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All round great hike. Long enough, with the elevation, to push you. But not brutal enough to upgrade it from a “moderate” to a “hard” class hike. Two sets of mule deer does with fawns, marmots, pikas and the lake itself make this well worth the time and effort.

hiking
10 minutes ago

Easy, paved trail with a few places to shorten the loop in case you don't want to walk the full length. The day I did it was a busy day in the park (Yosemite valley was closed due to fire) yet there were still few people on the trail. Highlight for me was the House group, which is a large group clustered together that you can walk right under. My five year old loved it too.

hiking
27 minutes ago

So easy a fat guy can do it. The hike up is a near constant incline but not very steep. With frequent breaks we made it to the lake with our 7 year old, 15 year old, and 2 adults. The lake itself is very pretty and we enjoyed resting our legs by the water and eating some snacks before making our way back down.

1st hike ever! Spent a few days in San Diego which we usually do once a year, wanted to do something different with my wife and two daughters 6/3. Drove to the South Beach parking lot from Hotel Circle (15-20 min) paid $15 for parking on a Monday and headed up the hill to get to the trails, that was the hardest part, my 3 year old was already on my shoulders and my 6 year old was already starting to complain. Finally got to the trail and they were more enthused. 6 year old did everything herself, with a helping hand on some steeper steps and sandy rock towards the bottom. They loved the end result of the ocean being right there at the last staircase. She now wants to do a hike again. I would recommend 5+ for newbies, yes younger can do it, but expect them to want to be carried for a bit.

hiking
15 hours ago

This hike is very pretty. I only made it to First Lake because it started to rain pretty heavily at that point and I was only wearing shorts and a tank top. Definitely be sure to bring a sweater (even if the weather is hot when you start the hike). Also, I was told the hike was only 3.8 miles to first lake... which definitely made me wonder if it was the altitude alone that made the hike seem so long. I gave this trail a 4 star rating because horses are allowed on the trail and you can pay $100 to ride a horse to third Lake. The path is narrow at some points which makes it difficult to avoid horse droppings in some locations (and the mess/smell the droppings made after being reconstituted by the rain was not entirely pleasant).
I’d definitely recommend bringing extra sunscreen (and wearing a hat and/or long sleeves). I’m very fair skinned and the first 2.5 miles or so don’t have much shade.

Love this trail! It can get a little crowded but if you go early in the morning or later in the afternoon you’re usually okay. Also there’s no shade so bring plenty of water!! Both my dogs have made it all the way up and back, it’s a great workout!

hiking
20 hours ago

Great trail worth going up to the ridge for the view from above.

trail running
21 hours ago

Super fun. Running through the rocks is the best part

hiking
21 hours ago

Great trail, very interesting the whole way. We parked at the backpackers lot and had to walk a bit down the road since we were told by the ranger not to use the pack trail. A lot of people disregarded that rule, but this is the route we did. This trail is scenic pretty much the whole way. Its pretty steep and hot in the first few miles but once you're past the first series of switchbacks beside second falls, it starts to flatten out. It stays pretty flat until a little bit after Lon Chaneys cabin (~1/2 way to 2nd lake). The second set of switchbacks wasn't as bad as the first and you'll start to see the turquoise water of 1st lake through the trees. We went to second lake and camped there for a couple nights, spent the days exploring the other lakes. We had thunderstorms every day between 2-6 like clockwork. This is what we called our afternoon thunderstorm nap time. On the last day after the thunderstorm we were greeted with a double rainbow!!! It was insanely beautiful! When it was time to go, it only took about an hour to get back down...I would do this trail again, even as a day hike although it is so beautiful you don't want to leave. Ever.

on Eaton Canyon Trail

1 day ago

Enjoyed a beautiful day to take this trail. Have come here before back when the stream was pretty dry last summer 2017. Really enjoyed coming back, listening to the water run, and enjoying that waterfall was amazing!!

too many people not enough parking

this hike is long, but has equivalent elevation gain to nearby hikes and so is actually a fairly mild hike. there is very little steep climb, and the views at the end are gorgeous! and to clarify, it's ~6.5mi round trip (despite being out-and-back). trail markers aren't super clear, so make sure you reference a map and don't end up on the fire roads and down the wrong trail!

with many breaks and pauses for photos, this hike took us about 3.5hrs. perfect hike for dogs!

