Artic Circle Spring, Big Bear Lake, CA

7 people follow this spring.


Between lakeview point and the big bear dam. Water runs from hillside and flows into small stream on north side of highway 18. Located in a small turnout behind a dirt hill. Strong flow great taste beautiful wildflowers.

Nearest Address


Directions from Nearest Address


Vital Information

  • Fee: No Fee
  • Access: Public
  • Flow: Continuous
  • TDS: N/A
  • Temp: N/A
  • pH: N/A

Hours Spring is Open:




Map Link: Artic Circle Spring Map

Submitted by: Land Crab, Nadja


    1. Hey if you type @34.24994, -117.02075 into google maps then it will give you an accurate location for the spring, for this time of the year there will be snow around it, but still accessible, just follow the foot prints in the snow. Good luck finding…

  1. Went to explore around this spring. From the comments on this thread, it appears that there may be another spout than the one pictured next to the drainage culvert. I was able to locate the spout next to the drainage. There was snow on the ground and no flow coming from the iron pipe. While the flow running into the drainage could be snow melt from the mountain, it also could be spring water. Further up the road and up the flow running in to the drainage is a small collecting pool. It has green algae in its shallow sides and has evidence of being spring fed. The snow prevented me from seeing any flow going into the collecting pool, but I suspect there could be.
    Anyone have any more current information about the status of this spring? Feel free to PM me.
    Many thanks!

  2. This spring is still running but has been covered by huge rocks. There is also a confusing threatening sign. HOWEVER I think it is accessible if your willing to, and are strong enough to move some large boulders.

  3. I went there this weekend and the spring is gone. Looks like there was a small avalanche and covered the spring in rocks.

      1. It probably could. Don’t know how far you would have to dig to find the pipe, unsure how much damage was done to the pipe.


          1. Have you been to the spring since? Was wondering how the flow was? Has it been tested recently?

  4. I went to the spring today…found it using google maps.  When you take the 330 to the 18, stay on the 18 which turns into Hilltop.  When you get past the Snow Valley Ski Area, keep looking to the left for a couple of miles.  There is a turnout that has the big metal braces (looks like a big metal fence) and a dirt hill.  The braces actaully keep falling rocks back away from the turnout.  Walk behind the hill and you will hear the water in just a few minutes.  I went there and was very impressed with the water flow.  The water looked beautiful and was nice and cold.  I filled up my canister before filling up a larger container with water.  After drinking the water in my canister, I got home and saw the posts here about the microorganisms.  Now I’m worried.  Should I be doing something to take care of myself now?

  5. Guys, problems. I went and tested this water: everything checks out okay! ~120 ppm, ~8.5 pH, no pesticides, herbicides, harmful metals or chemicals. It’s the cleanest, purest, alkaline water. BUT: The “harmful coliform bacteria” test was a blaring POSITIVE! Meaning, “it is highly likely your water source is contaminated by harmful organisms & bacteria..” Can anyone please do further research / testing on this???? I’m assuming it’s from the wildlife feces somehow washing into the aquifer, as gross as it sounds this may even be PROBIOTIC bacteria that’s good for our colon!!!!! I don’t know, I really want to continue drinking this water so if you guys have any ideas please share!!!!!!! Can someone do their own bacteria test and tell me what you find????

    1. Hi Marc, thanks for your post.  I do not have any testing equipment.  But a relitive and I drank about 5 gals.  I started to have low back kidney area pain to hurt a little.  I have had problems with stones in the past and only assumed it had a high mineral content.  I do not know if it was all in my head.  My relative had no adverse effects.  So we stopped drinking it to be safe or at least untill we know it is safe for sure.  It is odd and you would think that the county would have posted if it was unsafe to drink. 

      1.  Okay, just did ANOTHER bacteria test…. it was on a petri dish.. 0-3 colonies = okay, 5-7 = high, contaminated, 8 – xx = omfg! It had 9…. So, this water is filled with some type of bacteria.. I send it into a professional lab and it takes about 2 weeks for them to shoot results back. I’ll let you guys know!!!!

        1. Thanks a lot Marc! I’ve been considering going to this spring for a while and your information is really helpful. Just wanted to let you know that your work is appreciated. I eagerly await the results.

          1. Thanks!! I got the results back, he said it contains no e. coli or coliform bacteria, but he said it may contain amoebas, Protozoa, cryptosporidium, etc! He’s not sure but he said it DOES NOT contain the specific bacteria the lab tested for, but it Is highly likely it contains microorganisms. This is a bummer because I really really like this spring! Can someone else help me find a lab that does these amoeba tests?????

  6. I was at the spring?? a few weeks ago.  I Noticed that run off was going into the same drain under the highway.   I took 10 gallons home and I could feel my kidneys start to ache a little.  I stopped drinking it after 5 gallons.  I was wondering is this normal.  Seems to be real hi in mineral content but I do not have testing equipment.  Curious if this a real spring???  Can someone in the know please fill me in.  Thanks!        

