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Bertha Peak Via Holcomb Valley Road (2N09)

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San Bernardino National Forest

Bertha Peak Via Holcomb Valley Road (2N09) is a 2.8 mile out and back trail located near Big Bear City, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

Length 2.8 mi Elevation gain 718 ft Route type Out & Back
Dog friendly Kid friendly Hiking Horseback riding Mountain biking Nature trips Walking Forest Views Wild flowers Wildlife
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Getting There

Super easy short hike with great views - Big Bear and San Gorgonio This is a quick, easy, and painless hike to a fairly good size mountain 8201'. You get an amazing view of Big Bear Lake, and the San Gorgonio Wilderness. The only downside is the radio towers on top, but then again you can't have everything. The view from the other side is nice, just not as spectacular, you can see all of Holcomb Valley, Delamar Mountain and into the High Desert. If you've only got a couple of hours to spare in Big Bear, this is the hike for you. The only difficulty is the last .4 of a mile, the road is steep in spots. But, it shouldn't present a challenge to anyone. You may just need a few little rest stops. Bikes are allowed on the roads, but not on the PCT.

SBNF (909)884-6634

Drive to the town of Fawnskin and take Holcomb Valley Road up into the mountains. Follow it until you cross the PCT, there is a nice little turn-out for one vehicle. It's a four by four road that is locked at times - check with the ranger. Follow the PCT east until you meet up with the Cougar Crest Trail, stay on it until you cross the Bertha Peak road, follow the road to the top. If you do not want to four-by, you can also take the Cougar Crest Trail which is also an easy hike, a few miles longer, but not much more difficult, I've done the Cougar Crest to Bertha Peak in just under an hour before. However, this trail is easily accomplished by beginners. And, if you want a little more when you return you can extend your hike by going to Delamar in the opposite direction.

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Reviews (83)
Photos (377)
Recordings (83)
Completed (218)
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Karina Young
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 21, 2020
Hiking

Awesome trail to get sweeping views of Big Bear and beyond! We made it up with our 5year old and minimal carrying. The last bit is steep but manageable- take it one step at a time folks. Tips: - the road is rocky to the trail but not crazy. Most suvs and crossovers should be fine. Leave your sedan at home - look out for the PCT marker people mention. It’s easy to miss on the way back so make sure you see it going out and look for it on your right heading back. - when you’re heading out and pass the PCT sign you’ll see there paths ahead of you. This is where people get mixed up. Stay straight (see picture with my husband and kiddo walking the right path)

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Jenny Lynn
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 20, 2020
HikingGreat!Off trailRocky

This is a beautiful, challenging, steep incline, moderate is right. But wondrous the whole way. Minus the electrical crap at the very top, it was worth the views and feel of being up there overlooking the lake and sunset. Time it just right for sunset & you can still get back to your car if you have a pace of at least 30mins to a mile, this is in mid October. Left at 4pm and got to stop a few times for pics & enjoyed plenty of chill time at the top. left the peak at 5:30 & was back to our car, just after sunset. Could have stayed a little longer up there TBH. *Shoutout to All Trails for sending me an alert that I had indeed missed the PCT marker & needed to turn around* - that came through on a clutch this app is worth every penny. The other review was right, it’s easy to go off the trail on your way back so look out for that PCT marker, it is broken and just a slither (as shown in the pic). If I lived here I’d train on this hike fo sho.

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Molly Gale
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 12, 2020
Hiking

You drive on a dirt road for a bit before arriving at a pretty clear trailhead! If the spots are full, drive down the road and around the bend and there are more roadside spots. Good hike with incline at the end that gets your heart rate up! Good views at the top too!!!! Easy to miss the trail on the way back so watch for PCT marker on your right — if you end up at the road where your car isn’t, just go right at the road and walk up the hill about 5 minutes.

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Laurie Crawley
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 5, 2020
Hiking

IMHO, the 24min drive to the trailhead is NOT suitable for any vehicle without off road tyres and suspension. It’s a dirt road and you can try it if you don’t mind crawling along at 15 miles an hour, waiting to bottom out on the uneven terrain. Didn’t make it to the hike.

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James R Wilson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 5, 2020
Hiking

We took Van Dusen Canyon Road (aka 3N03) to the trailhead. That is an easy dirt road access, though if you have allow rise vehicle, just go cautiously, should be OK. The trailhead is marked, but a bit obscure. know where it is before you leave. It's not hard to find parking near the trailhead. The trail is largely the Pacific Crest Trail, though not the final double track trail to the top. The top has the best views of Big Bear Lake I've seen. The trail is slightly rocky, but overall, it's an easy to moderate trek (a little steep near the top).

