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Spacious Retreat on large property next to the National Forest

42 Reviews
Bedrooms 5
Half Baths1
Property type house
Minimum Stay 2 nights

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Half Baths
Minimum Stay
2 nights


Running Springs House Rental Photos and Description

6 bedrooms 6 baths

Our 3,300 square foot residence was built to accommodate 25 people so that we could offer a comfortable place in nature for large groups to enjoy. Read some of the reviews of our satisfied guests.

Safe Haven Forest Retreat is a unique 2 acre property that sits at the end of Wilderness Road at an altitude of 6,200 ft. It is the last private property on the road with three sides connected to the National Forest. You'll enjoy the broad mountain views and surrounding forest in this tranquil retreat. The wilderness is your back yard to enjoy. And yet, it is less than 1 mile to the town of Running Springs, 8 miles to Lake Arrowhead, and 18 miles to Big Bear Lake. You are literally in the middle of the mountains yet have all the amenities of the easy to reach resort towns. You can explore the National Forest and the mountain communities at your leisure. Or, you can just stay put and enjoy the spacious cabin and activity centers around the property, such as the boating pond, the rock creek and sandy beach, archery & air rifle range, Volleyball court, the climbing wall, the outdoor chess board, the mini zip line with low suspension bridge, the toboggan run and the many paths around the property and into the forest.

Notice to people who want to party: Our property was developed as a forest retreat where people could find a SAFE HAVEN to pursue their enjoyment, personal / spiritual growth, connectedness with nature and each other in a positive and uplifting way. With this in mind, we don’t want to have wild, drunken, disorderly, abusive, and destructive behavior on the property. If you are looking for a place to have a wild drunken party, don't choose us.

More Details
  • Events Allowed
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only
  • pets considered
  • suitable for elderly or infirm
  • wheelchair accessible

Robert Phelps
Member since: 2011
Speaks: english, spanish
Response time:
Within 12 hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
October 21, 2016
Call Owner

About Robert Phelps

As retired teachers we wanted to develop a place in the mountains where children could come to learn about nature. Our dream evolved from the idea of starting a youth camp to a more inclusive one where people of all ages could find a Forest Retreat that would be a SAFE HAVEN to convene with nature.

We built the house to create a spacious and comfortable environment where our family and friends, and short term renters would find a SAFE HAVEN to pursue their enjoyment and connectedness with nature and each other in a positive and uplifting way. With this in mind, we don’t want to have wild, drunken, disorderly, abusive, and destructive behavior on the property. If you are looking for a place to have a wild drunken party to go nuts in nature, please look for another place.

Robert Phelps purchased this house in 2007

Why Robert Phelps chose Inland Empire

After a three year search for the appropriate property, we chose this place for it's unique location; having the National Forest as our back yard and being an easy drive to all the other mountain areas. It is in the middle of the mountains yet has easy access to all the mountain resort communities and activities. From our home in Orange County it takes us 90 minutes to get to the property. Once here, we feel we are in another world where we can breath deep, relax and enjoy the beauty that surrounds us.

What makes this house unique

We have a comfortable house with many activity centers around it like a mini resort that people of all ages will enjoy. Walk out the back door and you have wilderness. Walk out the front door and you have civilization. Walk around the property and you have the best of both worlds.

The size of the property (2 acres) and it's geographic features offer the space to create a number of activity areas. There is a boating pond with a sandy beach and rock creek with bridges across it. The tipi gathering area allows for small group activities overlooking the pond. There is also a climbing wall, Volleyball court, archery & air rifle range, large in ground chess board, and horseshoe pitch. And the picnic area behind the cabin allows for a large group gathering with fireplace, and B-B-Q units. There is also a small zip line over a suspension bridge 1 foot off the ground for kids. And, a 200 foot long zip line for those who take part in our Outdoor Adventure Program. Check the Amenities section under suitability for children.


based on 42 traveler reviews

Spacious Retreat on large property next to the National Forest
average rating of 4.785714 based on 42 reviews

Great place to stay

  • 5 of 5

Our family loved staying here. There is so much to do on the property and the owner supplies everything you might need. We can't wait to go back!!!

  • Submitted: Sep 21, 2016
  • Stayed: Sep 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
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So much fun for everyone kids and adults

  • 5 of 5

We were very impressed by how much was provided for our use. Paper towel, kleenex etc. Our grandkids had a wonderful time. There is so much to do on the property. We look forward to booking again.

  • Submitted: Sep 18, 2016
  • Stayed: Sep 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: We're happy to hear that everyone enjoyed their stay. And, we're happy to welcome you back for a future stay. Robert
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Great get away for big group...

  • 5 of 5

We stayed at this spacious safe heaven retreat center over Labor day weekend.

We are group of 17 people, and this property had enough room, beds for everyone. We really enjoyed outside activities( boating, rock climbing and fire pit....and more)

Also kids really love the game room down stsirs. This was our second time coming back to this place, and We'll definitely come back again next year.

