Butler Peak Trail is a 9.4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Big Bear City, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
off road driving
We went up there on a snowy day and had a blast!
This trail was fantastic. Late November, snow on the ground and we explored attached Forest Service roads. It made for a great time with beautiful sights to see. Absolutely recommend - but be careful, if you find yourself on the wrong trail it could just be your last one (at least with that vehicle!)
Trail is actually a fire road leading to the fire lookout. You'll need a 4x4 to drive it and not risk damaging your suspension. Watch for boulders blocking the road and cross fingers you don't bump into anyone coming the opposite direction as it's one lane with many drop off points.
Like others have said the views from the fire lookout are epic. There's several picture taking points as you work your way to the top along with several rock formations.
A recommended destination no matter how you get there.
Butler Peak provides some pretty epic views of various points in the San Bernardino National Forest. The best views can be see from up by the fire lookout which is at the top of the peak. There are, however, some nice views and scenery to experience at the base of the pick.
The peak tends to be a bit windy, so it suggested you bring a light jacket when hiking there in the fall.
One small point to consider, that a fire swept through this area a little less than 10 years ago, so some of the greenery is still recovering.
The view from Butler Peak at the fire lookout station was one of the best I have ever seen. I'm from the east coast and do most of my hiking/backpacking in the Appalachian trail. This is a totally different experience, and absolutely incredible. If you have the time to go, do it.
An easy dirt road drive to the gate then a easy road to follow to the fire tower. We got rained on hard on the way down and avoided lightning, but really enjoyed the views of the Big Bear basin and beyond.
Most of the view on the way is nothing spectacular, a lot of logging. Toward the top, the rock formations are interesting, and you're going through a section of forest recovering from a major forest fire. However, the view from the very top -- the deck of the forest fire lookout station -- is the most spectacular I've seen in a lot of Big Bear hiking and cycling to date. The view is more than 8500 feet up at the deck, and looks down on the road coming into Big Bear, the San Gorgonio wilderness, Snow Valley ski area, and the wilderness north. I've cycled it three times. Quite a challenging uphill the last mile. Pushed the bike the last 1,000 feet of the forest service road.
The trail follows a road all the way to a fire look out station. Make sure you go left at the fork, the maps provided by the rangers is mislabeled and will take you the wrong way. it took us 3 1/2 hours because of the detour.
Went up this morning from Grays Peak trailhead. Last chance to go up, the trail closes on November 1st until April. Had the trail all to myself both ways. When I got to the peak there were 2 mountain bikers there. Did the punch card and took pictures before heading back. Found some nice rocks off the side of the trail to have lunch and to my surprise, I see a metal shelter totally hidden from view. That was cool.
My gps said I was at 8484' elevation on the peak. I went 12.83 miles at a 3.1 mph average. It took me 5 hours, 10 minutes total. My total ascent was 2586'.
What a great day for a hike,, can't wait to do it again.
My friend Ron came up for the weekend and this was the 1st of 3 peaks in 3 days. We headed out on Grays peak trailhead and took the control roads most of the way up. Made it to the fire lookout tower before heading back and having lunch off the trail. Great hike.