Dirk D. on Sugarloaf Mountain Trail
very rocky, at least four to five died trees blocking the path, need to pay attention, at times you can lose the trail, took me about 3 hours to reach the top. under two on the way down.
If you start at the trailhead for Sugarloaf off 2N93, it's actually a bit over 12 miles. There's parking, but not much. Get there early if you don't want to add an extra mile and a half just to get to the trailhead. The magnitude of loose rocks on this hike is what makes it difficult. If you have trekking poles, bring them. I didn't have any troubles keeping track of the trail the whole time, you do need to pay attention in a few sections, but it's fairly well marked. It's a great workout with nice views on the way up.
Not much of a view at the actual peak, but quite a view of San Gorgonio on the way up. The trail starts in a nice green area up until past Green Spring then it becomes a very open alpine trail with lots of shale rock crunching beneath your every step. Do not underestimate this hike, it is strenuous during summer and has almost constant elevation gain.
Good hike in terms of workout, the first 3/5 of the hike is completely uphill but after that you get some flat areas. Not very scenic and there were way too many loose rocks throughout the entire trail, a little hard on your feet and it makes it easier to twist an ankle. Personally don't know if I would recommend this hike.
Very tough, Hot in the summer but covered so some shade is provided. Watch out for bugs. Also lost the trail a few times since OHVs drive all over the area. They cut new trails which is mitigated by forest service blocking roads with rocks and logs as best as they could. A very good hike with decent views at the end. Also a geocache up there and a place for people to leave neat stuff in books.
Took the advice from a reviewer and would concur that starting in the morning is a good idea. Took me 2:15 to get up at a moderate pace, 1:30 to get down with some light jogging in some parts. If you're looking for beautiful forest, this is the trail for you. The trail is mostly uphill and loose rocks. A great distance with substantial elevation gain makes it a good challenge. I'll do it again, very beautiful.
Went up this morning on a beautiful chilly morning. It gets steep in some places but is very worthwhile for the views on the way. Made it to the peak in 4.85 miles. There are 2 punches up there and a tsunami warning sign. My elevation reading was 9922' but the sign says 9952'. Overall I had a great time.
Best hike in Big Bear Lake California. Here is a link to a trail map plus the photos we took on our hike; http://www.bigbear.us/hiking_sugarloafphotos.html.
The trail is moderately difficult. We recommend starting in the morning. Remeber to hydrate. The trail starts at around 7,000 feet and climbs to 9,400 feet.