, horseback riding, golf, tennis, ziplining, the zoo, and many other outdoor activities. In Winter, there's skiing/boarding, snowshoeing, sledding, and more.
Inside the Chalet, we offer lots of board games, playing cards, materials for drawing, other arts & crafts, vintage music boxes -- even an electric organ!
The private Star Deck at the top of the property is a peaceful spot to read...enjoy the sunset...and view a truly stunning panorama of the heavens at night.
Welcome to the Chalet!
* * *
The nearest stores and restaurants are within five minutes by car. The towns of Big Bear Lake and Fawnskin are 10 to 20 minutes away, and offer scores of restaurants, boutiques, and galleries.
There are also two supermarkets, multiple drug stores, and a hospital.
Within 15 minutes by car are...
Two ski and snowboard resorts, Snow Summit and Bear Mountain, offering 26 lifts and 55 runs. There are excellent schools and family areas, as well as serious terrain parks and an Olympic-size halfpipe. This is where Shaun White learned to fly!
Big Bear's famous alpine lake, with fishing, kayaking, sailing, and other water sports.
A truly remarkable animal park -- one of only two alpine zoos in the U.S. -- housing grizzlies, wood bison, cougars, timber wolves, bobcats, eagles, and much more.
Stanfield Marsh Boardwalk & Wildlife Preserve, where you can take a stroll above the lake, and have a picnic in the gazebo.
The U.S. Forest Service Discovery Center, which offers various nature programs.
Big Bear Valley Museum. Augment your stay in the vintage Chalet by seeing such exhibits as the stamp mill, used to crush gold ore in the era when the Sky Ranch was homesteaded.
Bear Mountain Golf Course. At 7,000 feet, it's an entirely different game!
For those who prefer a true wilderness adventure, the San Bernardino Mountains offer surprisingly spectacular terrain. White men have only ventured into this rugged land for 160 years. One of the youngest mountain ranges in the world (in geological terms), it features scores of steep, challenging peaks, which stretch from the natural hot springs of Deep Creek in the west, to the huge Yucca forests in the east.
11,500-foot Mount San Gorgonio, named by Spanish missionaries in the early 17th century, is at the center of the first designated wilderness area in America. Also known as "Old Greyback," San Gorgonio and 11 surrounding peaks over 10,000 feet are home to an extremely rare herd of bighorn sheep.
The headwaters of the Santa Ana and Mojave rivers offer premier wild trout streams such as Bear Creek, accessible only by foot. Guides are available to aid your quest for the rainbows and browns, some over 18 inches.
Hundreds of miles of unpaved National Forest roads offer every type of off-road experience -- ranging from an easy drive to Pioneertown, to the most radical 4WD trails imaginable (11 Difficults, six Most Difficults). The Chalet is right in the middle of the major routes, including 3N03 Smarts Ranch, 3N16 Holcomb Valley, 2N02 Burns Canyon, 2N01 Broom Flats, 1N01 Pipes Canyon, 2N93 Wildhorse Meadows, 2N10 Skyline, 1N54 Clarks Grade, and many more.
It's all here, just two hours from Downtown Los Angeles.
(See additional info below the Japanese.)
Dogs are always welcome (we have a Lab and a mutt), and the spacious dog corral can be shared. However, we do ask guests to pay an added cleaning fee of $30 per pup (that's for the whole stay, not per day). It's tough to remove the fur from everything! ;)
Unfortunately, we can't accept cats. There are simply too many people who are allergic (including members of our family).
Check-in time is 4 p.m., and check-out is 12 noon. If the calendar is open, you can add a block of four hours before or after the standard stay for a modest charge.
A *major* advantage over many rental homes: You do NOT have to cart your trash and recyclables in your car when you leave. (This is a surprisingly common and annoying requirement!) We provide cans to leave your trash and recyclables right on the porch.
There's a charcoal BBQ grill on the Chalet deck (and we have self-lighting charcoal for sale at cost if you need it). A gas BBQ is available at our home (1065 G Lane), which is about 200 feet from the Chalet.
