Cougar Crest Trail is a 6.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Big Bear City, CA that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Directions from Big Bear Lake, CA: From the Discovery Center on the northeast shore of Big Bear Lake the trailhead is located 0.6-mile to the west on Highway 38. Or you can park for free until 6 PM at the Discovery Center and walk the 0.6-mile west on Highway 38 to the Cougar Crest Trail.
So far this is my favorite Big Bear trail. There are all kinds of different lengths for this trail but it is about 4 miles round trip. Just enough incline to get some cardio. I turned around at the split to Bertha and PCT because it was pretty breezy up there and I had no jacket. I will go back for Bertha. The trail is much more woodsy than Grays peak. Lots of little animals and birds. I read about rattlers on this trail but I saw none. Great views of the lake. Saw some Hawks. Go early to avoid the crowds. Once all the people show up the animals disappear. This time I started at 8 but next time I will start at dawn to avoid the groups. everyone was nice, but there were several big groups of kids and the noise scares away the wild life. Pretty rocky so wear hiking boots. Great trail!
Moderate trail with gradual incline til the end. Rocky.
Amazing views of the lake
Easy/moderate, with constant elevation on the way out. Rocky trail with partial shade and good views. Not too busy on a weekday, but probably heavily trafficked at weekends and holidays. Discovery Center by the car park is small but worth a visit, with clean restrooms.
Take it all the way to Bertha!
best views the only downfall.is it Is a little rocky so boots would be good
great hike, but definitely watch your footing! while checking our the scenery i got close to eating dirt and/or falling off the mountain a few times. i only had 2 hours to hike but got thru most of it by pushing, including a few stops along the way. one thing to be aware, most trails i find to be much faster on the way down, sometimes i even run down, but because of the plentiful loose rocks and stones it took me almost the same amount of time. go early to avoid overheating, and enjoy!!
I've done this hike three times now. I've come across two rattlesnakes on the trail, so keep an eye out. The views of the lake are very pretty, not too strenuous, and shaded about half of the time
Great hike that merges with PCT that you can take to get to Bertha's peak which is a challenging uphill for about a mile. There views are amazing though from 8200ft. A little rocky so recommend hiking shoes with good support as it was almost a 10 mile out and back.
Awesome Views. Wear good hiking boots, rocky areas. Would hike again!
Awesome views and a fun hike.
Nice trail. Go around 6:30-7:00 am... Parking lot was full when we can off the trail around 10am. Did not go the full length; would love to hike again!
Just did it! Got a little crowded and hot, so go early. Bring water and sunscreen as there is not a lot of shade on the western side. If you park in the lot, where the trail head is, you need a forest pass... Otherwise park below by the campground or discovery center. Would rate it as moderately easy.
Pretty good hike. Our camp host said this is the most popular hike in Big Bear. It gets pretty rocky and narrow once you're about a mile and a half in. There's an okay view of the lake near the top. We were almost to the top, when it started pouring rain! We enjoyed the free shower, but decided to turn around and head back down. On the way up, I didn't think it was a particularly pretty hike, but after the rain everything was beautiful. Definitely bring bug spray! I probably wouldn't do this hike again, but we still had fun.
Fun fairly easy trail with beautiful views
Awesome views and surprisingly was not crowded. Nothing beats the outdoors. Bring lots of water and a good snack to have while enjoying the scenery when you get to the top.