Bluff Lake Reserve
Located at 7,600 feet, Bluff Lake Reserve; with its towering pines, 25-acre lake and meadow; is arguably the most beautiful mountain property in southern California. The reserve includes southern California's finest intact mountain marsh and meadow complex that has the federally threatened Bear Valley Bluegrass (Poa atropurpurea) and the federally endangered Big Bear Checkerbloom (Sidalcea pedata) and California dandelion (Taraxacum californicum). Mature forests of lodgepole pine, Jeffrey pine, and white fir surround the meadow. If you feel like you have seen this scenery before, it was the location of the original Disney movie Parent Trap.
After acquiring this preserve in 2000, The Wildlands Conservancy (TWC) drained the lake to kill non-native catfish in order to restore the native aquatic systems. TWC also restored the meadow, removing buildings and horse fencing, and taught children the difference between the native and non-native dandelion in order to remove the non-native invasive that was hybridizing with the native federally endangered dandelion. The meadow is replete with native wildflowers and butterflies in early summer.
The Bluff Lake Reserve is open to visitors seven days a week from 9 am to sunset, starting May 1 through November 1.
The property is snowed in through winter and spring. Use is restricted to; hiking designated trails, picnicking, photography, bird-watching, quiet reflection,
and many other passive activities are acceptable and dogs on leashes are welcome.
Please LEAVE NO TRACE!
The Bluff Lake Reserve is an ecological reserve. It is home to unique plant communities and wildlife. Access to the reserve will exist only as long as visitor use is acceptable. Please refer to this website or call 909.790.3698 with questions or to find out about future opportunities and/or property closures.
Access to Bluff Lake is off of Big Bear Blvd. west of town on either Tulip Lane or Mill Creek Road. Turn south on Forest Service Road 2N10 and follow it 4 miles to a right fork in the road marked "The Wildlands Conservancy". It is another 1/2 mile to the camp. Park at the Forest Service Trailhead for the Champion lodgepole pine and follow the trails east of the Champion Tree.