About This Listing
An Authentic Taste of the Old West, Overlooking a Peaceful Meadow and Towering Pines at the Sky Ranch.
Includes Continental Breakfast and Home-Baked Goods!
You'll enjoy an abundance of peace and quiet in our Winter Wonderland...just minutes from town...and a short drive from any point in SoCal.
This is a truly unique mountain home, for travelers who want to experience the spirit of a bygone age.
Our carefully restored Gold Rush Cabin sits at 7,000 feet on the private five-acre Sky Ranch, surrounded by towering old Jeffrey pines.
Unlike most homes, it stands alone. Step out on the porch, and you're looking at an alpine meadow which has changed little since the Serrano Indians first arrived here 3,000 years ago. There are no other homes within 100 yards -- and immediately beyond our ranch, you will find the trails of the National Forest and hundreds of square miles of pure nature.
This home is quiet night and day, the perfect break from harried city life. The only sounds you're likely to hear are wind through the trees, and birds which glide from tree to tree. And when the brilliant colors of sunset subside, thousands of stars emerge to remind you why the Milky Way got its name.
The Cabin was built in 1870 to house a family during the days of the local Gold Rush, which featured such legendary characters as "Lucky Baldwin."
After the paydirt ran out, the Gold Rush Cabin became the homestead of a Swiss woman, who bought it for $25 and called it home from 1915 until 1988.
Based on the listings at the Old Houses website, this is the oldest wooden building in Southern California.
Now it's ready for guests.
Note: During major holidays, we
often ask a 3-night minimum stay.
Tip: See Big Bear Events at Eventbrite
to see what's happening.
You'd never know by looking at it, but the Cabin has been updated with such "modern luxuries" as electric lighting, a gas heating system, a wood-burning Earth Stove, a vintage propane cookstove, an antique claw-foot tub, a unique and eco-friendly composting toilet, wifi, and (yes) running water.
Even with these amenities, this cabin is the most authentic Western experience that you're going to find without a Time Machine. If you want a relaxing vacation in the woods with a surplus of vintage charm, this is the place.
The living room is unusually spacious for its era, and features a hand-built stone hearth with wood-burning stove. The kitchen's vintage cookstove still works as well as it did in 1930. Of course that's a different experience from a modern appliance, so we also have a microwave, toaster oven, coffeemaker, crockpot, and a small fridge.
The Cabin features one main bedroom, which holds a cozy full-size bed for two topped by a plush quilt. There's also a big upstairs loft, accessed by an old-fashioned ladder staircase, with two more large beds. If you prefer to avoid the stairs, there's a sofabed in the living room. For maximum comfort, we recommend no more than four adults.
The back porch has chairs for relaxing, a charcoal BBQ, a table for dining, and an incredible view of the meadow and forest.
The Gold Rush Cabin offers the best of all seasons. When snow is on the ground, enjoy our perfect sledding hill, snowshoe, or cross-country ski. From Spring to Fall, you can practice yoga, hike the local trails, pitch horseshoes, try your hand at archery, cycle, or just relax on the back porch and enjoy pure nature.
Some guests swear they can feel the spirits of the people who have lived in and around this historic structure. Is it real? You tell us.
* * *
The Gold Rush Cabin is adjacent to hundreds of square miles of forest. The famous Pacific Crest Trail, which stretches 2,663 miles from Canada to Mexico, passes just east of us.
The Gold Rush Cabin is peaceful night and day -- a perfect retreat from the city. Even on big holiday weekends, you'll be completely isolated from traffic and crowds.
In addition to the Cabin's comfortable porches, there is a private deck at the top of the property where you can read...enjoy the sunset...and view a truly stunning panorama of stars in total peace.
You can enjoy the large hot tub, which sits 100 yards away at the edge of the National Forest, offering a commanding view of trees and sky.
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.
For kids, there's a "fort," swings, and a huge sandbox in a boat!
Inside the Cabin, we offer board games, playing cards, materials for drawing, other arts & crafts, and a collection of vintage music boxes. We also have a nice telescope for stargazing.
It's all here, just a couple hours from the center of the city.
* * *
The nearest stores and restaurants are within five minutes by car. The towns of Big Bear Lake and Fawnskin are 10 to 20 minutes, and offer scores of restaurants, boutiques, and galleries.
There are also two supermarkets, multiple drug stores, and a hospital.
Also 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, which offers fishing, all forms of boating, and other water sports.
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.
A truly remarkable animal park -- one of only two alpine zoos in the U.S. -- housing grizzlies, wood bison, cougars, timber wolves, eagles, and much more.
Big Bear Valley Museum. Although you are staying in one of the rarest historical homes in California, the museum has some great exhibits, including an example of a stamp mill which was used to crush gold ore in the era when this cabin was built.
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 River offer several wild trout streams, accessible only by foot.
Hundreds of miles of unpaved roads offer every type of off-road experience -- ranging from an easy drive to Pioneertown, to the most radical 4WD trails imaginable.
You'll find it hard to believe that you're less than 100 miles 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 entire 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 where you can leave both trash and recyclables.
There's a charcoal BBQ grill on the Cabin porch. (And we offer self-lighting charcoal for sale at cost.) A gas BBQ is available at our home (1065 G Lane), which is about 300 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.
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 want to borrow a telescope, just let us know!
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.
The wifi functions very well on most devices in the cabin. If you like movies, we suggest that you bring some DVDs (or borrow some of ours) to play on your laptop.
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.
