Cedar Lake

Cedar Lake has spacious grounds, a large lake, and an extensive trail system. The high and low challange courses here offer a multitude of challanges. Students might spend the day hiking hiking to Castle Rock to do some rock climbing while exploring the flora and fauna of the beautiful forest along the way.

Cedar Lake
Located a mile from Big Bear Lake, in a mixed conifer forest at 7,200 feet, Cedar Lake has spacious grounds, a large lake and an extensive trail system.

The adjacent San Bernardino National Forest provides miles of wilderness vistas. There are many opportunities for exploring several different environments, such as meadows, rocky slopes, and fresh water streams. In the early fall or late spring, daytime temperatures range from the mid-60s to low 70s. The nighttime temperatures range from the mid-40s down to the low 30s.


Cedar Lake has several housing options. Herriman Lodge will house approximately one hundred and fourteen students and teachers during a program. Students and teachers stay in semi-private rooms, accommodating four to six per room. Each heated room has its own bathroom. Rhone Lodge can sleep 50 in two large dormitories and central baths. Participants need to provide sleeping bags, pillows or bedding. Meals are in the cafeteria, with the exception of lunch, which is eaten on the trail.


Hiking, initiative games, group challenges, high and low challenge/ropes courses, art, astronomy, earth science, life science, and age appropriate environmental science activities. There is a lake (with canoes and a swimming area) on site and extensive hiking opportunities. Group and individual challenges, cooperative challenges, increased identification with the natural environments (i.e. San Bernardino Mountains), and basic natural history of the area are also offered. Introduction to environmental science concepts, minimum impact wilderness travel, and a shared common experience are included.

Educational Overview

Members of the class are organized into groups of twelve-fourteen students. Naturalists at Large instructors will work with their groups to teach basic outdoor skills, supervise meal preparation, conduct outdoor education hikes (primarily a mix of “walk and talks” and hands-on activities) on the Cedar Lake. Students will be placed in situations that en-courage them to work together (e.g. cooking, setting up camp, camp chores, etc.). In addition, they will be encouraged to solve problems posed by the NAL instructors, comprised of both intellectual and well thought-out and well executed physical problems (initiative games).

Studies Include:
  • Freshwater biology
  • Plant communities – botany, ecology, plant identification
  • Adaptations of plants and animals
  • Geology – landforms
  • The stars -constellations, & mythology
  • Environmental resource management
  • Water resources – pollution, sewage treatment, water sources