Green Valley Lake, CA

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One of the things I love most about Southern California is being near both the beach and the mountains. You can actually go surfing in the morning, hop in your car, and hit the ski slopes all before tea. There are many little mountain communities, and I’d like to tell you about one of them: Green Valley Lake.

Train Guy and Mouse love hiking year-round

At 7,000 feet, Green Valley Lake is the highest community in the San Bernadino Mountains. Never heard of it? Neither had I until I met Train Guy and learned that his grandparents own a cabin there. Green Valley Lake is roughly in between Big Bear and Lake Arrowhead and is tucked away into a small, private, not-crowded area. There’s a nine-acre manmade lake for fishing, boating and swimming, a small general store, a couple of little shops and real estate agencies, and the Malt Shoppe restaurant.

Green Valley Lake is what you think of when you think of “mountain getaway.” The area is clear and peaceful, residents are friendly, and there’s no traffic or commercialism to spoil your stay. It’s within easy driving distance of the more touristy Lake Arrowhead and Big Bear, but if you’re looking for a nice place to relax and forget about the city, Green Valley Lake is the perfect destination.

Because it’s so high on the mountain, if there’s snow to be had, there’s snow in Green Valley Lake. I absolutely love snow now that I don’t have to live in it. There’s nothing more fun on a cold winter day than sledding and having a snowball fight and then curling up with some fresh hot cocoa in front of the roaring fireplace. I love to check the Green Valley Lake webcams before we come up to see what the snow level looks like. You can cross-country ski right there in GVL, but if downhill skiing or snowboarding is your thing, it’s also super-close to Snow Valley and the other mountain ski resorts.

Sledding on the BIG hill

We’re so lucky to have a cabin available for us, but GVL is the perfect place to rent a cabin with family or friends and just have a weekend away. It’s a particular treat for the Southern California kids who don’t normally get to play in the snow. At less than 2 hours away from LA and Orange County, it’s difficult to believe that such a nice little community exists right under our very noses.

Tonight we ate dinner at the Malt Shoppe (yep, we’re up here right now!) and what a cute little place that is. More than just malts and burgers, the Malt Shoppe features full meal menus. For dinner, I had a delicious filet mignon with veggies, fries, and shrimp bisque (which Mouse loved). It was a very pleasant surprise to have this nice place to eat right here at the top of the mountain.

Green Valley Lake is the perfect place to get away from it all, relax, and unwind.

The Scrivener