There is easy parking for any number of cars. RVs and trailers are no problem either.
Cell phones on Verizon and Sprint will have coverage at the Chalet, however the AT&T and T-Mobile networks still do not cover this neighborhood. There is a landline in the home.
The public bus stop is a short walk. Surprisingly, it is possible to take public transit from any train station in SoCal all the way to our bus stop. Cheaper than driving, and no worries about weather. Ask us for details.
If you're bringing kids, let us know the ages. You may get a discount. :)
For equestrians, we have a two-acre horse corral, plus hay barn and covered stall. No charge for guests.
If you want to borrow a telescope, just let us know!
During ski season, we provide one free self-starting "log" for the fireplace (and we have more, which we provide at our cost). If you didn't bring firewood, you can purchase the wood on the porch for less than the big city price.
Tip: AirBnB does not have seasonal pricing,
so if you're booking far in advance, you may
not see correct rates. Just check with us. ;)
Legal Note: Upon booking, you will gain access to the House Manual, which includes the rental contract for your stay. Be sure to familiarize yourself with all terms in advance.
Hot tub, stargazing deck and telescope, hiking and mountain bike trails, USFS Adventure Pass, sleds, dog corral, horse corral, charcoal BBQ, gas BBQ.
The public bus stop is a short walk. Surprisingly, it is possible to take public transit from any train station in SoCal all the way to our bus stop. Cheaper than driving, and no worries about weather. Ask us for details!
No smoking indoors. (Smoking on balcony OK, but PLEASE do not drop ashes or butts on the ground.)
Please see detailed info in the "House Manual." It's online at AirBnB, and there will be a copy in the Chalet when you arrive.
Absolutely fantastic cabin. It's a little off the beaten path (maybe 15 minutes from the heart of town), which might not appeal to everyone, but we thought the location was just perfect. The area is serene and tranquil; you can hike in the woods above the cabin and hear nothing but your footsteps and the birds periodically chirping. The lot is huge, with plenty of amenities (spa, playground, hiking, multiple decks for relaxing and stargazing, animals, and even WiFi) to keep families and friends busy for your entire stay. Unlike most other rentals in the Big Bear area, there isn't a strict 2 or 3 car limit, which is great if your group is coming from multiple places, or if you have friends over for dinner and drinks as we did one night over the weekend we visited. There is plenty of space in the cabin for people to spread out. We only used 5 of the 7-8 different places available to sleep, and were plenty comfortable with a group of 6 adults and 2 small children, plus 2 dogs.
Perhaps most pleasant about the stay was the kindness and generosity of our hostess, Kiyoe. She greeted us when we arrived, and surprised us with fresh eggs from her personal chickens, in addition to stocking the kitchen with bagels, homemade cookies, and several staples that might be needed during a stay (milk, orange juice, fresh fruit, etc.). She kept a respectful distance while we were there, always available by phone or otherwise if we needed anything, but not being the slightest bit intrusive.
The only drawback that we noticed at all, and it is a very MINOR issue, is that the WiFi is sometimes a little spotty. This was not unexpected given that we were in the mountains, and it did not detract from our enjoyment of the cabin at all. But particularly when streaming movies or other videos on the DVD player (which, very helpfully, comes equipped with a Netflix account and other streaming services that I am not accustomed to hosts offering to their guests), you may have to endure a little buffering when the signal gets low.
Overall, and truly stellar Big Bear experience. Easily my favorite cabin of the several I've stayed in while visiting the area. I would love to come back in any season!
What a wonderful and peaceful chalet in superb surroundings! Kiyoe made us feel extremely welcome and supplied us with fresh eggs and home baked cookies and muffins which were delicious.
The chalet was very well appointed with comfortable beds, and everything you would need in a home from home.
We particularly enjoyed sitting on the deck and watching the woodpeckers, jays, squirrels and chipmunks going about their business in the woods surrounding the chalet.
Our family came up from LA to stay with us for a few nights and brought their dogs with them - we were all made to feel very welcome and great countryside for woodland walks with the dogs.
The hot tub was fabulous, and sitting under the stars in a warm bath was a great experience.
