Educational facility in Big Bear Lake, California, offering interactive exhibits and programs focused on environmental conservation and outdoor recreation in the surrounding area.

Your Gateway to Information and Discovery

Due to the extreme weather events, please contact The Discovery Center before your visit to ensure that we are open.

Opened in 1998, the Big Bear Discovery Center is the largest visitor center in the Big Bear Valley.  Stop by and be one of the more than 190,000 yearly visitors to experience weekly programs and eco-tours. Enjoy special events like outdoor concerts, theater productions, and nighttime interpretive programs in the Big Bear Discovery Center Amphitheater.

Our goal is to ensure your visit here is enjoyable and heightens your awareness to become a more knowledgeable and responsible caretaker of the San Bernardino National Forest.

We are located at:

40971 North Shore Drive/Hwy 38, Fawnskin, CA 92333

Call us for the latest information about the Center:

Phone: (909) 382-2790

The Center’s normal business hours: 

Thurs-Mon, from 9 am – 4 pm

Bookmark our events page to keep up on the latest events and happenings. We host storytelling and crafts for children as well as educational hikes and snowshoeing. And NEW this year, you can get your Smokey The Bear merchandise from our onsite store.

We look forward to seeing you soon (even if it is to pick up your Adventure Pass) because there is always a map and a story we can share about the beautiful San Bernardino Mountains!

flying object tethered to the ground by a string or cord
cover topics such as eagle behavior, habitats, conservation efforts
Smokey Bear Is A Beloved Symbol Of Wildfire Prevention In The United States, Represented By A Character Of A Bear Wearing A Ranger Hat And Holding A Shovel

Donate Now to Support the Big Bear Discovery Center

Your donation will help protect Public Lands for everyone, now and for the future.

Each year our programs have a positive impact on Public Lands

What We Have Done:


Yearly visitors enjoying exhibits, weekly programs,
and special events


Volunteer hours providing education, hands-on learning and information


Interpretive programs provided at the Big Bear Discovery Center and special events

What’s Happening at the Discovery Center

comfort, durability, and freedom as you explore the great outdoors, sheltered by innovation and quality craftsmanship

Forest Information

The Big Bear Valley offers a wide range of outdoor activities for both beginner and experienced enthusiasts. Visit Big Bear to experience the natural beauty of pristine alpine lake surrounded by pine forest and clear blue skies. Outdoor activities include fishing, boating, hiking, mountain biking, skiing, birding and so much more to inspire your passion for the outdoors.

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waters and reel in unforgettable catches while immersing yourself in the breathtaking beauty of untouched landscapes

Environmental Education

Learning in an outdoor classroom is an adventure! The Southern California Mountains Foundation is committed to providing quality environmental education programs with trained volunteer naturalists. We believe a solid foundation in forest ecological principles and environmental stewardship helps students appreciate the natural world.

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imagination, foster creativity, and nurture endless fun as they engage with our meticulously curated toys

Nature Discovery Zone

Where outdoor adventure encourages creativity, play, and exploration. Designed for children young children to explore and connect to the natural environment. The Nature Discovery Zone is open to the public five days a week, Thursday – Monday and is the first Nature Explore Outdoor Classroom in the National Forest system. Open to children ages 2 to 7.

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Donate Now to Support the Big Bear Discovery Center

Your donation will help protect Public Lands for everyone, now and for the future.

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