Located only 90 minutes away from Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego Counties, in the San Bernardino Mountains, Green Valley Lake attracts visitors seeking clean air, blue skies, crystal-clear water, and the serenity and calm beauty of a quiet forested community. Our two closest neighbors are Arrowbear and Running Springs. There are hiking trails galore and plenty of opportunities for bird watching, mountain biking, horseback riding, and in the winter, cross-country skiing. The nine-acre lake is regularly stocked for fishing, plus there are boating and swimming as well.
The community is set at an elevation of 7,200 feet (2,195 m), and is the highest subdivision in the San Bernardino National Forest. There are 1,100 properties in the community and 800 full-time residents (according to post office records). Properties in the community tend to be smaller, and much less expensive than the surrounding areas, because there is little employment in the local area.
The lake was artificially created in 1926 with the construction of the Green Valley Dam and makes the lake approximately 9 acres in size. The lake is not connected to any stream or river and is only fed by rain and snow. Fish are regularly stocked from May - August and freezes over the winter.
Fishing is $15.00 for adults, an extra $1 for another pole (two is max). $8 for children 4-15. Trout are the main action here. They are stocked regularly by the Department of Fish & Game and private hatcheries from the Eastern Sierra area. There are also Bass, Catfish, and Crappie in the lake. The lake usually freezes over in the winter, however NO ice fishing is allowed.
Fishing information related to Green Valley Lake can also be found at [Fishing Network website]
1880’s Timber claims made on Green Valley area by Highland Lumber Co.
1891 Highland Lumber builds City Creek Toll Rd. (Hwy 330) Took lumber from Fredalba to Molina Box Factory to make orange crates.
1892-94 Horse trail from Fredalba lumber camp to Big Bear widened into toll wagon road by Bear Valley Wagon Rd. Co.Eleven-room Toll House was near entrance to campground. They gave the name of Green Valley to the area.
1893 San Bernardino National Forest "Reserve" created.
1894 Ben Pitts operates tollhouse each summer. Grows huge potatoes to serve guests. Leaves in 1902 to open hotel in Redlands.
1899 Highland Lumber Co. bought out by Brookings Lumber Co.
1903 Tillitt family settles in Green Valley to run the tollhouse for Bear Valley Wagon Road Co. George and Demaris (May) have three children. For 17 years they run tollhouse, general store, garage, and maintain the road. Send Jefferey Pine seeds to South Africa for British government. They spend winters at house on Del Rosa.
1904 Brookings hauls 27 ton locomotive up mountain by 6 wagons pulled by mules.
1911 County purchases toll road. Brookings rail reaches almost to Green Valley. (Lighteningdale)
1912 Green Valley area clear-cut except for Tillit’s homestead area (now campground)
1913 Brookings sells out and moves to Oregon. Most of the land bought by Marion Shay for cattle grazing.
1915 Trading Post and gas station built next to tollhouse. Tillitt improves Fawnskin road for automobiles for the county.
1923 Deep Creek Cutoff completed (Hwy 18) to Big Bear. Nicknamed “Arctic Circle”. Cuts off Green Valley.
1924 Harry McMullen (Green Valley Mac) buys up property with idea of the dam; he sells the idea and the land to DeWitt-Blair Co. who are financed by Union Bank. Contractors Clinton, Code, & Hill design the dam, the subdivision, and a water system. Mac was a fishing guide that led parties on horseback to the Deep Creek area.
1925 San Bernardino National Forest created. “Inholdings” remain private property.
1926 Dam finished. Lake is 8.5 acres. First lots to sell were the Tillits homestead lots that were saved from the logging in 1912.
Information gathered from [Green Valley Lake Homepage].
Green Valley Lake offers the residents and visitors a general store, lumber store, four real estate offices, post office, two restaurants, and dock facilities for fishing, beach, and boat rentals. The beach area offers nearby basketball, jungle gyms, small skate park area, and a public use BBQ picnic grill.
A small ski resort is located to the south of the community, but is often under-occupied due to much larger resorts of similar nature in Big Bear. It is one of the only communities where the residents are not primarily seasonal, but are rather full time residents. Many of the communities that surround Green Valley Lake tend to cater to vacationers, however, Green Valley Lake provides one rare exception.
The weather is quite variable. In the summer, temperatures regularly attain about 80 degrees Fahrenheit. In the winter, temperatures can drop to nearly 15 degrees Fahrenheit. The lake is usually frozen from December to February. Take note that ice fishing is illegal. Green Valley Lake receives considerable snowfall every year.