Hiking biking at its best in the mountains of Beautiful Big Bear Lake.
Path Very Easy 3.5 miles long
asphalt path meanders along the sparkling north shore
of Big Bear Lake from the Stanfield Cutoff to the Solar
Observatory. Although not flat by any means, its ups
and downs are fairly gentle. In the Fall of 1998 the
path was extended through a pedestrian tunnel under
Highway 38 to the Cougar Crest Trail parking lot. The
new path continues east .6 of a mile and connects with
the Big Bear Discovery Center. There hikers can find
water, bathrooms, and expert advice on all varieties
of recreation in the San Bernardino National Forest.
Trail 1E23 Easy 1.5 miles long
path starts and ends at the trailhead off Highway 38
just .2 miles west of the Stanfield Cutoff. It is an
interpretive trail with 20 posted markers, ideal for
families with young children. By picking up a pamphlet
at the entrance, hikers can take themselves on a self-guided
tour to learn about the botany, wildlife and geology
of this unique area which is described as a dry woodland.
Lodgepole Pine Trail IW11 Easy .6 miles Round Trip
Bluff Mesa Trail 1W16 Easy .8 miles Round Trip
get to the Champion Lodgepole Pine Trailhead, which
is on the south side of Big Bear Lake, you drive up
Mill Creek Road (Forest Road 2N10) for 4.5 miles, turn
right on 2N11 and continue for 1 mile to the trailhead.
Then it's a gentle walk down a path along a small steam
for .3 miles. The trail ends at the Champion Lodgepole
Pine, one of the largest known Lodgepole pines in California.
Adjacent to the Champion Lodgepole Pine is a beautiful
meadow, a tapestry of wildflowers in the spring. An
interpretive brocure for the 15 makrers is available
at the trailhead and at the Discovery Center. So please
stay on the trails.
companion path is the Bluff Mesa Trail which begins
where the Champion Lodgepole Pine Trail ends and travels
in a northerly direction for .4 miles, ending at the
popular Bluff Mesa Group Camp. This continuation trail
is easy and recommended for families who would like
a leisurely walk through beautiful stands of stately
Jeffrey Pine. No bicycles.
Rock Trail 1W03 Moderate to Difficult 2.4 miles Round
is very limited parking on the south side of the highway
50 yards east of the trailhead.
most popular trail in the Big Bear Valley begins 1.1
miles east of the dam on Highway 18. Although not a
long hike, the elevation gain is 500 feet, making it
a steep climb by any standards. At the top of the ridge
is an impressive granite rock out-cropping and the
source of many tales and local folklore. If you trust
your rock climbing skills and can claw your way on
top of the rocks, the view of the lake is wonderful.
The best part of this hike is that it's downhill all
the way home.
Trail 1E01 Moderate to Difficult 6 miles Round Trip.
trail begins at the Aspen Glen Picnic Area and runs
in a generally southerly direction until it reaches
the aptly named Grand View Point, altitude 7,784. For
the first 1.5 miles the hiker shares the trail with
equestrian and mountain bike traffic as the trail winds
its way up through stands of white fir and Jeffrey
pine. Serious hikers make the 6 mile round trip in
3 hours or less. A family who plans to picnic at Grand
View Point should plan on spending half the day leisurely
enjoying the forest, the mountains and a great view
of Big Bear Lake.
Peak Trail 1W06 Moderate to Difficult 7 miles Round
Hanna Flat Trail 1W05 Moderate 9 miles Round Trip
trailhead is in the center of a bald eagle wintering
habitat area and is closed to all public use from November
1 to April 1.
trailhead for Gray's Peak is located on the west side
of Highway 38 about .6 miles west of Fawnskin across
from the Grout Bay Picnic Area. The trail climbs westerly
for .5 miles until it merges with forest road 2N04X.
Turning north (right), 2N04X joins Forest Road 2N70
after .25 miles. Go straight; do not turn left. Then
continue to the beginning of the Grays Peak Trail,
200 yards on your left. From there it is 2.75 miles
to the top of Gray's Peak. The trail fades as you get
.25 miles from the summit, 7,920 feet, and it becomes
increasingly more difficult as you climb up through
buckthorn and over and around boulders.
Hanna Flat Trail begins 50 yards past the Gray's Peak
Trail Sign on the right and continues for 4 miles to
the Hanna Flat Campground.
Crest Trail 1E22 Moderate to Difficult 4 to 5.5 miles
can park for free until 6:00 PM in the summer at the
Discovery Center and walk the .6 miles to the trailhead.
well-maintained path through a wide variety of natural
environments distinguishes the Cougar Crest. It starts
.6 miles west of the Discovery Center on Highway 38.