The composting toilet is different (tall!), but easy to like once you learn the many eco advantages. For more info, see the Excel model on the Sun-Mar website.
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.
Interaction with Guests
We try to be friendly...and respect your privacy.
This is one of the few rental homes in Big Bear that actually feels like a cabin in the mountains.
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 porch 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 Cabin when you arrive.
Relax...enjoy...look for ghosts!
The living room is unusually spacious for its era. This large table provides more than enough room for meals, games, and crafts.
GREAT EXPERIENCE!!! The Kids loved it!!! Kiyoe is the greatest host ever, very attentive and kind. We had a Great time at Big Bear and enjoyed the cabin. It is rustic, comfy and cozy. The Kids wanted to experience a cabin venture, Mike & Kiyoe did not disappoint. Enjoyed the trails, star gazing, the horseshoe game, wide-open space, feeding chickens and the Jacuzzi. Very relaxing place, makes me want to come back in the winter... Also after a first bad airbnb experience customer service, Mike and Kiyoe changed that perspective. I highly recommend this place to anyone who wants to stay in a Comfortable Cabin in Big Bear... Two Thumbs UP... Thank you so Much Mike and Kiyoe you are the best...
it is with great pleasure that i leave this glowing review for mike, kiyoe & the spirit of 1870s gold rush cabin. my husband and i had the pleasure of celebrating our nuptials on this beautiful property the extended weekend of june 19 - 22.
the experience was absolutely fantastic.
the cabin is a charming, well-kept, cozy structure with a most engaging collection of furniture, antiques, books, etc. --- though the out of doors is breathtaking, we found ourselves exploring intently the cabin & its shelves.
we were greeted with fresh fruit, bagels, delicious homemade cookies, organic milk, coffee, oj --- the spread was unbelievable. it absolutely made one feel immediately at home.
the amenities of the cabin were exactly as described in the listing. the main bedroom is well-appointed with a big, cozy bed with nice linens. there are two large dressers & a clothing rack bar for the storing of clothes. the kitchen was fully stocked with utensils, glassware, plates, dry goods (sugar, coffee, etc.) --- the antique sink & stove were beyond charming. there is a mini fridge, quite mini that can accommodate a few choice things. the living room & dining room were perfect for downtime, socializing with family & friends.
the bathroom with its claw-footed tub is relaxing. if you are curious about the composting toilet, let me say: it was not difficult to use, maintain, etc. there is a constant hum in the bathroom due to the toilet exhaust fan, but one does not hear it in the bedroom.
the grounds were gorgeous. we chose to set up the dining tables & chairs for the big day just around the cabin. we danced in the pine needles to the side of the cabin near the couples' swing. for our altar, we spread vintage afghani rug beneath one of the burned out pines & decorated the tree with handmade fabric tassels.
nature is glorious. we saw innumerable species of birds & even spotted a small bear on our last morning. note: kiyoe said that she had never seen a bear during the day.
i would highly recommend booking this property if staying in big bear --- take the opportunity to explore california's past by renting this historical cabin.
thank you, mike & kiyoe! we hope to come back!
Kiyoe made us feel very welcomed. She met us upon our arrival to the house, and she took the time to walk us through the house and explained how to use the amenities. She gave us privacy and was accessible if we needed anything.
The cabin was exactly what we were looking for because it felt like a true Big Bear cabin. The interior was very cozy, rustic, and it was filled with various antiques. We also enjoyed cooking on the old stove (to make soup), and the kitchen came loaded with plates, bowls, utensils, a plate of cookies, bagels, coffee, orange juice, cream cheese, and other goodies.
And as a bonus, Kiyoe brought us fresh laid eggs the next morning, which we cooked up for breakfast. We enjoyed our breakfast with a nice view of the surrounding trees.
One of favorite experiences during our stay was the clear view of the stars at night! Kiyoe was a good host, and we enjoyed our stay.
Our stay at the Spirit of 1870's was great! It was our first Airbnb experience and Kiyoe made it such a great experience. The cabin was exactly like the pictures. It was cute and quiet. Such a relaxing environment. The cabin is only a short drive from town in case you don't feel like cooking or want to go to the lake. We would love to come back and have already told a lot of people about our stay. The fresh eggs in the morning from the chicken coup was an amazing touch. Highly recommend!
My family and I had a great time here. Beautiful woodsy setting, and quiet. Kioye was very gracious, from home baked cookies, to taking us on a great hike through the area, and letting the kids feed her chickens. Both of the kids really enjoyed the whole 'Gold Rush Cabin' feel, and especially the sleeping loft! In fact, after the first night, both kids insisted we come back again. And so, we hope to soon!
We had such an incredible time at this Cabin! Kiyoe couldn't have been a better host. The Cabin had everything we needed for an incredible getaway for a few days. The space was private enough to feel like a respite from the city, but still close to other homes. The fresh eggs were delicious, and everything was so well managed and spelled out for us upon arrival. We loved staying at the Cabin and made a lot of good memories!
Kiyoe was there to welcome us and give us a tour. In the morning we had four fresh eggs waiting and enjoyed a scrumptious breakfast. It was beyond perfect!
Thanks for the review, Cheryl. I have to add your comments to us, because they're so nice! "The cabin was stunning and so much fun! We enjoyed the antiques and all the beautiful touches in the cabin. We loved the creaking floors and 2 of us loved staying up in the attic. The surrounding area is amazing and the stars were just gorgeous. The wind moving through the trees brought the rest we were looking for. I could have stayed for weeks :)."
This host has 308 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。