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Brenna Alyse
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 21, 2020
HikingRocky

Absolutely gorgeous trail that was well worth the minor inconveniences. You should be aware that to reach this trail you basically have to off-road for about 10 minutes and there is very limited parking. So don’t bring your new car on this trail if your worried about potholes and dirt. It was very easy to get off-trail as well! And if you don’t look very closely you could end up on a dirt road that looked to be a maintenance road. This road will still take you to where you need to go though! There is a spot where this trail Intersects with two others, and it is unclear which way is the correct way to Bertha peak. It ended up being a 3 hour hike and was 1.5hrs each way, so be mindful of that as well! The last stretch of the hike is a decent incline, which I would say definitely makes this a moderate trail! Overall, an amazing experience! Just try to stay on trail!

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Ryan Orr
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HikingMuddy
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Ron Vesely
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HikingRocky
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Mike Zwahlen
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Hiking

100% not easy. I am pretty good shape as an acrobat, and this was for sure moderate.

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Heidi Greenfield
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 7, 2019
Hiking

Beautiful well-marked hike along part of the Pacific Crest Trail and up to Bertha’s Peak. Beautiful views throughout. The Bertha’s peak part had a lot of loose rock and (expected) steep inclines (only mentioning because it’s marked as an “easy” trail).

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Dawn Spellman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 18, 2019

loved it! so pretty! I parked off of Holcomb Valley Road at the beginning of the PCT Trail, from there was four and a half to five miles to Bertha Peak. utilized PCT. Views were amazing of Big Bear Lake. I took my eight-year-old Chihuahua on it, it was pretty steep and Rocky in some areas though. it looks like it intersected cougar Creek Trailhead also.

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Tim Somers
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 7, 2018

Nice but more of a road than a trail for the majority of the distance. Not terribly well marked and easy to get off on an alternate route. The last 1/4 to 1/2 mike is very steep.

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Nick Humby
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 24, 2018

Definitely a “moderate”, not an “easy”. Dirt road to access was fine in our regular car as we took it slow, a lot of potholes but they weren’t too deep. Parked on a small pull out just before PCT. Really nice trail but a lot of steep climbing on a dirt road (especially near the top). The PCT options made it much nicer lower down. 4miles rt.

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John Mackay
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 16, 2017

I read the reviews before trying, but was was unable to access the trailhead by minivan using polique canyon road. The access is via a two mile uphill stretch on unpaved road with tons of holes and sharp rocks. I was concerned that my tires wouldn't make it, so I turned around. I'd recommend you come only with 4wd and be prepared to drive very slowly if you want to get to the trailhead.

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frank wells
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 18, 2017
Hiking

Just completed this trail and linked PCT trail to Big Pines. Fantastic views.

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Pete L
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 12, 2016
Hiking

Great easy hike for beginners. The views are fantastic as well. It's worth it if you're looking for an easy stroll.

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Matt Harmon
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 10, 2016
Hiking

Great hike. The first mile was a steady climb before it mellowed out. Then that last mile was tough. But what a great view. My 8 year old son did a great job hiking it. We started at the Discovery Center and that added a half mile to the hike. 9 miles round trip

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Laraine Crutchley
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 14, 2015
Hiking

Beautiful Easy hike

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Luke Carter
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 7, 2015

Beautiful hike. Great view of the lake from the top. There are several intersections in the trail so bring this app along to use as a map. If you do that it is easy!!

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Jerry Hildeman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 20, 2015
Hiking

A nice little day hike to do a SOTA activation. The peak at the radio towers were so-so, but the hike had excellent cell service if needed, the parking lot was very nice, and the trail well maintained and navigable. See my website / blog for video footage of this hike and others.

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Bill Donovan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 19, 2015
Hiking

This is a relatively easy hike, except for the confusing array of intersections with the Pacific Crest Trail and forest service roads. Take Polique Canyon Road up from the 38 and park off the road at the top of the hill where it starts down into Holcomb Valley. The way I got through the confusion at trail intersections was to just keep going eastward. You can take either the forest service road or the trail part of the way. It gets steep at the end as you approach Bertha. Great views from the top down to the lake,and on the opposite side into Holcomb Valley, where the town of Belleville once was.

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James Buggie
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMay 6, 2015
Hiking

One other comment I have about this trail, after the rocky portion (first .5 miles), the trail comes along side a fire road. I was very unclear whether to take the fire road or continue on the trail. I would recommend finding out that answer before starting out. It seems that some here continued on the fire road while others stayed on the trail.

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Jeffery Poff
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 13, 2012
Hiking

I did this hike today and it was a lot of fun. The views are great and I only saw two groups of people. There is two parking spots at the trail head which is exactly where alltrails says it is. Fun hike!

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Spencer Judy
Gray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarOctober 11, 2020
Hiking
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Eddie Guillen
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Running
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Anna Weissman
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Hiking
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Kristopher S. User
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Hiking
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Sonny Cisneros
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Hiking
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