In the first mile there's only a gentle uphill increase,
but in second mile, you'll realize that you're gaining
serious altitude. The Cougar Crest Trail ends at the
junction of the Pacific Crest Trail (no mountain bikes),
and a lot of hikers like to continue to the east (right)
on a dirt maintenance road for .6 miles until they
reach the summit of Bertha Peak, 8,502 feet. The peak
is easily recognized by the large collection of transmitting
equipment at the top. From the summit there's a virtual
360 degree view of the Big Bear Valley, Holcomb Valley,
and even the Mojave Desert.
the truly inspired, one can continue along the world
famous 2,600 mile Pacific Crest Trail which connects
Canada to Mexico.
in order of increasing Difficulty
Creek National Recreation Trail 1W09 Very Steep and
Difficult 7.2 miles Round Trip
trail begins .4 miles east of the Main Gate of the
Snow Valley Ski Resort at the 2N97 Forest Road turnout.
Signage at the trailhead will direct you to the Camp
Creek Trail which 2N97 intersects in .3 miles. It is
a very steep trail with an elevation change of 2,000
feet. It terminates at Bear Creek.
National Recreation Trail 2E18 Difficult 10 miles
the south end of Stanfield Cutoff on Big Bear Boulevard
(Highway 38), continue for 6 miles heading south toward
Redlands. Turn right on 2N93 at the intersection of
Highway 38 and Hatchery Road. Follow this dirt road
until you reach the Sugarloaf Trail sign and park in
the turnout. The first 2 miles is a dirt road, which
at times follows Green Creek. Although the view from
the summit of Sugarloaf Mountain is mostly obscured
by trees, you have climbed to an altitude of 9,952
feet, the highest point in the Big Bear Valley.
Ridge Trail 1W02 Very Difficult and Not Recommended
2 miles Round Trip
turnout to the trailhead is 2 miles west of the Big
Bear Lake dam on Highway 18, just after the Highway
reduces from two lanes to one. Drive down rutted Forest
Road 2N15. Turn right at the fork onto a dirt road.
Drive slowly and park on a knoll at the road's end.
Follow the trail .25 miles to the trailhead which marked
by a "Fishermen" sign. Now the trail becomes
very strenuous, dropping 1,100 feet in 1 mile! Climbing
down is treacherous; climbing out is exhausting.
Creek Trail Easy to Extremely Difficult 7 miles Round
at the same trailhead as the Championship Lodgepole
Pine Trail: To get to the Champion Lodgepole Pine Trailhead,
which is on the south side of Big Bear Lake, you drive
up Mill Creek Road (Forest Road 2N10) for 4.5 miles,
turn right on 2N11 and continue for .5 miles, passing
the turn-off for the tree. You will traverse and then
parallel trickling Siberia Creek for 1.5 miles until
you reach the "Gunsight." This rock formation
is two huge boulders which were named because they
resemble the massive rear gunsight of a rifle. If you
are in excellent shape and choose to continue down
to Siberia Creek, be aware that the trail has been
obliterated by many rockslides. It is also very steep
with an elevation change of 3,000 feet.
This trail is not maintained by the Forest Service.
Gorgonio Wilderness Hike Moderate and Difficult Trails
of Interest: pine and fir forests, lush subalpine meadows,
sparkling streams, placid lakes, wildlife (particularly
deer, bighorn sheep and black bears). Look for Dollar
Lake, Dry Lake, San Gorgonio Peak, San Bernardino Peak,
Fish Creek, and Aspen Grove.
Wilderness trailheads are South Fork, Aspen Grove,
Fish Creek, Forsee Creek, San Bernardino Peak, Momyer,
and Vivian Creek. You can hike for a couple of hours
or for a week. Be sure to get advice from Forest Service
staff while planning your trip.
are no easy trails in the Wilderness! In picking a
trail, be sure you watch the elevation gains that will
be made on the hike. The most popular route is from
South Fork Trail, climbing 4,700 feet to the top of
San Gorgonio. Round trip is 21.5 miles. It's recommended
as a 2-day (or longer) hike.
steepest but shortest route to San Gorgonio is from
the Vivian Creek Trailhead near Forest Falls: 15.6
miles round trip with a 5,300 feet elevation gain.
free Wilderness permit and Adventure Pass. Permits
can be obtained in person at the Mill Creek Ranger
Station, Barton Flats Visitor Center (summer only),
and the Big Bear Discovery Center. You can request
a permit application by mail or fax up to three months
in advance. Permits are issued on a quota basis. When
the daily quota for a trailhead has been filled, no
additional permits will be issued for that area.
Most of the trailheads are in the Barton Flats area.
Pick up a description of the trails at the Ranger Station.
The best hiking time is June to October. The rest of
the year, trails are snow covered and dangerous. Some
trails on south-facing slopes may be snow-free longer.
Always check at the Ranger Stations for trail conditions.
Call For Reservations:
Toll free 800-475-5216