A Taste of the Old West at the Sky Ranch
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 five-acre Sky Ranch, adjacent to the San Bernardino National Forest. It overlooks a forest of old-growth trees, and a meadow which once held a Shoshone village every Summer.
The Cabin was built in 1870 to house a family during the days of a 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 paid $25 for it 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: 2 or 3-night minimum on holidays.
Tip: See Big Bear Events at Eventbrite
to see what's happening during your stay.
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, 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 -- though of course that is not the same as a modern appliance, so we also have a microwave, toaster oven, coffeemaker, 3q crockpot and a small fridge.
The Cabin features one main bedroom, which holds a cozy bed for two topped by a patchwork 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 two Adirondack chairs, a charcoal BBQ, 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 pitch horseshoes, try your hand at archery, take a hike, 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.
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The Gold Rush Cabin is adjacent to hundreds of square miles of forest. Right outside your front door are opportunities for hiking, running, biking, yoga, horseback riding, sledding, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. The famous Pacific Crest Trail, which stretches from Canada to Mexico, is just two miles east.
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'll also have access to a large hot tub, which sits about 100 yards away at the edge of the forest, with a commanding view of trees and sky.
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The nearest stores and restaurants are within five minutes by car. The town of Big Bear Lake is 10--15 minutes away, and offers 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.
> 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.
For those who want a wilderness adventure, the San Bernardino Mountains offer truly spectacular terrain. This is one of the youngest mountain ranges in the world (in geological terms) with 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, sits at the center of America's first wilderness area. Also known as "Old Greyback," San Gorgonio and the 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.
It's all here, just two hours from Downtown Los Angeles!
Tip: Occasionally AirBnB inquiries don't make it. If no answer within a day, please try again.
Dogs are 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 stay per pup. 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).
There's a charcoal BBQ grill on the deck (we have self-lighting charcoal 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.
We have a pretty nice telescope which you can use for stargazing.
For equestrians, we have a two-acre horse corral, plus hay barn and covered stall.
A major advantage over many rental homes: You do *not* have to cart your trash and recyclables in your car when you leave (a surprisingly common requirement). We have multiple cans for trash on the street, and you can leave aluminum and bottles in the can on the porch.
There is easy parking for cars, RVs, and trailers.
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.
Cell phones on Verizon and Sprint will have coverage, however the AT&T network will not.
Wifi functions on many devices in the cabin -- but not all, due to the distance from the main home. (If you like movies, bring some DVDs for your laptop.) All guests are welcome to sit in front of our fire if they need (or want) to connect.
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 $32.
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. ;)
|Room type:||Entire home/apt|
|Bed type:||Real Bed|
|Extra people:||$30 / night after 2 guests|
|Weekly Price:||$649 /week|
|Monthly Price:||$1799 /month|
|Check In:||4:00 PM|
|Check Out:||12:00 PM (noon)|
|City:||Big Bear City|
|Pet Owner:||Dog(s) and Other pet(s)|
We had an absolutely wonderful stay! From the friendly and thorough communication before the trip, to the cake & champagne that was waiting for us when we arrived, this was just fantastic. Oh, and fresh eggs in the morning too! What a great anniversary weekend - thanks so much!
What an amazing hidden experience this was to be able to stay at Mike. Kiyoe & Families cabin. Very warm hearted and family welcome was just the beginning of a relaxing night spent back in time. Although the cabin still has the feel of an old miners home, the small touches to make it more comfortable for modern times was well executed here. Nothing topped it off better than the small touches of warm cookies, flowers, and the special attention payed to making you feel at home. Very hard to find places and people that can combine the great hospitality of both Japan and America in such a remote area. Thank you again to you and your family, and I looked forward to my get aways here from the city on my trips home.
Kiyoe was very hospitable, warm, and thoughtful. We loved our rustic cabin and its serenity and natural surroundings. All the snacks, milk, juice, coffee, and beautiful flowers made our stay very pleasant. I was sneezing, and was coming down with something because it was extremely windy. Kiyoe brought me cold medicines and extra tea bags out of kindness of her heart. She also let our daughter feed their chickens and gave her fresh eggs. The only thing that bothered us at night was the noise from the main heater. I do not know if there is anything that can be done to remediate the problem. But all in all, we had an unforgettable stay. Thanks!!!
