Siberia Creek Trail is a 17.3 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Big Bear City, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November.
Siberia Camp is accessed by 2 trails, south of Big Bear or 5 miles east of Running Springs. The latter is better maintained and is a Grand Canyon style descent of 2500 ft over 3 miles. Year- round creeks, amazing views and solitude will greet you. Camp overnight &/or link to the next destination!! The approach near Running Springs is better maintained and easier to get to. Merely exit HWY 18 about 1/3 mile east of Snow Valley Mountain Resort and tend toward the east on a dirt road for about 1/4 mile. If you have a low profile car, you will probably want to walk this portion. The trailhead indicator on this map is accurate, so you can follow your GPS to it. The hike begins under good forest canopy but as you edge out on the south face of the mountain, the vegetation is mostly chapparrel. Continue down well-graded switchbacks for approximately 3 miles. Occasionally there are groves of re-growth as the forest recovers from a long ago wildfire. The closer you get to the canyon-bottom, the better the forest canopy becomes. The canyon sides are steep and rugged, and you can gauge your descent on the opposite side of the canyon using geographical features for reference. The last 3/4 of a mile you more or less parallel an unnamed creek from Slide Peak until reaching Bear Creek which drains the Big Bear area watershed including Big Bear Lake. The flows here are usually low enough to cross using rocks or logs, but during some winters or springs, I can imagine that you may need to expect a wet crossing. Soon after crossing the creek follow faint trail and cairns a short distance to the primary camping site which is about 200 yards from the creek crossing, toward the south-east on the benches above the confluence of Bear Creek and Siberia Creek. From the Big Bear side (See directions, below), the trail is said to be in disrepair. A US Forest Service worker told me they attempted to restore it a couple of summers ago, and while they made progress they did not have time and resources to complete, so apparently the trail gets lost in brush before you can reach Siberia Creek group camp. But of what is open on the upper reaches of the trail, you will find splendid scenery, a year round creek, and relative solitude. Hopefully in the near future the Big Bear end can be repaired and better maintained.
It's been awhile since I hiked into this area. I have done it from the top twice and several times from Seven Oaks just to the meeting of Bear Creek and Siberia Creek. The latter trail had some slide areas and was a bit dangerous. The former from Snow Valley area is steep, exposed and brushy. My friend and I were deterred for some time climbing out, trying to figure out how to get past a rattlesnake hidden under a bush that sat right above the trail at head height. Be careful. I have also camped at the nicely improved site where Siberia Creek and Bear Creek meet. We did have a bear encounter there. Take lots of water, especially during the summer, 3-4 liters at least. The individual who posted about fishing was right about the size of fish, but this is strictly single barbless hook catch and release. He was fishing illegally. It's a sport, not a carnival.
Trail is pretty overgrown at times, I definitely recommend pants. My hike was SO BUGGY, gnats and biting flies almost the whole 6.5 miles. Those are the only downfalls.
Trail was empty, saw a lone hiker on their way down while we headed up but otherwise not a soul.
Creek was pretty and flowing nice enough, but the bugs were worst at the bottom.
Hike back up is no joke. Recommend avoiding it at high sun. I drank 3 liters of water on this hike and wished I had more.
I'm currently on the trail making my way up. This IS ROUGH. Bring a lot of water, brings snacks, bug repellant, and bring pants. there is no clean water.
this hike had absolutely gorgeous views Vistas and valleys along the way and there were tons of wildflowers on the trail which made it smell wonderful. this Trail is rated as hard and definitely was but we were able to make it all the way down the mountain and backup with a four and six year old. so don't complain too much if you decide to take this hike and get tired :-). reaching the creek at the bottom and jumping in the nice cold water with my six year old daughter made the rough Journey worth it. the only negative we took back with us was a nasty little tick that was trying to eat my four year old. I'm not the only one who has picked up ticks along this Trail. another hiker left the review about coming home with ticks on her dog. would definitely recommend this hike although would recommend checking yourself for ticks periodically throughout the day. also be prepared to walk through some really thick brush and unmaintained parts of the trail
Did this hike 4 days ago and it really is a beautiful trail but I brought my two dogs along and found several ticks on them today. They are huskies so it was hard to find all the ticks, but there were several on each dog and unfortunately both dogs had to be put on antibiotics because there was are red ring around the bite marks which indicate infection. The trail was overgrown with bushes so there must have been lots of ticks when we went. This is the first time I've ever even seen a tick on either of my dogs and I have done a lot of hiking in the area so just be extra careful on this trail if you have pets. My vet up in big bear had not seen an infectious reaction from a tick bite and has never had to prescribe antibiotics for tick bites in the big bear area so it's rare but maybe because the trail is overgrown there is a very high risk for infectious tick bites. Other than that disaster, the trail was a good challenge, especially going back up, and the creeks were flowing great! there were many beautiful views and we didn't see a single person going up or down. I wouldn't camp here now that I know there are ticks everywhere lol
Started at 1:00 p.m., hiked down to the creek and back up. Took about 3 hours total for 6 miles. Trail was in good shape. Gnats and flies were annoying; would recommend wearing repellant. The views were great but I kept my eyes on the trail as it is quite narrow in places. Hiking poles were helpful.
Note-the trailhead sign confused me a bit, as it said "Camp Creek Trail IW09." The dirt road to the parking area is quite uneven and unsuitable for low clearance vehicles.
Great Time with my Sons 17 & 12, hiked down on Saturday afternoon. Set up camp, had a camp fire and explored the area. Camp ground is not maintained, but there are some stone fire rings at various locations. Water was a little cold for swimming but felt good to soak in. Went up and down the creek fishing and caught a couple of small trout. The hike back up is no joke, 2200 in 2.5 miles, I was thinking about the reviewer below puking on the way up. I will upload the track when I figure it out. GPS says the ascent is 16.2 % average grade, parts are over 40%. I was packing in 58lbs, lesson learned. We will do this trial again.
Hey reviewer below me! Thanks for not mentioning that I puked on the hike back up.
Went down with my brother and a friend. Left in the late afternoon and arrived at the Siberia Creek Campgrounds with plenty of time to set up camp and enjoy the evening. This campground is no longer maintained by the forest rangers, but serves as a good place to rest. Its easy to find just keep your eye out for small stacks of rocks, should keep you on the right path. Woke up early the next morning and fished the creeks. There are plenty of fish to catch. I used salmon eggs, but I probably could have used my shoe as bait, they were biting everything. Hiking back up the mountain was a tough one and it took us about 2.5 hours. Be sure to pack plenty of water or a nice filter. The trail somewhat overgrown at times, but totally manageable. I'll be back again to catch those tasty brownies.
Beautiful scenery and worth the drive and hike. Its better to hike early so you won't get the heat. Enjoy and have fun
I hiked this trail with two friends on November 24, 2012. The trail near Snow Valley is in good shape. Flows in Siberia Creek, Bear Creek, and another tributary were all good. It has been quite a while since I hiked this trail and I was nicely rewarded for deciding to go. The switchbacks are well graded. I also saw plenty of fish in 2 of 3 creeks; didn't look at the third. Finally, the views and overall experience were very good.