About this listing
An Authentic Taste of the Old West, Overlooking a Peaceful Meadow and Towering Pines at the Sky Ranch.
Continental Breakfast with Home-Baked Goodies...National Forest Adventure Pass...and Much More. See our guest reviews!
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 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 Cabin, however the AT&T and T-Mobile networks still do not cover this area. Of course the wifi enables Skype and similar apps, and there's a landline available if you need one.
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 well on most devices in the cabin. If you like movies, we have a Smart TV, and 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.