Explore the most popular rock climbing trails in San Bernardino National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
4 days ago

Easy short hike. You need to climb some rocks for better views - that can be fun :) parking spot is small and you need to cross the road, so be carefull. we've collected a lot of trash after other people on that trail that day.

hiking
6 days ago

steep climb from the start. several side trails before the final climb. lots of rock climbing. several rock formations.

on Castle Rock Trail

hiking
9 days ago

easy hike. great views from the top to the lake. you will have to climb up rocks if you want the nice views. parking is scarce, be careful crossing the highway.

Great hike in our local mountains!! Easy trail to follow. Challenging going up, but quick recovery on the down. Watch out for mountain bikers!!

hiking
17 days ago

A little steep at some points but lots of shade throughout the trail and quite a few resting spots. The rocks are great for climbing and provide a gorgeous view of the lake.

on Castle Rock Trail

1 month ago

Definitely not an easy hike but it is do-able if you take your time. Towards the end you have to do a little ‘rock climbing’ to get to the top of castle rock but the view is well worth it! I found a long hiking stick up there and it helped me be stable while coming back down. I got a little lost coming down like some people said because the trail isn’t marked well but if something looks like a path it should take you back down. Hopefully haha

hiking
1 month ago

Good hike! The beginning it starts off pretty steep but levels out (yet still climbing up) towards the middle. Around this area it opens up a bit, and it’s not marked great for directions, but no to hard to figure out how to get back on trail! Beautiful view at the top of castle rock :)

Great hike! Beautiful views from the top. It’s pretty much all up hill so be prepared but it’s worth it.

Great hike and beautiful views at the top!

Excellent view at the top but lacks proper trail path. Climbing to the top of the rocks can be bit problematic for people who are not accustomed to rock climbing.

After reading reviews about this trail, I decided to head up the mountain this morning to make this my first solo hike. The directions are spot on and take you right to the start of the trail head. No adventure parking pass needed. I’m not the most out of shape person, but the first half mile is uphill and will get your heart pumping but it definitely pays off. There is a beautiful lookout of the lake about half way through the trail. The trail was well kept and tons of signage to keep you on course. I got up there around 10am and there were only a handful of people on the trail. There was definitely more traffic on my way down, so I recommend getting here early. Will definitely be doing this again!

hiking
2 months ago

Great views! The trail is not clearly marked so make sure you don’t get off track. Definitely do not try and bring a stroller or a small one who can’t climb. In order to reach the top, be prepared to climb. Phenomenal views at the top!

on Castle Rock Trail

hiking
2 months ago

Went earlier this morning and we all loved it. It’s a little hard at times some steep hills, but they say the best view is after the hardest hike, and this view was amazing!

hiking
2 months ago

nice uphill hike. small climb to the top with nice lookout of lake

Easy to get to from Rancho Cucamonga. Looking for places like this to take our dog. Don’t go expecting a strenuous hike. On All Trails it says “Easy” for a reason. Felt safe because the USA Forestry station is there. I will go back.

I would not consider this hike a work out but it does get your heart rate up if you continually stay to the left and walk over the peaks. It gets a little sketchy up there because your walking backbones in the heavy wind on top which adds an element of excitement. Watch your step on the ways down though it can get sandy and steep. It does have some great views of the obscure rock formations and being somewhat of a rock hound and geology nut it makes it a really nice 45 minute escape from the rat race. We did catch a really cool horned toad last time out. I’ll post some pics.

Great hike and beautiful views! The trail gets more difficult to follow half way up.

An Awesome Pit stop for those looking for an easy Half hour hike on a hill Top. May look boring but once on top there are beautiful Views of Rock formations and the entrance to the wilderness

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
2 months 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!

hiking
2 months 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.

love this trail. I've both hiked and MTB it

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

Beautiful view once you get to the top!

Time: 10:45am at beginning of trailhead
Followed AllTrails map.
Temperature: 80s.

If you stick to the All trail map, the mileage is pretty accurate. Very little shade on this hike. Path is narrow in a lot of areas so be careful.
If you stop at the location specified in the map, there’s a shaded open area with rocks to sit and lay on next to the river/ stream which was green from the algae but still nice and serene.
There were quite a few dirt bikes at the beginning before the trailhead which kicked up a lot of dirt. They don’t tend to slow down so watch out. Apparently it’s a thing here. The majority of hiking trail does not allow motorized vehicles.

A couple of reviewers mentioned a waterfall on this trail. You need to detour off the trail down a pretty steep hill to go to Aztec Falls. This was about 1/3 of the way in so look out for it if that’s what you want to do.

Tip: bring extra water if weather is hot
Bring poles if you go down to Aztec falls. It will help.

3 months 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.

Went here on a Friday afternoon, no one else was at Aztec falls, was beautiful and surreal. Very steep hike down to the falls; I basically sat down and scooted whole way down, and climbing up was a bit hard, had to find rocks and branches to pull up on. The falls were very worth it! While hiking on trail by bridge heard a noise, looked down to see a huge rattle snake less than a foot from me! We also saw other small snakea crossing the trail! Easily got to Splinters cabin parking area in Nissian Maxima! Beautiful, would highly recommend! Defiantly check out the waterfall, was the highlight of the hike! Very special when no one else is there! Was weary about some of the reviews stating that there was trash all over by the falls. There were a few cans but that's about it, still very beautiful. One of the best hikes in the area! Very much worth it.

Great hike!!! But it’s Splinters trail to PCT. Legit 7 miles of uphill both ways.

This trail was awesome! i went with my friend we are both beginners and we had a great time jumping in the water is so cold and refreshing. It is a very short hike to get to the main pool we did not go up the whole trail we stopped at the main pool in the pictures and explored downstream a bit I recommend this for hikers age 2-adult I saw a 2 year old trooper there and some older crowds this hike is great for all ages just watch out for rocks and snakes. Also you need a parking pass but I think you purchase them in town somewhere? There was no office there to purchase them and there is no cell service.

Lovely trail

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