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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!

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.

hiking
1 day 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!

It was very hot and dry, so carry plenty of water. Trail is well maintained with great views. The last half mile or so was very steep. My GPS recorded 7.2 mile to the top of Bertha Peak.

hiking
2 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.

trail running
7 days ago

Nice hike. More easy than moderate. Many people seen wearing only very simple shoes. Than it can't be very difficult. Great views but the lake disappointed a little.

Fun hike, great views.

A nice hike with family. Had fun climbing on the rocks!

Great hike, took the entire family, lots of shade

Beautiful view once you get to the top!

hiking
19 days ago

Beautiful hike! The first mile is the most challenging but will eventually flatten out. When you get to the meadow I recommend going the extra mile to visit the Champion Lodge Pine. There are many great selfie opportunities too! ;) Difficulty is moderate. Small lake. Fun!
-ANANI Hiker 1

This hike is fantastic! It runs along Castle Rock Trail. Castle Rock is amazing, wish we had time to climb that beast! So many beautiful views, pictures don’t do them justice. The lake was low but still worth going too. Hope this helps, I promise you won’t regret it. ;)
-AMFXR Hiker 2

Beautiful forest hike. View is spectacular but it needs to be very clear to see the ocean and Catalina. Nice view of San Gorgonio peak. Went at 6am to avoid the mountain bikers.

Great little training hike with a steady incline. Very rocky the majority of the time so wear appropriate shoes. A vehicle with nominal clearance can make it to the trailhead or add a mile to your hike and park at the road. The actual summit doesn't have a panoramic view but if you head toward the rocks (toward San Gorgonio) theres some sweet look out points. Added a waypoint to my track for a good lookout fort in the rocks.

Cool trail and very peaceful but we were surprised that the grand view point at the end actually faces away from the lake. Was a lot of work (3.3m)! .5 mile or so into the trail has the lake views, we didn’t realize that from all the pictures and assumed they were of the end!

Great hike! Packed my lunch and took a break just before getting to the top. Lots of shade so it’s a comfortable hike in the summer heat.

Best hike in the area

28 days ago

Great hike! You do get winded going up so be sure to go slow and take a break. Once at Castle Rock, the views are awesome! We had intentions of hiking to Bluff Lake Reserve as another reviewer recommended but we couldn’t find it. So we explored more around the area and that was fun.
We were able to park right at the trail head, arrived at 8:30 on a Saturday. By the time we headed out, 2hrs later, there were a lot more people on the trail. I suggest you start early.

This hike was not too difficult. My wife and I are both in our sixties and found the level of activity just right. Beautiful meadow at the top of the loop.

The trail itself was mostly sand and gravel so you were not constantly walking over rocks and uneven terrain.

This is a great trail, with lots of shade along most of the route and loads of beautiful vistas. Take a lunch and have a meal at Grand View Point before heading back down.

Absolutely gorgeous lake. Only saw the ranger up by the lake on a Tuesday morning. the crossing in the beginning is a bit dangerous, but the trail is nice. Steep initially until you pass the castle rock then it is completely flat. MUST DO, lake is so beautiful.

good hike with great views from the peak. very steep near the top. my dog also liked it.

This trail is across from the Snow Valley Ski Resort. The TH is "Little Green Valley" TH. Can go either direction on this loop. Little steep in a few places, but "not on your butt stuff". Our loop was not "rocky". Fair amount shade, and at decent altitude - i.e. can do this hike when it's a bit warm out other places. There are better 4 star hikes around (like in Big Bear, or Deep Creek in Lake Arrowhead) in the area, This is an easier hike than Keller Peak. This is an easy hike. All the trails are in decent shape, including "connector trails" not visible on Garmin Base Camp or all trails. About 15% of the loop is on a somewhat attractive double track road. Lots of view points. A lot of bike tracks in the "Bike Park", but we saw no hikers or bikers while we were there. It's not a problem walking through the parking lot of the ski resort to get back to your car. The alternative is to do a little bush-wacking near the end to get back to the start, or walk on the side of the road (the car go fast by here).

Lovely trail. Fantastic views

Lovely trail

The view is a valley..for such a harder trail. Shade and peaceful on the way though

hiking
1 month ago

Nice hike great views , dont miss the lake in the end.

hiking
1 month ago

Completed today, 4th July! Repeat to all reviews. Hot. Drank 3 Liters out. Wore good Light weight pants an sun shirt. Really help with all the thorns snags and biting things. One 4’ king snake. Great training hike.
Hike out no joke.

My son and I did Pine Knot Trail and really enjoyed it. The trail was well marked and the shaded. The views are amazing! It was a great way to start the 4th of July!

Fun hike. Not hard but it’s up hill most of the way so you definitely get a workout. The views of the lake at the top are incredible!

There is no place to park near the trail. You can maybe park at the ski resort down the street and cross the four lane highway but I decided to skip this trail and look for another trail with reasonable parking.

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