  7. I was just at this spring today, 1-15-12. AWESOME! I plugged some of the coordinates into my gps from down below (sorry, don’t remember which comment it was. If you have an iphone, you can check out my pics and get the coordinates from them. I’ve included the location encoded into them.), and by the time I reached my gps destination I was about 200 yards off. But we just looked around a bit until we saw something that matched the description, and voila! I brought back some pics. Enjoy. If you’re heading up the mountain, the spring is on your left. There’s an area to turn in so your car will not be exposed to traffic in any way. Spring is a few steps in from the car. Piece of cake! The water is fantastic. SO good, strong flow from the pipe. Wish I had more containers!

  8. Just visited this spring on June 19, 2011, PPM: 96 TEMP: 55F

    Located at “36847-36869 California 18” or type in “34.24994, -117.02075” into Google Maps

    1. Did you get the PH?  Also, is this a real spring???  Noticed that run off was going into the same drain under the highway. 

  9. This spring is awesome, I plugged 34.24994, -117.02075 into my gps device and found the pipe very easily. Not sure if the water is safe, but it tasted fine. I could tell that people use the spring often because of the worn trail of foot prints. Very strong water flow. I’m impressed.

  10. This spring really interests me, after doing some digging I think I have located this spring to be at lat: 34.23912, lon: -117.03066. Anyone who lives in the area may want to plug those coordinates into their gps and let us know if this spring really exists!

    1. After looking closer and really looking at the photo’s a better estimate is 34.24994, -117.02075. I will be checking this site as soon as I can in the next month, hopefully before the area gets too much snow.

  11. Can you give a better locator? There's a lot of space between those two named locations, and, many “dirt hill” turnouts.


  12. I just tried to find this spring today. The link to the google map puts you in the city of Big Bear on a busy street next to businesses & residences. There is nothing on the map called “Lakeview point”. “Behind a dirt hill” is too vague to be useful. None of the locals I talked to had ever seen a spring, and the USFS Ranger told me “the only water here is the lake”. Please provide more details and pictures if possible, to make this spring easier to find.

    1. This spring is no longer available. The have blocked it off. With large boulders. So sorry to say. I will miss this spring.

    2. The reason it’s so difficult to find now, is that this spring has been buried in rocks. If you get to the spot on the side of the road as the directions indicate, you have to really search for the pipe, under a pile of boulders. You can sneak a tiny bottle in between the cracks, but in essence, it is no longer accessible. Extremely disappointing!

  13. The spring has been restored, and is even better than it was before! There is now a copper pipe that comes directly out of the spring head, instead of coming out of the old rusty pipe that is barely trickling now 🙂 Enjoy and keep it priston.

  14. Went looking for the spring today and could not find it. After reading all these posts, just wanted to jump in and say it is definitely closed. We searched forever and were in the right location. Bummer.

  15. I’ve also been surprised by the California Department of Transportation’s blocking of the spring. I’ve been getting my drinking water here for years. I noticed that the flow had decreased drastically when I last filled up there back in March 2015. It took almost 2 minutes to fill a 5 gallon bottle where it took only 12 seconds before. And now it’s blocked completely with a sign warning people of legal consequences should anyone “move or molest” this state property (I guess they mean the boulders.)
    I highly suspect this having to do with someone advertising the sale of the water from this spring openly on the internet. I contacted Caltrans and am waiting for an explanation. If anyone is willing to help get this spring opened and accessible to all again, please contact me. Thanks and have a great day!

  16. There should be an explanation from Big Bear, or I wonder if some person or corporation took it into their own hands to block access to free water…they are more interested in money than people. Watch “Thirst” and “Blue Gold”.

  17. can someone please give the correct directions on how to get here? I would be traveling from Victorville, Ca

    1. This spring has been buried in rocks. If you get to the spot on the side of the road as the directions indicate, you have to really search for the pipe, under a pile of boulders. You can sneak a tiny bottle in between the cracks, but in essence, it is no longer accessible. Extremely disappointing!

  18. I was there about two weeks ago and was able to find it and gathered water for the week. Two weeks later I went up there to refill and sure enough someone closed it off! So angry and devastated! No longer open!

  19. Found the pullout with the GPS co-ordinates easily. I think I found the spring but the flow was weaker than the stream of an old man with a prostate problem. Perhaps due to the drought, not really sure how these springs work. But perhaps I didn’t find the right thing… it was just a trickle coming out of a rock wall. Which direction do you walk “behind the hill”.

  20. Was planning on going to this. I couldn’t find it by typing the number into google maps in the search space. If I boiled this water after collecting it would the microrganisms die?

  21. Does anyone think I should boil the water before drinking it? Is there good bacteria in spring water that we are suppose to have? Sorry for all the questions, I am new at this and am kinda ignorant on this topic. I do appreciate any advice.

  22. I just returned from the spring today 6-15-13. It looks great but I don’t have away to test it. I didn’t read these posts until just now and I brought home 30 gal. What should I do?

  23. Can you give a better locator? There's a lot of space between those two named locations, and, many “dirt hill” turnouts.


