Big Bear, California is a hotspot for wildlife and nature adventures. The mountain terrain in combination with one of California’s largest manmade lakes makes for a habitat unique to the area. If you are looking to get out into nature and observe all its beauty, Big Bear, CA is the place to visit. If you are not sure how to make the most of your nature and wildlife Big Bear vacation, here is a guide for you!
Popular Animals Around Big Bear, CA
The mountainous region around Big Bear is home to many common animals you may think of, such as squirrels, chipmunks, raccoons, and coyotes. However, here are some of the rarer animals to look out for:
Big Bear Lake and Big Bear itself were named after the huge grizzly bears that roamed around the area in the 1800s. Black bears are generally not aggressive but will protect their food supply and their cubs if they feel threatened. If you do happen upon one during your Big Bear getaway, give it plenty of space and enjoy its beauty from afar. If you find yourself wandering through the natural beauty of Big Bear, make sure you do not create a situation in which food is readily available for them to get access to. Black bears mostly just want your food, so keep yourself and these amazing animals safe while exploring the area around Big Bear.
The gray fox is a bushy-tailed, sharp-snouted member of the dog family. These foxes are family-oriented and live in groups called families where they raise their young, but will live alone or in pairs as well. Gray foxes will use growls, yelps, and short yapping barks when communicating and rely on their excellent sense of smell to hunt for small animals, fruits, and berries. They live in dens underground, in hollow logs or trees, or even in small caves. They are beautiful creatures, but make sure you take care if you see one; they tend to be territorial, especially when new pups are born in the late spring and early summer.
The mule deer is a beautiful animal with large, furry ears similar to a mule. The males have large, branching antlers. They are rare around the Big Bear area due to their roaming nature, but keen eyes can sometimes see them resting in cool, secluded places during the day. You may also see these deer in the winter time in areas that are sunny and well secluded. If you are roaming around Big Bear in the winter, you may just stumble upon a group of these majestic creatures.
Best Places to See Animals and Nature
Besides wandering around outside just about anywhere in the area, there are specific places we suggest you visit if you are looking to see some animals or unique nature preserves during your Big Bear vacation.
Stanfield Marsh Wildlife and Waterfowl Preserve
Stanfield Marsh Wildlife and Waterfowl Preserve provides the best of both worlds. This preserve was created to protect the natural beauty of Big Bear and support local wildlife. The marshy area tends to bring in numerous kinds of waterfowl year-round. Buffalo Lake Reserve is a natural beauty just outside of Big Bear, California. The lake provides pristine lake views and a place to relax and watch the local wildlife.
Boulder Bay Park
Boulder Bay Park is a large public park in Big Bear that is home to plenty of opportunities to see the natural wildlife in the area. The park lies right off of Big Bear Lake which gives you plenty of access to see the water creatures within the lake. You can see any of the varieties of fish and water birds that call the lake home. The park also leads up into the forest where guests frequently observe deer, foxes, or raccoons visible from the path. There are also plenty of shaded spots and picnic benches that make perfect places to sit and relax or enjoy a packed lunch.
Big Bear Wildlife at the Alpine Zoo
The Alpine Zoo at Moonridge is a local treat that takes the random chance of seeing an animal out of the equation. The Alpine Zoo is the home to many of the wild animals that reside around Big Bear to ensure that you are able to see what lies around your vacation rental in a controlled environment. From the bears that put our town on the map to the red foxes, bald eagles, and snowy owls, the Alpine Zoo is a microcosm of the world outside its gates. This provides guests with the best opportunity to see the greatest number of animals for your trip and is a guest favorite. Many start here and then travel into nature to observe these same animals in their natural habitat. The Alpine Zoo at Moonridge is a great activity to absorb the natural beauty of Big Bear.
Baldwin Lake Ecological Habitat
Finally, we recommend visiting the Baldwin Lake Ecological Habitat. It’s a self-guided interpretive trail that leads guests from the visitors’ center to sprawling views and beautiful flowers.
Nature is one of Big Bear’s best draws, and we want you to experience it all during your stay! Rest up after a day of exploration in one of our comfortable rental homes; contact us today to book your stay!