All About Cedar Lake

Big Bear is famous for its namesake lake, Big Bear Lake, but that’s not the only lake in town. The entire area is filled with lakes that, while not as famous, provide a good time on a summer day, and Cedar Lake is one such lake. A man-made body of water located just a few miles away from Big Bear Village, it was created by the construction of a dam in 1928, just a short time before the stock market crash and the beginning of the Great Depression. For a while, it served no other purpose than to just look pretty, as plans for the resort that was to be built around it crashed with the market.


A Film Star is Born


In 1935, as the country started to work its way out of the Depression, Hollywood came knocking on the doors of the Bartlett family, the ones who had hoped to create a resort around Cedar Lake, and they eagerly opened their doors to a filmmaking future. Cedar Lake became the backdrop to many Westerns that were popular escape films for the time. Henry Fonda’s Trail of the Lonesome Pine was the first movie to be filmed here, and hundreds more would follow suit over the years.


Cedar Lake was America’s newest film star, but it wasn’t a flash in the pan. In the decades that followed, many of our biggest human stars filmed movies, television shows, and even commercials in this tranquil spot. Even today, if you look closely, you can see the lake making an appearance in commercials, making it a fun spot to add to your vacation attractions bucket list. The original sawmill built for that first movie still stands, and you can take your picture in the spot Elvis Presley sang to his costar in the movie “Kissing Cousins!”




That resort the Bartlett family dreamed of never did get built, but Cedar Lake still provides a fun spot for playing on a warm summer day. Canoe across its tranquil waters, picnic on the banks, or swim in the chilly waters when California temperatures are at their highest; there’s always something to do in or around Cedar Lake!


As the Day Draws to an End


It’s time to head back to your Big Bear Vacations escape—but a stop at Wyatt’s Grill and Saloon wouldn’t hurt either! Enjoy nachos, beer, and a live performance from some of the talented bands that make their home in this region before calling it a night and skedaddling back to your cabin. Reserve yours today!