My husband and I stayed at the Tall Pines Chalet for a week to celebrate multiple special occasions. We were so happy that we chose the chalet. You couldn't ask for a more gracious and friendly host than Kiyoe! She provided so many special touches for us such as fresh eggs from her chickens and baking us a cake. When you stay at the chalet, you truly feel like a guest in Kiyoe and Mike's home.
The chalet itself was super clean and well maintained. Another plus was on-site trash which compared to a lot of other listings I checked out in the Big Bear area is very uncommon. Tons of space and multiple outdoor areas to relax and enjoy nature. The main deck was perfect for relaxing in the morning and bird watching. We ate every in-meal out there!
The location was also perfect for us since we were mostly interested in hiking and loved having immediate trail access behind the chalet. Hiking up to the Pacific Crest Trail is a must for anyone with similar interests. The location is also just a short 5-10 minute drive to stores, the village, and the zoo.
Overall, this is probably one of the best values for money in the Big Bear area. You will easily spend a $100+ on other places this size, and while they might be newer homes they won't have the secluded and peaceful setting that Tall Pines Chalet boasts. I will definitely book here again next time I come to Big Bear.
We arrived at the chalet on June 29th - my birthday! - and were greeted by gorgeousness. Everywhere we looked it was green trees, pine cones, the weather was extraordinary. On top of all that, the little chalet was a treat, so charming, rustic.
Kiyoe was at our truck with a great smile and to welcome us almost before we'd even gotten out of it. She had lots of information to give us about what was happening in town that we might be interested in, and info about the chalet, the surrounding area, etc. So very sweet.
The chalet was everything the ad implies, roomy, quiet, private. The amenities were as advertised (my only teeny quibble being that Netflix/Internet signal kept going out in the middle of a movie at the same time in the evening, but we're used to that, it happens at home, too.)
Kiyoe welcomed us to look at their other cabin right down the lane on the property, which she said her nieces think is haunted. THAT was an experience. And for the record, it IS (my opinion).
Kiyoe introduced us to her dogs, extremely friendly animals that were very sweet and didn't bark the whole entire time we were there - unless there was a REASON - unlike the dogs in our neighborhood at home. That was peaceful and blissful.
The second night there we soaked in the jacuzzi, and it was perfect. It's a gorgeous jacuzzi, big enough for a party of 5-6, probably. And soaking under the canopy of pines and stars felt extravagant.
I will post a tiny list of pros and non-cons (because there really were no actual cons), but maybe just a head's up for folks to know what to expect:
1. Kiyoe!!! So nice and accommodating and welcoming!!! She is the perfect hostess. PERFECT.
2. Location, location, location. It's about 15 minutes from the lake by vehicle, so it's secluded and QUIET.
3. Amenities. They offer the use of anything in the chalet (as long as you take care of it), a fully stocked kitchen and fridge (with staples, like milk, juice, etc.), the SOFTEST sheets I've ever slept on (1 million thread count???).
4. The kitchen and bathrooms were super clean, beds made perfectly, etc.
The "head's up" suggestions:
1. The queen-size bed sags in the middle a bit. For a single sleeper, it would be fine, for two people, it's difficult.
2. The double bed is too small (in our opinion) for two people (although it didn't sag). So we actually wound up sleeping in separate beds the third night. No biggie, it's still a huge bargain for the price. (This is the only reason I didn't give 5 stars)
Our experience here was great!! Five stars!!
It was just a little more than 2 hours away from LA and the house is in a secluded area. The house is surrounded by tall pine trees and nothing behind the house, but forests and trails into hills.
It is secluded but also convenient. Vons was just 10 minutes away by driving. I went to grocery shopping twice during our 5 day stay. Also breakfast places near by. We went to a place called Mountain Munchies for breakfast, my wife had pancakes and I had Reuben sandwich. My sandwich surpassed my expectation. It was like NYC delicatessen good! Nice surprise.
House itself was roomy. Beds were comfortable and bathrooms were clean. I liked the little study room in the corner on the backside, where my wife and I made some artworks. There were big windows and we were looking out the forests in the back. Very nice.
