Big Bear Discovery Center
Your Gateway to Adventure and Discovery!
The Discovery Center is an educational and informational portal to the San Bernardino National Forest and is located within the heart of the Big Bear Valley. This nearby mountain retreat is a one- to three-hour drive from anywhere in Southern California. Our goal is to ensure your visit to the Big Bear Discovery Center heightens your awareness on how to become a more responsible caretaker of a national forest while increasing your enjoyment and knowledge of California’s most recreated forestland, the San Bernardino National Forest.
Let our experts help you plan your next adventure.
Our services include:
- Adventure Passes
- Hiking & Biking Maps
- Camping Information
- Maps of Forest Roads & Off-highway Vehicle Adventures
- Forest Service Permits
- Naturalist-led Tours and Interpretive Programs
- Environmental Education ~ School & Scout groups
- Adventure Outpost ~ nature-themed gift store
Hours of Operation: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 5 days/week
Closed Tuesdays & Wednesdays
Located at: 40971 North Shore Drive/ Hwy 38, Fawnskin CA 92333
Phone: (909) 382-2790
The Big Bear Discovery Center is co-managed by the non-profit San Bernardino National Forest Association and the U.S. Forest Service. Entrance is free and the facility is pet friendly.
Nature Discovery Zone - Coming Spring 2013
The San Bernardino National Forest Association is excited to introduce the first Nature Explore Classroom in the National Forest system coming to the Big Bear Discovery Center in May 2013! The Nature Discovery Zone is an outdoor adventure space designed to enhance nature play and exploration while reconnecting children to nature. view concept plan
The Nature Discovery Zone was designed by volunteers, stakeholders/community members, staff, area children and an outside consultant, Nature Explore, a collaborative project of Arbor Day Foundation and Dimensions Educational Research Foundation. The Nature Discovery Zone is designed to inspire creativity, connectivity and stewardship to the natural environment for children 2 to 7 years of age.
This new addition to the Big Bear Discovery Center features nine interactive areas to encourage outdoor exploration and unstructured play. Areas include: gathering area, nature art, messy materials, building, climbing and crawling, music and movement, pathways through planting, dirt digging, quiet area, and a large open area for unstructured play.
Initial funding and support to make this project possible was provided by Boeing - Crystal Vision Grant and More Kids in the Woods – USDA Forest Service