Big Bear Hiking Trails
Big Bear Lake is a great place to go hiking. There are trails for every skill level. Choose from paved and easy or rocky and advanced, or anything in between!
Alpine Pedal Path: Very Easy 2.5 miles One Way
This asphalt path meanders along the sparkling north shore of Big Bear Lake from Stanfield Cutoff to the Solar Observatory and Serrano Campground. This path features gentle ups-and-down as it winds through mature trees and meadows. An underground tunnel connects the path to the Cougar Crest Trail parking lot and continues on to the Big Bear Discovery Center where hikers can find water, restrooms, Adventure Parking Passes and local experts. Seasonal parking is available at Juniper Point Picnic Area and Meadow’s Edge Picnic Area (Adventure pass required for picnic area parking).
Nature Discovery Trail (1E51): Easy 0.5 mile Loop (100 feet elevation gain)
The Nature Discovery Trial is a 0.5 mile loop trail that gently winds it’s way through the forest behind the Big Bear Discovery Center. Benches and peek-a-boo views of Big Bear Lake and Mt. San Gorgonio make this an enjoyable trail for all ages.
The Woodland Trail (1E23): Easy 0.3 mile One Way (300 feet elevation gain)
The path starts and ends at the trailhead off Hwy 38, 0.2 miles west of Stanfield Cutoff. This interpretive trail has 16 posted markers that correspond to a pamphlet (or website : HERE ) so hikers can learn about the local flora and fauna.
Champion Lodgepole Pine Trail (1W11): Easy 0.3 miles One Way (100 feet elevation gain)
to Bluff Mesa Trail (1W16): Easy additional 0.4 miles One Way (300 feet elevation gain)
The Champion Lodgepole Pine Trailhead is located on the south side of Big Bear Lake. From Hwy 18, turn south on Mill Creek Road which turns into Forest Service (FS) Road 2N10 (dirt fire road with possible rocks, ruts, uneven surfaces. Use caution.) Continue on FS Road 2N10 for 4.5 miles, turn right on 2N11 and continue for 1 mile to the trailhead. The Champion Lodgeople Pine Trail is a gentle walk on a path along a small stream and ends in a meadow with one of the largest known Lodgepole pines in California. The Bluff Mesa Trail (no bikes) continues north for an additional 0.4 miles and ends at the Bluff Mesa Group Camp.
Towne Trail (1E27): Easy to Moderate 3 miles Round Trip (100 feet elevation gain)
This trail begins on Forest Road 2N08 east of Knickerbocker Road between Snow Summit Ski Area and Big Bear Lake Village. From Hwy 18, turn south on Knickerbocker Road and continue for 0.5 mile to the beginning of Forest Road 2N08 on the left. Park here (if gate is closed) or continue the large turnout at the trailhead. Towne Trail is relatively flat with a few intermittent stream crossings.
Castle Rock Trail (1E01): Moderate to Difficult 2.4 miles Round Trip (700 feet elevation gain)
One of the most popular trails in Big Bear Lake with a great view of the lake at the top. Located 1.1 miles east of the dam on Hwy 18. The trail meanders through large boulders and mature trees. Limited parking on the north side of the highway 50 yards east of the trailhead (walking on highway is requried to get to trailhead. Use caution.)
Pineknot Trail (1E01): Moderate to Difficult 6 miles Round Trip (900 feet elevation gain) Adventure Parking Pass Required
The Pineknot Trail begins at the Aspen Glen Picnic Area off Mill Creek Road and climbs south to Grand View Point (altitude 7,784 feet.) This trail is shared with mountain bike and equestrian traffic. Enjoy a beautiful hike with a view of the valley at the top.
Gray’s Peak Trial (1W06): Moderate to Difficult 7 miles Round Trip (1,000 feet elevation gain) Adventure Parking Pass Required
This trailhead is located on the west side of Hwy 38, 0.6 miles west of Fawnskin across from Grout Bay Picnic Area. CLOSED from November 1st to April 1st for bald eagle wintering habitat protection. The trail climbs westerly for 0.5 mile and merges with Forest Road 2N04X. Turning north (right) 2N04X joins Forest Road 2N70 after 0.25 mile (go straight, do not turn left) and continue onto Gray’s Peak trail, 200 yards on your left. From there it is 2.75 miles to the top of Gray’s Peak with views of Big Bear Lake and the surrounding valley.
Hanna flat Trail (1W05) to Gray’s Peak Summit: Moderate 7.8 miles Round Trip (50 feet elevation gain)
Hanna Flat Trail begins between campsites 54 and 55 in Hanna Flat Campground and shares the Gray’s Peak Trailhead on Hwy 38. The trail climbs from the campground through part of the forest that burned in 2007 before it meets Gray’s Peak Trail. At the intersection of Forest Road 2N70 turn left, the trail to Grey’s Peak with be 50 yards down the road on the right. It is 2.75 miles to the top of Gray’s Peak from here.