  • Submitted: Sep 9, 2016
  • Stayed: Sep 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: We are happy to have this group return as one of many who have returned over the years. We look forward to their return next year.
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Perfect Place for large groups!

  • 5 of 5

We are a family of 25 (19 adults and 6 children- ages 8 months-74) and the property was perfect. The house was clean and big enough for the whole family to eat together and sleep comfortably. In addition there was no waiting to use the bathrooms since the house has 5 of them. The house was fully stocked with toilet paper, hand soap and all sorts of pots and pans for cooking. As for the privacy and beauty of the property, the views are gorgeous which made for a lot of family pictures/videos and the peaceful outdoor areas were very relaxing. We enjoyed lounging on the property, exploring the nearby woods, bbq'ing, making s'mores out back, the sports area, rock climbing, ping pong table and movie room. We truly had a wonderful weekend at the Safe Haven Forest Retreat!

  • Submitted: Sep 4, 2016
  • Stayed: Aug 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: We are always happy to hear how much our guests enjoyed the place and made the most of the activity areas we have provided. Robert
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A pretty good experience

  • 4 of 5

The property is pretty awesome, with a small rock wall, horseshoe toss, pond, and all the other stuff mentioned in the description (we even made a relay race with everything). We brought our high school youth group, and they had a great time.

There are some minor issues that I think the owner can fix to make this an even better stay. The main thing: sleeping accommodations. We had two students sleep on the floor because the top bunk beds were uncomfortable and kept swaying. One of the futons on the 1st floor doesn't open. The 1st floor beds/couches are all together, so the same place some our guys slept was also the place where we had our group meetings. This meant everything had to be cleaned up each morning. It would be a lot easier if the 2nd floor rooms only had bunk beds (ones that don't creak or sway).

The other issue was that we were told a trail is behind the cabin, and that there was trail information by the front door, but all it turned out to be was a mostly empty box by the door with a few pamphlets, none of which gave us information about a trail behind the cabin. We went down the one we thought was it, but it ended, and didn't really go anywhere.

Also, all of the cupboards/drawers were mislabeled. They had the things we needed, it just took longer to find things.

Overall, a good place to stay, and we would come back.

  • Submitted: Aug 25, 2016
  • Stayed: Aug 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: I'm happy to hear that over all their experience was good and they would like to come back. As for the complaints, lets start at the end. The cabinets are not mislabeled. The problem sometimes is that the previous guests don't put things back where they should be according to the labels on the cabinets. As for forest trails, There are forest trails that go down both sides of the cabin and a short one that goes straight out to a vista point with benches. The cabin is located against the national forest on a ridge. Trails that lead into the forest all go down the mountain and require hiking to explore. We cannot cut trails into the National Forest. We don't provide information about the trails into the forest. The trails become evident as you follow the topography. The trail along the seasonal creek below the archery range is the most obvious and is wide enough to drive my ATV. As for sleeping arrangements, every group of mixed genders arranges their group differently. There are sleeping places of beds & futons to accommodate 25 people. Not all couches are meant to fold out into beds. We are limited to how the beds in the bedrooms can be arranged. We have many different groups and families staying. And, we cannot adjust the sleeping arrangements for each group's ideal layout. We expect the groups to adjust to what is available. Thanks for your feedback. Robert
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Enough space for entire family

  • 3 of 5

Property is comfortable for a large party. Although Big Bear temperature drops at night, inside temperature is warm and humid even with windows open and ceiling fans operating. The property is somewhat clean, however, furniture is old and outdated. Window screens are dusty/dirty.

There is plenty to do for kids ( a plus) although we did not use the pool because it was dirty. If you enjoy nature, surrounding is great and peaceful.

Owner was apologetic and accessible. Overall, my family enjoyed our stay.

  • Submitted: Aug 19, 2016
  • Stayed: Aug 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Nearest Restaurant
1 Miles
Running Springs
Nearest Beach
30 Metres
We have a boating pond, sandy beach and creek.
Car: necessary

We offer a 3-6 hour outdoor adventure program which includes the rock climbing wall, rappelling, zip lining, archery and air rifle shooting at the range. And, in the winter there can be snowshoeing, tobogganing, and snowboarding. Contact us for more details about the cost and times.


Rates & Availability

Running Springs House Rental Rates

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
Convert Currency
Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event
My Standard Rate
2 night minimum stay