Nice hike, but can get very crowded. I have done this hike twice, both on weekdays mornings with a 7:30 start time. No line at the rock either time. By the time we started back down there were quite a few people on the trail. It's basically uphill all the way to the top but worth it for that cool photo. It's definitely not a casual stroll, so be prepared for a workout.

Hiked with a small group, first time up the trail. Started at 10AM and had shaded trail most of the way to Saddle Junction. Great views all the way up, moderate elevation gain, trial in good condition. No bugs at all. Would definitely return and go up to Tahquitz Peak.

Beautiful trail. Harder than moderate for me but I’m fresh out of a major back surgery. If you’re in good shape I can see it being a moderate hike. All uphill and lots of boulders and dense forest make it visually spectacular. It’s the most popular hiking trail in Big Bear Lake so it’s crowded on warm weekends. Parking is limited so get there early or go mid week. Also wear good shoes with grip, coming down can get slippery in the gravel and sandy areas.

Good work out on a consistent uphill slope all the way to the top. Coming down is tough on knees and toes. But , it is all worth it! Good view and yes, the special Potato Chip rock!

hiking
2 days ago

We did this hike the Tuesday following Memorial Day weekend and it was empty. We started the hike off the trailhead and climbed our way up a hill with some huge boulders on top. From there we climbed up and down a few more hills until we found the wooden steps. We took a short break on the wooden benches and saw a ton of chipmunks and baby squirrels as we dug into some trail mix. From there we kept trekking but soon got lost. This trail is very easy to get lost on, especially with no one around. Luckily we found a few trail signs and managed to make sense of them to reach the top. We definitely made this hike more challenging than it needed to be, but it does get fairly steep at some points. Overall, awesome views and fun to explore!

The elevation gain posted here is correct but not the mileage...it is at least 1 mile longer than the posted 9 miles if you do the loop...definitely recommend getting there early to avoid the heat and the crowds that come later...I usually try to start around 6 am. Hiking poles aren’t needed but could be useful for some people. Depending on the weather conditions when you do this hike, I think 2-3 liters of water should be fine.
From the Cobb Estate gate it is about 2.5 miles up to Echo Mtn. From there you can either start with the San Merrill trail or the Castle Canyon to get to Inspiration Point and use whichever one you didn’t take up to get back down to Echo. My GPS measured Castle Canyon to be about 1 mile shorter.
Distance- 10.1 miles
Duration- 4-6 hrs
Difficulty- hard

*easy to find street parking and no Adventure Pass needed

No water at the waterfall but still a good hike! Very rocky, not meant to climb alone. Bring water! There’s no service on the trail.

backpacking
3 days ago

Beautiful lake, and definitely hike up to the pass and see the view!
The altitude was a bit tough for our group, had to stop and catch our breath a few times on the way up, but well worth the effort. The lake was pristine and we had a great swim after setting up camp.

This is a very unique and rewarding hike! We started at 7am sharp from the parking area just above Manaker Flats campground. The trail was pretty quiet being on a Thursday. After 3 hours and 15 minutes, we reached the summit. On the way up, we took the service road to the top of the chair lift and followed Devils Backbone Trail to the summit. Our descent was via the Baldy Bowl Trail, which was very steep and included many areas of loose sand and gravel. The terrain and surroundings are very unique and I would definitely recommend this hike to any experienced hiker!
Ascent: 3 hours 15 minutes via Devils Backbone
Descent: 2 hours and 30 minutes

Pretty easy going down to the waterfall only about 1.8 miles but on the return it can be a little difficult due to the incline. Plan accordingly.

nice with 4 kids

Even though the falls don't flow as much, it's still a great hike.

Great trail for all ages and abilities. Plan on checking tide levels if you’re looking to take the beach trail back to the parking lot. High tide hit around noon.

One of the most beautiful hikes/places Iv seen. It’s a must do, I recommend starting the hike no later than 6am. You’ll see sunrise and avoid any heat!

If your going just to see the waterfall be warned there is no water right now.

Maybe I was having an "off" hike. I found this trail to be very difficult to follow. I got to a point of the trail where the only option to go would have been to scale a very sandy and steep hill, I would've taken that route had I not been with my 60 lb dog. If that was the true route to go, I would not call this trail a dog-safe trail. Unfortunately we had to turn around.

hiking
4 days ago

Nice hike. Pretty much all up hill on the way there. Once you make it to the top, coming down is easy. There was a rattle snake curled up on the side of the trail.
Great views from the peaks of the rocks.

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