How to Collect Spring Water

Drinking pure spring water is one of the most important things we can do for our health. Our bodies are over 99% water at the molecular level, so water affects every aspect of our biology. Yet, not all water is created equal. Almost all the bottled spring water available is pasteurized for shelf stability, which neutralizes many of the powerful health benefits such as increased hydrogen, healthy probiotics, and crystalline structure. For more about why unprocessed spring water is the best water to drink, read this.

The best way to guarantee you are getting real unprocessed spring water is to collect it yourself. This is a short and simple guide filled with information about how to gather spring water. We will cover how to find a spring, how to collect the water, how to honor the spring, how to store the water properly and other tips. is the best resource for locating a spring near you. However, not all springs are on the map. First, check the map to see if there is a spring in your local area. If there is, look at the reviews and comments. Has anyone shared helpful information about flow rate or posted a water test result? Is the spring in a pristine area? Do a bit of research and make sure the spring is safe to drink from. If you have any doubt about the purity, don’t risk it and get a water test, HERE. If you don’t see a spring on the map in your area, there still might be some that aren’t listed yet. First, ask the older generation who have lived in your area a long time if they know. You can also ask people in your community who might already get spring water such as people at a health food store or at a farmers market. Another great option is to view A US forest service map, where many springs have been marked. You can view these maps through the Gaia GPS or All Trails hiking apps on your phone. The map overlay you want is USGS Topo. Not all are easily accessible or ideal for drinking, but some are and it can be a fun adventure to find them. We have found over half a dozen great springs this way.

Once you’ve found your spring, figure out how you are going to gather the water. Is it right on the side of the road and easy to access or do you have to hike to it? We recommend storing spring water in glass instead of plastic to preserve the purity of the water. It is better for the environment, your body, and the water. Even BPA free plastic has toxic chemicals that can leach into water and cause health issues. If you do want to use plastic for safety reasons when filling at the spring, we recommend transferring the water to glass as soon as possible. FindASpring is sponsored by Alive Waters, which offers beautiful reusable glass. They have a 2.5 gallon option, which is a convenient size for carrying that isn’t too heavy. They also sell handles that you can use to transport the jugs even more easily. If you have to hike to access the spring, we recommend putting the water jugs into an extra large backpack to hike the water out with ease. We use Osprey packs that hold 2 jugs each. You can also use a wheelbarrow or even a stroller depending on how easy a walk it is.

Filling 2.5 Gallon Alive Waters Jug

When you get to the spring, remember to first give back before you take. Springs are considered sacred in indigenous cultures around the world for their life giving water and also as a connection to the inner earth. A powerful and simple way to give back is to clean up. Is there any trash that needs to be collected? Could you move any dead leaves or sticks to improve the flow rate? Show up in service. Some other wonderful ways to give is with a moment of expressing verbal gratitude, singing songs to the water, offering the water an ethically sourced crystal, a feather, or some other physical gift. Flowers are a popular and beautiful thing to offer, but please be careful to source organic ones as most flowers from the store are sprayed with pesticides and can be toxic to put near a spring. Also, flowers can attract bugs as they decay, so it can be best to offer them to the flowing water directly or a little downstream from the spring head.

When gathering the water, fill the jug as close to the spring head as possible, never gather downstream. Be very careful as wet glass is extremely slippery. Make sure the lid is securely fastened. When transporting the spring water home, the jugs can sometimes slide around the car. Secure them in place or wrap them with towels or something so they don’t crash into each other.

How you store your spring water is essential. It is not pasteurized like spring water from the store, so it will start growing algae if left in direct sunlight. This is good because it means it’s alive! If the water you drink can’t even support the most basic life forms, how do you think it will support your body? Store your water in a cool, dark place such as a dark corner, pantry or closet. The fridge is ideal if you have room. Some people prefer to filter their water through a Berkey filter before drinking, but if the spring is pure, it’s not necessary. We drink our spring water completely unfiltered.

How long the water stays good for depends on how cold a temperature it’s stored at. Spring water is best fresh. We personally do not prefer to drink spring water past 2 weeks old. However, we know other people that will drink it at a month old. It’s great to get in a rhythm where you know how long the water lasts you and put your collection day on the calendar in advance.

I believe that water is calling us to reconnect with her in the deepest way, to gather our own water. Just like our ancestors did. Our ancestors didn’t have fancy water machines. They also didn’t create villages or settle where there was no water. Water was revered as the center of the community and the nodal point around which life could spiral out and take root.

Here’s to restoring the sacred connection with the waters of life.

Alive Water – Hierophany.

This was the first spring Chris and I harvested from back in around 2012, before we ever even knew what lay ahead for us on our path with the spring waters of the Earth. We would harvest 130 five gallons in the pouring rain and hail, freezing temperatures at 7500 ft above sea level… these memories we made are with me deep in my heart and I’m sure everyone who drank the spring water bak then as well were touched in this way. The Arctic Circle spring is super clean waters and ice cold! We recently went back to harvest from here for the Aniwa event, and was one of the most special things to do with Chris and Jens… we had a really good time those days and the water still coming out ice cold. Hopefully the community in Big Bear can have more access to this spring and can make it real clean and safe for others to harvest from. Give thanks! Deep bow!

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  • Water Test Result uploaded by Profile Photo on August 18th, 2019
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