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Area: 110 miles Acres
Lat: 34.316383 N 117.501044 W
Lon: 
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Gas-Big Bear Lake, Lake Arrowhead,Food-Big Bear Lake, Lake Arrowhead,Lodging-Big Bear Lake, Lake Arrowhead,
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Every Kid in a Park. Initiative that gives every U.S. 4th grader and his or her family free access to 2000+ federally managed lands and waters. Educators can also participate.
Rim of the World Scenic Byway  - Site # 177
This full-day tour begins and ends in the Los Angeles Basin and spans habitats ranging from desert and coastal valley to high-elevation forests and several lakes.

This 110-mile route traverses the rim of the San Bernardino Mountains from Cajon Pass to San Gorgonio Pass. The Rim of the World Scenic Byway travels through some of the most naturally beautiful areas in Southern California. Spectacular vistas and panoramas exist everywhere along the route. This Byway encompasses portions of California Highways 138, 18, and 38. The portion of the route between Mill Creek and Onyx Summit offer unique views of the Sand to Snow National Monument. Call the Big Bear Discovery Center (909) 382-2790 (closed Tues/Wed) for more information.
RegionalRegional - worth visiting if you are already in the area. They may be located farther from populated areas or with more limited wildlife species.

Onyx Summit: 600x450 Thurman Flats Picnic Area: 536x515

Background: Begin on Highway 138 two miles west of Interstate 15 at Mormon Rocks Station, where desert chaparral hides coastal horned lizards, California thrashers, and western kingbirds. Rugged cliffs here are favored by white-throated swifts and birds of prey. Follow Highway 138 east, over Interstate 15, and weave through Crowder Canyon, watching for golden eagles, red-tailed hawks, and coyotes.

Stop at Silverwood Lake (Site 168), then climb through dense conifers that are home to gray squirrels, mule deer, wild turkeys, mountain quail, and acorn woodpeckers. At Highway 18, follow the byway east, using pullout to spot golden eagles, red-shouldered hawks, and sharp-shinned hawks soaring on thermal updrafts. Stop at Heap's Peak Arboretum, where a nature trail provides glimpses of coyotes, gray foxes, dark-eyed juncos, many songbirds, and spring wildflowers.

Continue east, through Running Springs to Big Bear Lake, watching near the raod for gray squirrels, coyotes and mule deer. Follow Highway 38 to the lake's north side visitor center. The lake hosts abundant wintering waterfowl including grebes, great blue heron, and American white pelicans. Winter bald eagle tours and spring plant walks are a "must"! Sparrows are plentiful.

Watch for feral burros on the ascent to Onyx Summit; heavy conifers hide northern flickers, white-headed woodpeckers, Townsend's solitaires and other forest birds. Descend the mountain through the Santa Ana River watershed, watching for mule deer and black bears. Finish up at Thurman Flats, southern California's largest alder grove and birding hot spot. Enjoy scores of riparian species, from western toads and Pacific tree frogs to American dippers, orioles and goldfinches.

Continue west to the junction of Interstate 10.

Viewing Tips: Songbirds, birds of prey, deer, small mammals and predators are seen year-round. Songbirds are abundant from spring through fall. Distant views affected by summer smog.

Site Notes: Big Bear Discovery Center and Station
909-866-3233


Nearby Viewing Sites: Jarvi Memorial Vista
Chilao Visitor Center
Silverwood Lake State Recreation Area

Visitor Information: Big Bear Visitor Center - (909) 866-7000 - https://www.bigbear.com
Viewing Site Hours of Operation are:
Staff On-site: No
Open: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday
Hours: 24 hours a day
Year Round: Yes

Road Information:   Paved. 
Road Hazards: Road winding! Steep! Use pullouts!
 Number of Parking Spaces: 0
Parking Fee: No
Proximity to viewing area:
 Pull-Through Parking: No
Parking Notes: This is a driving tour. There are various turnouts and parking areas along the way.

Special Tips: Thurman Flats - This picnic area is on Highway 38, about 3.5 miles northeast of the Mill Creek Ranger Station. This is one of the best bird watching areas on the Forest, with over 200 species seen here. Look in the incense cedars at the picnic area and in the alders growing along the creek: yellow warblers, and Lawrence’s goldfinch, scrub jays, hooded orioles, and northern orioles. Many of the birds are using the trees as a resting place while migrating to and from Central and South America.

There is a large pavillion to provide shade over several picnic tables at Thurman Flats. BBQ grills are also provided. Please call the Mill Creek Ranger Station for current fire restriction information (909) 382-2882.
www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/sbnf/recarea/?recid=26595

How to Get There: https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/sbnf/recarea/?recid=74122

 

Contact Information
Managing Agency: USDA Forest Service
Agency Site URL: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/sbnf/about-forest/contactus/?cid=fsbdev7_007796
Physical Address:602 S. Tippecanoe Avenue
San Bernardino, CA 92408
Agency 2:40971 North Shore Drive, Highway 38
Fawnskin, CA 92333
Manager Phone:
Site Phone:(909) 382-2790
County: San Bernardino
Addition Website:  https://scenicbyways.info/byway/2595.html