I also liked the jacuzzi. It was maintained very clean, and the forest view was very relaxing. I saw the night sky filled with stars. It was perfect. We mainly had our meals on the balcony, listening to the bird chirping and wind going thru the woods. Our boy loved being there as well, there was a hummingbird came to our lunch table, right in front of his face. It was a nice surprise.
Finally, Kiyoe was very welcoming and a great host. Thank you so much!!! We will come back!!
This was one of the best getaways we've ever had! Kiyoe was so gracious and welcoming. She even gave is a quick tour of their other, more rustic cabin before the other guests checked in (AWESOME by the way) . The fresh eggs were so lovely and thoughtful and she even brought us fresh sushi when she'd made too much at home!
The chalet is huge and homey and was exactly what we were looking for in our escape from Vegas. We literally spent hours out on the deck, just soaking up the silence and watching the birds and butterflies. Our second day got a little chilly and the fireplace was the perfect antidote! It was amazing to browse the shelves and shelves of poetry and literature. A dream come true for a nerd like me!
We do a lot of cooking, so it was great to have a kitchen with loads of equipment and spices for DAYS. Kiyoe even left us staples in the fridge. The charcoal BBQ was great to have, too!
All the furniture and the bed were super comfy. That plaid couch will give you the nap of your life. No joke.
The only thing (and I mean the ONLY thing) that really bummed me out was the sky deck. I was really looking forward to doing some night sky photography, but when I scouted the deck in the afternoon and saw the state of it, I decided real quick that wasn't gonna happen. It is in seriously bad condition and should be avoided completely until it's repaired and safe again!
We will definitely be back though, and hopefully bring friends and family to share the rest of this huge space!
Thanks for your detailed review, Kat. We're glad you had such a great stay in the Chalet!
As soon as we saw your description of the Star Deck, Mike headed up to the top of the hill to check, and sure enough, it's been vandalized quite badly. Why kids do this sort of thing, we don't know, but repairs are in progress. It will be back in shape in no time!
An enchanted experience indeed! Our stay at Mike and Kioye's Chalet was exactly what my husband and I needed for a getaway and R and R.
This very unique home is nestled up against the forest with various tall, green trees- mostly pine trees giving the air a fresh and clean smell 24/7. There's nothing like having a cup of coffee in the morning and looking out at nature breathing in this fresh air and listening to different birds chirping from an outdoor deck! I felt like we had plenty of privacy as the homes in the neighborhood are spread apart from eachother enough with trees to block windows but yet not too isolated and not that far from the next human.
There are a number of trail hikes varying from easy to difficult and steep found right behind the Chalet. This was an added convenience to be able to step out for an adventure or just an easy stroll.
Kiyoe left thoughtful surprises like fresh eggs hatched from their own chickens left at the door one morning which added a nice touch of TLC .
There were also some delicious fresh home baked cookies, bagels, milk and OJ that you don't normally expect when staying up at a cabin or home rental. It is clean, comfy, with ample room for a family or two. The Wi-Fi is easy to log on to. What we found really helpful were the notes Kiyoe left throughout the home giving specific instructions, for example: which towels to use for the spa, a quick how to next to the thermostat, and which light switch to flip to turn the kitchen light on :)
We truly enjoyed our experience at the Chalet and look forward to revisiting but staying much longer next time with the kids and again with just my hubby.
Thank you Kiyoe and Mike for making our getaway a truly relaxing, enjoyable experience. We highly recommend staying here!
This host has 314 reviews for other properties.View Other Reviews
About the Host, Mike & Kiyoe
Mike is an American who has lived in Europe and Japan. A graduate of UCLA, he also works in L.A. as an international marketing consultant. For fun, he likes basketball, tennis, volleyball, hiking, skiing, cycling, and motorcycling.
Kiyoe (Kay) is a Japanese national. For fun, she likes running, hiking, tennis, and clogging. 日本の”おもてなし”をモットーにしています。どうぞ日本語でお気軽にお問い合わせください。お待ちしています。