Additional information about rental rates

cleaning $150
Pet Fee $10
Refundable damage deposit $300
Tax Rate 8.0%

Three night holiday weekends for the following are $600 per night.
MLK Jr. Day, President's Day, Easter, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving.
Three night holiday stays for Christmas and New years are $650 per night.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 50% refund if canceled at least 14 days before arrival date.
  • 100% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date.
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Running Springs House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
  • Housekeeper Optional
Floor Area:
  • 3300 sq. ft.
Location Type:
  • Mountain ...
  • Mountain View ...
  • Rural ...
  • Village ...
  • Water View ...
  • Waterfront ...
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Budget
  • Family
  • Romantic
  • Sports & Activities
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Basic Soaps
  • Ceiling Fans
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Covered Parking ...
  • Filtered Water
  • Fitness Room / Equipment ...
  • Gas Fireplace ...
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Internet
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided ...
  • Living Room ...
  • Local Activities Guide
  • Local Maps
  • Local Restaurant Guide
  • Mobile Phone
  • Paper Towels
  • Parking ...
  • Parking Off Street ...
  • Parking for RV/Boat/Trailer ...
  • Security System
  • Sofa Bed
  • Thermos Bottle
  • Toilet Paper
  • Towels Provided ...
  • Washing Machine
  • Water Cooler
  • Wireless Internet ...
  • Wood Fireplace ...
  • 4 Ring Stove
  • Blender
  • Catering Available
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Cooking Utensils ...
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Dishwasher
  • Freezer ...
  • Ice Maker
  • Kitchen ...
  • Kitchenette
  • Microwave ...
  • Mini Refrigerator
  • Oven
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Stove ...
  • Stove
  • Toaster ...
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 25 people
  • 5 Bathrooms
  • 1 Half Bath
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , shower , 2nd floor wheel chair accessible
    Bathroom 2 - toilet , combination tub/shower , 2nd floor
    Bathroom 3 - toilet , shower , 3rd floor
    Bathroom 4 - toilet , shower , 3rd floor
    Bathroom 5 - toilet , shower , 1st floor
    Bathroom 6 - toilet , 1st floor sink and toilet
  • The 2nd floor bathrooms are tiled. The one closest to the front door entrance is wheelchair accessible and also acts as a wet boot and clothing room. The other one is a full tub/shower bathroom. The two on the third floor have corner showers. The first floor has one corner shower bathroom and one half bath with toilet and sink. Both have outside access through a door opening into a hall way separating the two baths.
  • 5 Bedrooms, Sleeps 25
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 double , 2 twin/ single , 2nd floor (sleeps 4)
    Bedroom 2 - 1 queen , 1 twin/ single , 2nd floor (sleeps 3)
    Bedroom 3 - 1 double , 3 twin/ single , 3rd floor (sleeps 5)
    Bedroom 4 - 1 double , 3 twin/ single , 3rd floor (sleeps 5)
    Bedroom 6 - 2 twin/ single , 1st floor entertainment room (sleeps 2)
    Bedroom 7 - 4 twin/ single , 3rd floor loft (2 trundle beds sleeps 4)
    Bedroom 5 - 1 double , 3 twin/ single , 3rd floor (sleeps 5)
  • There are 6 bedrooms: The one on the 1st floor that could be considered a studio apartment because it has it's own kitchenett, two on the 2nd floor and three on the 3rd floor, Also, there is a loft area with two trundle beds (considered 7th bedroom) between the bedrooms on the third floor. There are 2 sofas on either side of the fireplace on the second floor and four sofas on the first floor.
  • Books
  • Books for Kids
  • CD Player
  • DVD Player
  • Game Room ...
  • Games
  • Games for Kids
  • Ping Pong Table
  • Radio
  • Satellite / Cable ...
  • Stereo
  • Television ...
  • Toys
  • Video Games
  • Video Library
  • Balcony ...
  • Barbecue
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Lanai / Gazebo ...
  • Lawn / Garden ...
  • Outdoor Grill ...
  • Patio
  • Porch / Veranda ...
  • Terrace
  • Unscreened Porch / Veranda
  • Walkway to Water
  • 25 garden chairs
  • Events Allowed
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters ...
  • children welcome ...
  • non smoking only
  • pets considered ...
  • suitable for elderly or infirm
  • wheelchair accessible ...
  • arboretum
  • autumn foliage
  • botanical garden
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • festivals
  • forests
  • library
  • live theater
  • playground
  • pond
  • recreation center
  • restaurants
  • waterfalls
  • zoo
Leisure Activities:
  • bird watching
  • boating
  • horseback riding
  • horseshoes
  • miniature golf
  • paddle boating
  • photography
  • scenic drives
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • sledding
  • walking
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • Babysitter
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundromat
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cross country skiing
  • cycling
  • equestrian events
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • ice skating
  • jet skiing
  • mountain biking
  • mountain climbing
  • mountaineering
  • sailing
  • ski lift privileges
  • skiing
  • swimming
  • water skiing
  • water tubing
The main kitchen has a 5 burner gas stove top and two ovens. It has a granite counter top and oak cabinets with a roll out island to extend the kitchen area, if desired. The two high efficiency free standing gas fireplaces do not use wood but have a glass front to view the flame heating the faux wood logs. The first floor has a kitchenette with mini fridge and table for the entertainment area. The laundry room is on the first floor and has a door to the outside as well. There is a covered 8ft walk way around the house at the first level. There is an 8ft. deck surrounding the house on the 2nd level that is covered on the front and back. There is an 8ft by 16ft. balcony at the 3rd level facing into the forest. Roads and paths through the property lead to activity areas on the property, such as, the tipi gathering site, horse shoe pitch, toboggan runs, children's play areas and stage, and to forest hiking paths.

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