California built its culture and reputation on, among other things, the California Gold Rush, which brought swarms of people from all over the world hoping to make it big in the United States. Visiting Holcomb Valley just five miles north of Big Bear allows visitors to dive into the very essence of California’s history and pioneer spirit. Learn more below!
A Fascinating Place with a Deep History
Home to genuine abandoned gold mines, Holcomb Valley Big Bear is a must-see destination to add to your Big Bear vacation itinerary.
Holcomb Valley’s story began with a hunting expedition that took place in the winter of 1860. When Bill Holcomb was tracking a wounded grizzly bear through what was to become Holcomb Valley, he found streaks of quartz that led him to discover vast repositories of gold. Following Holcomb’s success, towns were established all over Holcomb Valley as gold rushers sought prosperity in Southern California.
Holcomb Valley wasn’t forgiving to the miners, however. During the winters, the snowfall reached as high as sixteen feet in some locations, and water was rarer than gold in the valley. By the end of the gold rush in 1862, Holcomb Valley was mostly abandoned. A second gold rush just ten years later brought miners back once again, but it didn’t last.
While we’re far removed from the days of the gold rush, Holcomb Valley serves as a living monument to this dynamic and challenging era through its abundance of ruins and abandoned mines. You can hike, bike, or go off-roading in the trails that populate Holcomb Valley, as well as visit chilling sites like a cemetery dating back to the second gold rush and a beautiful yet haunting tree that was used to hang criminals. Explore the rocky rubble and ruins of mines from centuries ago on a self-guided tour of Holcomb Valley.
For the best self-guided tour, begin by stopping by the Big Bear Discovery Center along Big Bear Lake and picking up a map of Holcomb Valley that points out places of interest in the area. Then, you can set off on an unforgettable excursion into the heart of gold rush territory, all within a short distance from Big Bear!
Big Bear Vacations – Where All Great Stories Begin
Contact our office for further specifics on Holcomb Valley California and other stunning attractions you can see in Big Bear when you reserve your lodgings with us today!