The Baldwin Lake area is located at the extreme east end of the Big Bear Lake Valley, east of Big Bear City. Historic Baldwin Lake, for which the area takes its name, is a natural shallow “lake” bed, which is normally dry. Some years, after a heavy winter or summer rains, the lake will hold water, and its level of fullness is judged by old-timers as “how far up the rock” the water is – referring to a large boulder in the lake at the north end. The lake was named for local mining legend Elias Jackson “Lucky” Baldwin, who mined the Holcomb Valley area in the 1800’s, and a skeleton of one of his mining sites still overlooks the lake named for him.
The area is popular for its “rural” feel, as well as being host to acreage parcels suitable for equestrian and ranch-style living. Homes in the Baldwin Lake area range from very affordable small cabins and manufactured homes, to large half-million dollar custom homes on the ranch properties.
Baldwin Lake is bordered on two sides by State Highway 18 leading to Lucerne Valley and the Victorville/Apple Valley/Barstow areas. Because of its proximity to the high desert, the landscape is somewhat different from other areas in the Valley, with vegetation including pinion, juniper and sage. Due to the location and winter weather patterns, the area also typically receives less snowfall than those areas at the west of the Valley.
Except for the main road around the lake, the roads are un-paved, which is just the way the residents want it, to maintain the rural feel and preserve the ability to ride horses virtually anywhere within the community. Baldwin Lake’s newly-built Fire Station 97 was recently annexed by Cal Fire, and provides fully-staffed, full-time fire and paramedic services to the area.
If you’re looking for a Big Bear area with a true “old-fashioned small town feel,” or you embrace the dream of the ranch or equestrian lifestyle, Baldwin Lake may just be for you!