Best Free Sledding Hill Near Big Bear Lake (Abandoned Ski Resort)
Warning: This article is for informational purposes only. Visit the abandoned ski resort at your own risk. The land is not maintained. please be careful.
One of the best places to sled, backcountry snowshoe, ski, or snowboard near Big Bear
Last weekend, we took a trip to Big Bear. We stayed at an Airbnb in Running Springs, visited Big Bear Village, went cross-country skiing at Rim Nordic, and we sledded at an abandoned ski resort in Green Valley Lake, a small town located 18 miles (40 mins) west of Big Bear.
We spent the earlier part of our day sledding around huge hills covered in thick powdery snow, with not a care in sight. Scroll all the way down to see pictures or read through the information below to learn more about the abandoned ski resort, and directions for how to get there!
The "Secret" Sledding Hill is located in Green Valley Lake
History of the Abandoned Ski Resort in Green Valley Lake
According to the book Lost Ski Areas of Southern California by Ingrid P. Wicken, the ski resort was created in 1945 and called Green Valley Lake Snow Bowl. Green Valley's north facing slopes and high elevation provided plentiful snow that would not melt too fast. The resort was always semi-successful, but many ownership changes and competing with other snow resorts nearby proved difficult for the resort in the coming years.
In 1993, as snowboarding was becoming more popular, the ski resort re-branded itself Big Air Green Valley. In 2005, another ownership change caused the resort to be renamed Trinity Mountain Resort, and have a Christian theme to it. The ski resort had been struggling with low snow levels for years at this point and the new owners struggled with even more new challenges, natural disaster. There was a massive landslide in 2006, and in 2007, a forest fire wiped out much of the town's home and businesses, and ruined the ski resort for good. The owners decided not to rebuild the resort and by 2008, ownership of the area was transferred back to the National Forest Service.
Check out the book below for pictures of when it was a running ski resort!
How to get to the abandoned ski resort in Green Valley Lake
Drive on the 18 from Big Bear or Running Springs until you see signs for Green Valley Lake. The turn for Green Valley Lake is on the 18 between the town of Running Springs and Snow Valley Ski Resort. You will be turning on Green Valley Lake Blvd.
This road is narrow, windy, and steep, so don't go here if the weather is bad (rain, snow, ice on road, etc.). Only go if the weather is good and the roads are cleared.
Follow Green Valley Lake Blvd/Rd up for 10 mins/4 miles until you reach the small downtown of Green Valley Lake. The ski resort is located at 33299 Angeles Drive. Drop off the kids and equipment at that address. There's no parking at that address, so drive back to the small downtown (just a couple hundred feet away), find parking where the shops and children's playground is, and then walk back up to where you dropped off the kids and equipment at.
Overall, sledding at this abandoned ski resort was a delight. It's my fondest memory of our trip to Big Bear and something I would definitely love to do again. I also want to come back in the summer for a hike and a dip in the lake!
Warning: This article is for informational purposes only. Visit the abandoned ski resort at your own risk. The land is not maintained. Please be careful.