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Green Valley Lake Snowcation without Crowds

Green Valley Lake is a picturesque small town half way between Lake Arrowhead and Big Bear, often called a hidden gem as the area is relatively unknown around Southern California. With only around 300 full time residents this is THE PLACE TO BE if you want to visit snow and avoid crowds. While Big Bear and Lake Arrowhead can see large crowds who flock to local ski resorts, Green Valley Lake remains a quiet, peaceful forested environment to enjoy winter.

The lake is lovely covered with ice and surrounded by pristine snow, circled by towering pine trees. The snowy lake shore is a stunning contrast to the green of the circling pines. I snapped this photo at dusk on our way back down the hill, after finishing our own couple day Snowcation to Green Valley Lake.

At the end of Green Valley Lake Rd lies the forest around the campgrounds. This is an ideal spot for snow play.

Natural sledding hills of varying heights make it a perfect place for adults and kiddos to sled. Additionally this atmosphere offers a myriad of winter instagram worthy opportunities!

My kids enjoyed building a snowman. Our daughter named her snowman Olaf, and with winter magic in the air she imagined Olaf would come to life and walk into the forest.

Snow angels are also fun, and if you have never made a snow angel, this winter is a terrific time to go ahead and try it! My daughter was delighted to try her first attempt of the year making a snow angel, and she was quite pleased with the result.

Just a short 7 mile distance from Green Valley Lake are Snow Valley Resort for skiing & snowboarding, Snowdrift Tubing Park (which only accepts cash), and Rim Nordic for cross country skiing. Rim Nordic is only open in times of very heavy snow, while Snow Valley and Snowdrift Tubing Park are open throughout the season. Be sure to check operating hours on their websites before heading over.

And if you'd like to enjoy winter at Green Valley Lake, visit for well equipped, comfortable, and beautifully decorated cabins. Each cabin also includes use of saucer sleds you can use to go sledding. With close to 150 five star reviews, the highest rating, you too can GVL Like a Local in a mountain cabin.

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