Green Valley Lake
The “Hidden Gem” of the San Bernardino Mountains, Green Valley Lake is a higher resort community than either Lake Arrowhead or Big Bear. This “best kept secret on the mountain” is a unique fishing spot secluded and surrounded by National Forest. It offers some of the best fishing in Southern California. For all these reasons it has remained small, picturesque, and uncrowded.
Green Valley has such an interesting history with a toll road, the building of a dam, and winter sports all in the peaceful little valley. The Bear Valley Wagon Road Company ran their toll road through the valley in 1892, for their toll station. A large one 11-room toll house was constructed for lodging and a hot meal at this overnight stop for stages heading on to Big Bear. Soon after the Brookings Lumber Company finished harvesting the timber in the area, the valley needed a reason for tourists to visit. So, in 1926 it was decided to dam a stream that ran through the valley and that created the lake, which collects run-off water from the surrounding hills.
Green Valley Lake is located between the mountain communities of Lake Arrowhead and Big Bear, California along CA-18. Secluded in the San Bernardino Mountains, it attracts visitors seeking clean air, blue skies, crystal-clear water, and the serenity and calm beauty of a quiet forested community. Not only fishing, but the lake offers swimming, plus other summer activities like bird-watching, hiking, mountain biking, photographing wildflowers, and winter fun like sledding, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and playing in the snow. For those visiting Green Valley Lake strictly to fish, here is some important information:
Address: 33512 San Antonio Drive, Green Valley, CA 92341 (San Bernardino County)
Phone: (909) 867-2009
Location: Green Valley Lake is 14.5 miles east of Lake Arrowhead and18.2 miles west of Big Bear via CA-18. From the 210-Fwy in Highland, California take CA-330 north up the mountain 14 miles to CA-18 east for approximately 6 miles and turn left onto Green Valley Lake Road.
Lake Elevation: 7,200 ft.
Lake Size: 9 acres
Lake Depth: 50 ft.
Lake Temperatures: The average temperature from spring to winter ranges from 59°F to 69 °F and the lake is usually frozen from December to February.
Green Valley Weather Averages:
The weather is quite variable. In the summer, temperatures regularly attain about 80°F. In the winter, temperatures can drop to nearly 15 °F. Green Valley Lake receives considerable snowfall every year.
Fish Stocking: Fish are regularly stocked from May through September. The lake is stocked by the Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) and private hatcheries from the Eastern Sierra area. While trout are the main catch, you will also find Bass (catch & release), Catfish and Crappie. The lake record rainbow trout is 13 pounds, 3 ounces.
Fishing Fees/License: Anglers can fish from the east shore from 5:30 am to 8 pm from early spring to late fall. Any fisherman who is 16 years of age or older must have a state license and pay the Green Valley Lake fishing fees; $15.00 for adults, an extra $1 for another pole (two is max) and $8 for children 4-15 years old. You can purchase a 2021 fishing license directly through the CDFW website or from authorized license agents such as The Lake Inn General Store across the street from the lake. The 2021 annual resident fishing license is $52.66, while a one-day state license costs $17.02. The lake limit for trout is five fish per day per person. Each person fishing must have their own stringer, with no more than five trout attached. There is a fish cleaning station near the Boat House. No fishing is allowed in the designated swimming area and no swimming allowed in the fishing area. The day-to-day operations of the lake are subject to change without notice.
Boating: No motorized boats of any type, hip waders, float tubes or inflatable craft are allowed on the lake. You can rent Rowboats, Pedal Boats, Kayaks, and Duck & Swan Pedal Boats at the Green Valley Lake Boathouse.
Bait & Tackle: In addition to the Green Valley Lake Boathouse, you can purchase bait and fishing tackle at the town’s center, a restaurant & General Store called The Lake Inn which is directly across from the lake at 33241 Green Valley Rd., or call (909) 867-2299. For current general information call (760) 574-0733 or go to GVL Tackle’s website gvltackle.com.
Green Valley Lake Facilities & Recreation: Green Valley Lake is a small lake with big recreational activities in the San Bernardino National Forest. Not only is there great fishing, but a beach for swimming, plus other summer activities like bird-watching, hiking and mountain biking trails, photographing wildflowers, and winter fun like sledding, snowshoeing and playing in the snow. Also, those visiting Green Valley Lake will find the following:
- Beach Volleyball & Badminton Court
- Basketball Court
- Tennis Court
- Picnic Tables
- Hiking Trails
- Mountain Biking Trails
- Bait Shop
- Rowboat Rental (seasonal)
- Kayak Rental (seasonal)
- Pedal Boat Rental (seasonal)
- Duck & Swan Pedal Boat (seasonal)
- Public Phone