The Gold Rush Cabin was fantastic! It's not quite as remote as I'd imagined but the old-fashioned style of the cabin more than made up for that. Just the right degree of rustic for me -- modern amenities such as a comfy warm bath and shower, kitchen stove, electrics, refrigerator and access to hot tub but also a wood-burning fireplace, old wood floors, old-fashioned fixtures and fittings etc. We had a super time, especially my five-year-old niece who enjoyed playing in the large loft, playing horse-shoes outside the cabin and roasting marshmallows over the fire as well as the wider amenities of Big Bear.
I'd recommend the cabin for four people (two couples) max -- which is also what Mike and Kiyoe recommend -- unless more than two people want to sleep in the loft -- there would be room up there but the second double bed was a little bit hard and a bit small and obviously there would be no privacy. Kids need to sleep in the downstairs double bedroom (or in the living room which limits adult time after their bedtime) as the loft ladder is a bit tricky to navigate.
I'd also suggest that the cabin is best for close friends or family due to little privacy -- part of its old-fashioned charm is that there are big gaps between the old boards that make up the inside walls and floors (outside it is well-insulated) so you can hear absolutely everything between rooms -- my brother kept me awake crunching his toast one floor below at the opposite end of the cabin!
The bathroom is in a modern extension at the back (done in an old style but the benefit of being new is more privacy than in the rest of the cabin). The composting toilet was initially daunting -- my niece pointed at it and laughed! But actually it was totally fine, and the little extractor fan in it meant that it didn't smell at all.
Just one caveat to my enthusiastic review -- the fire had a tendency to smoke badly when left open at the front even though we followed all of the instructions for avoiding this -- we weren't sure what was causing this (possibly the extractor fan on the toilet was pulling the smoke through the house?) but I'd recommend keeping the front of the fire shut at all times which does make it hard to enjoy the flames (or roast marshmallows indoors).
Kiyoe was so kind (without intruding on our privacy), helping us settle in, leaving us some tasty goodies, allowing us to use her laptop to check in to our flight, bringing us fresh eggs from her hens and a gift for my niece.
I'd highly recommend the cabin and plan to come again myself in future.
This cabin was perfect!! My friends and I loved everything about our trip. The cabin was cute, the owners were the absolute best, the surrounding area was full of fun and beautiful activities; hiking trails, fire pit, comfy porches and so many more. Kay even made us the best bundt cake and gave us fresh eggs from her chickens! We are so grateful to the owners for such an amazing experience :)
Our stay at the Gold Rush Cabin was fantastic! Kay was incredibly accommodating and welcoming, and we had a great experience. She gave us several suggestions for activities and hikes, and even shared two fresh eggs from her chickens with us on Sunday morning!
We will definitely be back, since our dog is already dreaming of exploring more of the trails out back of their property!
We had a magical time. We extended our stay because we loved it so much. It was what we expected and so,so much more. This is not only a getaway, it's like being on another planet for a while. A true adventure if you want it.
The 2,663 miles long Pacific Crest Trail is only a 30 min hike away and goes all the way up to Canada. I wish I could post pictures. So beautiful.
Even before we left in the morning, I squeezed in a little hike. How could you not with having so many little trails right behind the cabin?
Kiyoe and Mike are wonderful hosts. Thank you so much for the recommendations, fire wood, fresh eggs, cookies and coffee :). We'll be back.
Really liked staying here. We were looking for something quiet and "out of the box" for a trip away. We had an amazing weekend and it was easy to find. We loved the hot tube and we brought our own food which was surprisingly easy to cook on that stove! Highly recommended!
We had a great stay at this little cabin! It's very different than you would expect in the way that you can tell how old fashioned it is. Very cool design and made for a fun and interesting night away from the city.
Kiyoe greeted us with such a warm welcome (and with cookies and fruit!) She was lovely to talk to and went out of her way to make sure we were comfortable and had everything we needed!
The cabin was beautiful and we had a great time!
This is the final rate, including any fees from the host and Airbnb.