As "flatlanders" drive up the winding Highway SR-330 in the San Bernardino Mountains north of Riverside the first of several mountain communities they'll encounter is Running Springs. It is considered the gateway to mountain resort living and popular tourist attractions such as Snow Valley, Lake Arrowhead, Arrowbear, Big Bear Lake and Big Bear City.
Do stop and explore this great shopping
district which also features several B&B and
cabin style hotels. Spenser's is an inviting
market with lots of home-made goodness
--cookies, cakes, sandwiches, deli section,
wines, and plenty of great things to stock up on
for your mountain vacation or day trip.
Running Springs is centrally located between Snow Valley Ski Resort and Lake Arrowhead and seventeen miles west of Big Bear Lake. You'll continue to drive upwards if Running Springs isn't your final destination. It is located at around 6,000 feet elevation while Big Bear exceeds 7,000 feet elevation. Many like Running Springs area because it tends to offer slightly warmer climate in the winter but does include easy access to snow skiing, snow boarding, cross country skiing, hiking, fishing, horseback riding, shopping, restaurants and other mountain activities.
Located in the spectacular San Bernardino National Forest this year-round tourist destination offers a great opportunity to purchase supplies. Each year beginning in May you can drop by on Saturdays for great produce sold at the Farmer's Market sponsored by Running Springs Chamber of Commerce. Other special events sponsored by the business organization include the annual Mountain Top Days in August with bands performing, a parade and wonderful chili cook-off contest. See runningspringschamber.com for all the dates and updates.
Running Springs is located in Rim of the World, wholly contained in the San Bernardino National Forest and extending 30 miles from Crestline to Big Bear. Running Springs got its name from the for the natural "running" streams and springs in San Bernardino mountains. The water from many of the mountain springs actually feed into the Pacific Ocean.
Children's Forest entrance is located in the San Bernardino National Forest on Keller Road
exiting Highway 18 near Running Springs. A visitor center and interpretive trails
are under the jurisdiction of Children's Forest Association, one of five programs managed by the San Bernardino National Forest Association
and partnering with the USDA. A 4.5-mile long trail opened for hikers, mountain bikers, equestrian
use in 2005, winding through beautiful and unique backcountry
then climbing right through the middle of the
3,400 acres of Children's Forest. It's
truly a special place to see.
Getting to Keller Peak Fire Lookout & Children's Forest Visitor Information Center: Take Highway 18 through Running Springs. At the stop sign, turn right to stay on Highway 18 going toward Big Bear. The Children's Forest Visitor Information Center is approximately ½ mile past the stop sign on the right, just before Arrowbear. To get to Keller Peak Fire Lookout, go just past the Children's Forest Visitor Information Center and turn right on Keller Peak Road. Follow the road five miles to the Keller Peak Fire Lookout. The facility may be closed during the winter months. See mountainsfoundation.org for operating hours and special programs.