A family hikes along a trail through the mountains at Big Bear

Being An Eco-Ally in Big Bear Lake

Posted: 03/15/21

Becoming a Positive Force for Sustainable Tourism

How does ecotourism contribute to a cleaner, greener world? Whether you're in your home town or traveling abroad, your presence makes a difference. The real question is, is it a positive or negative difference?

Ecotourism is responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people. Ecotourism has a positive impact on both natural areas and the local community. The International Ecotourism Society

Big Bear Lake ecotourism opportunities not only connect you with nature but also bring awareness about the impact humans have on the natural environment. So how can you become an eco-ally on your next visit to Big Bear?

Principles of Ecotourism

  • Minimize impact - Stay on designated trails and do not leave trash along routes. Take initiative and pick up any trash you find along your route.
  • Build environmental and cultural awareness and respect - Give wildlife their space. Do not collect or remove plants, animals, rocks, logs, etc.
  • Provide positive experiences for both visitors and hosts - Be courteous to others you encounter. Keep dogs on a leash at all times.
  • Provide direct financial benefits for conservation - Read further for donation opportunities.
  • Provide financial benefits and empowerment for local people - Buy and support local 'Mom & Pop' shops.
  • Raise sensitivity to host area’s political, environmental, and social climate - Our world is composed of unique people from all walks of life.
How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. Anne Frank

Ecotourism Activities & Opportunities

Self Guided Tours - Head to the Visitor Center for trail maps and brochures and start getting to know Big Bear! Top Trails like the Woodland Interpretive Trial and the Champion Lodgepole Pine Trail both have corresponding brochures about the natural environment and history of the Valley.

The Alpine Pedal Path includes signage along the fully paved route offering information on Big Bear's geographical history, wildlife, and more.

Conservation areas like the Baldwin Lake Ecological Reserve and the The Stanfield Marsh Wildlife & Waterfowl Preserve also offer educational opportunities on Big Bear's diverse ecosystems and what it takes to sustain them.

The Gold Fever Trail through the Holcomb Valley area highlights the rich gold mining history of Big Bear.

Outdoor Activities - Fall in love with the beauty of Big Bear Lake while you hike, bike, kayak, off-road, and so much more! Review Things To Do and support our local outdoor recreation businesses.

Big Bear Alpine Zoo - Our Zoo is an amazing ambassador for wildlife conservation in our valley. As a rehabilitation center for sick and injured wildlife, the Zoo returns a majority of their animal patients to their natural environments. The animals that cannot be released remain at the facility as Big Bear's VIP residents. Successful wildlife conservation is a community wide effort. The Zoo reminds everyone to:

  • NEVER feed wildlife as a fear of humans is a healthy response of wild animals.
  • Don't be too quick to 'rescue' an orphaned animal. Often the mother is out foraging for food. Hand raising any wild animal deprives it of learning important behaviors and cues from it's mother and siblings.

Donate! - Discover ways to support ongoing conservation efforts throughout the Valley!

Big Bear Valley Ecotourism Coalition

The Big Bear Valley Ecotourism Coalition is a project made of organizations, agencies, and local citizens which have come together to support, encourage and promote ecotourism in the Valley. The Coalition assembles information on local habitats, ecotourism activities, tours, events, recreation, and sustainably-run local businesses.