Cougar Crest Trail (1E22): Moderate to Difficult 2 miles One Way (750 feet elevation gain)
to Bertha Peak: Difficult additional 1.5 miles One Way (1,360 feet elevation gain) Adventure Parking Pass Required
A well-maintained and popular path through a wide variety of environments. The trailhead is located in the designated parking lot 0.6 miles west of the Big Bear Discovery Center on Hwy 38. The Cougar Crest Trail ends at the junction of the Pacific Crest Trail (NO bikes on the PCT). Turn around here, or continue on to Bertha Peak. Go east (right) on the PCT to a dirt maintenance road. Continue 0.6 miles on the maintenance road until you reach Bertha Peak (8,201 feet), easily recognized by the communication equipment at the top. The summit boasts a 360 degree view of Bear Valley, Holcomb Valley and the Mojave Desert.
Skyline Trail (1E12): Moderate to Difficult 8.5 miles One Way (160 feet elevation gain)
This trail begins at the intersection of Forest Road 2N10 and 2N06. Popular with hikers, mountain bikers and equestrian traffic. The trail winds through stands of Jeffery Pines, Manzanita and buckthorn as it parallels Forest Road 2N10. Cross-country trail with few long hills and descents. The trail intersects with many other trails within the South Shore Trail System.
Sugarloaf National Recreation Trail (2E18): Difficult 10 miles Round Trip (1,200 feet elevation gain)
From the south end of Stanfield Cutoff on Big Bear Blvd. Hwy 38 continue for 6 miles heading south toward Redlands. Turn right on 2N93, at the intersection of Hwy 38 and Hatchery Road. Follow this dirt road until you reach the Sugarloaf Trail sign and park turnout. The first 2 miles of trail is a rough and rocky road, at times following Green Creek. The view at the top is mostly obscured by trees but with an altitude of 9,952 feet, the highest point in the Big Bear Valley and is one of the 7 peaks in Big Bear.
Biking & Mountain Biking
Enjoy a leisurely or challenging bike ride in Big Bear Lake. Whether you stick to the roads and pedal your way through the neighborhoods or around Big Bear Lake, or want to take to the hills and ride through the trees, there is something for everyone and every skill level.
Alpine Pedal Path: Very Easy 2.5 miles One Way
This asphalt path meanders along the sparkling north shore of Big Bear Lake from Stanfield Cutoff to the Solar Observatory and Serrano Campground. This path features gentle ups-and-down as it winds through mature trees and meadows. An underground tunnel connects the path to the Cougar Crest Trail parking lot and continues on to the Big Bear Discovery Center where hikers can find water, restrooms, Adventure Parking Passes and local experts.
Snow Summit Downhill Bike Park: All skill levels
Contact the resort for more information, rates and conditions. https://www.snowsummit.com/summer/bike-park/mountain-biking/downhill-bike-park
Hanna Flats to Grout Bay Loop with Gray’s Peak Trail Option: 11 miles (6760 feet elevation gain – 7930 with Gray’s Peak option)
This is a great trail for hiking or biking. It is the longest singletrack in Big Bear. After the first 1/2 mile you will feel like you are in the middle of nowhere and there is nothing but the peace and quiet of the animals and the blissful XC singletrack.
Notes: The loop below is done by parking at the Fawkskin triangle. Then mountain biking 2.2 files up a paved/dirt road to Hanna Flats Campground. Near the Southwest corner of the campsite loop road you will find the Singletrack between two campsites across from the concrete bathroom building.
Mile 2.2 to 4.9 is singletrack that crosses many fire roads. The trail is fairly well marked. Follow other’s tracks in dirt.
At mile 4.9 you hit a fire road. Go left 200ft and you will see the Gray’s Peak Singletrack optional out and back. (2 miles each way)
When you see a yellow post and the trail ends, park your bike and climb on the rocks that look over the lake, eat snacks!
To get back to Grout Bay or Fawnskin from Gray’s Peak trailhead, go East on fire road, stay left at Y, go left (North) at next junction (singletrack). This takes you to Grout Bay Trailhead. Ride left on Highway to get back to Fawnskin.
Pine Knot Trail: 3 miles (7688 feet elevation gain)
Pine Knot Trail is the longest singletrack on the South side of the lake. It’s a great MTB downhill but can also be ridden or hiked both ways.
The Pineknot Trail begins at the Aspen Glen Picnic Area off Mill Creek Road and climbs south to Grand View Point.
You can get to the top by:
Taking Snow Summit chairlift > 2N10 West > Grandview Point
Ride up 2N08 from Knickerbocker
Ride up Mill Creek Road > 2N10 > 2N17 > 2N08
Ride up the trail itself
Cabin 89 Trail: 2 miles
Ride the first half of Pine Knot Trail singletrack down from Grandview Point. You can hike 100 feet from Pine Knot to Cabin 89 on a steep hike a bike connector.
Cougar Crest Trail: 4 miles Round Trip (750 feet elevation gain)
The trailhead is located in the designated parking lot 0.6 miles west of the Big Bear Discovery Center on Hwy 38. The Cougar Crest Trail ends at the junction of the Pacific Crest Trail (NO bikes on the PCT).