Big Bear Lake Trail

HARD 11 reviews
#3 of 29 trails in

Big Bear Lake Trail is a 7.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Trinity Center, California that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

7.8 miles
2874 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly






nature trips

trail running





wild flowers


17 days ago

Breathtaking... both physically and emotionally! This is the perfect challenging day hike, you'll work your tushie off on the way up but the reward is so, so sweet . Absolutely beautiful scenery and Big Bear Lake is the perfect temp for a dip to cool off at the end. Definitely recommend morning this time of year, I started at noon and it was pretty darn warm. There are several creeks on the way up if you have a doggo who wants to cool off, but I'd suggest still bringing water for Fido just in case cause he'll be working hard, too! Love this hike, I'll be back!

1 month ago

Attempted in Feb. Made it to the canyon before Big Bear Lake before the sun went down and the temperature dropped. Snow has 10-15ft deep where we stopped. Snow was hard with 6" of powder. Did not need snowshoes. Also we had to park 2 miles down the road as the road was closed by the highway turnoff.

1 month ago

1 month ago

Big Bear Lake trail was absolutely beautiful. If you are an avid hiker I would consider this trail easy-moderate. If you don't hike frequently, you could consider it more on the hard-challenging side. You will end up climbing a near 3000 ft during this 10 mile hike.

Surprisingly, we saw a gigantic rattle snake at the top of the trail about .5 mi from the lake, so be aware they are still out even at this elevation with snow on the ground. (June 25th)

The views were breathe taking. A jump in the crystal clear lake was very refreshing when we reached the destination. If hiking earlier in the morning (recommended) be prepared to eat some bugs. :p. They don't bite, but they can definitely be an annoyance for the early portion of the trail.

I would most definitely do this trail again, and probably again. The tranquil lake and all it's peaceful surrounding views make for a beautiful hike.

4 months ago

Great hike! Beautiful lake and surrounding granite peaks. Went in June, camped one night and was the only person there. Didn't make it to little or wee bear lakes, had to save for next time.

11 months ago

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Monday, September 21, 2015

This hike was wonderful once we reached the gorgeous lake. the hike, while pretty, was honestly one of the hardest hikes I've done. And I'm an in shape 26 year old. With about 36 pounds on my back. Was definitely not easy I would not recommend this if you are out of shape or taking the kids. Lol or a smoker. It is straight up the almost entire time. It plateaus for about a quarter mile then your bushwacking and Creek climbing for another good 800 to 1000 feet. The next day My brother and I also chose to climb the pyramid like granite peak on the west of the lake. It separates little and big bear and was a challenging boulder mt climb but we'll worth the great view. We then side hilled over to the other two lakes and went down to them. We then hiked back to camp at big bear. Then hiked out, so that was a strenuous day. Again this hike is gorgeous and was worth it but it is by no means easy. Canyon Creek was cake compared to this one.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

We took this hike late in the fall & were pleasantly distracted from some of the scenery because of the abundance & variety of mushrooms! The hike was moderately difficult, first through forest, then manzanita, before opening up to granite slopes before reaching the lake. The day we went, there were icy streams flowing. Next time, I want to go find Little & Wee Bear Lakes, too!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Did as a day hike. I would rate as moderate due to distance and elevation gain. Big Bear Lake is one of the most beautiful alpine lakes I have ever been to. the water is crystal clear and there are an abundance of trout in the lake. The hike up is borderline amazing, traveling through old growth groves and across granite. If you can do this hike on a weekday, you may be the only person there. love it

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Did big bear with a 2 night, 4-person backpacking trip. With a heavy pack it is quick a trek up and down the trail with the 3k elevation gain. Took our group 6 hours up over mid-day and three hours down over early morning. The lake is in a beautiful bowl with small adolescent salmon jumping out of the water at night and a pair of owls. Saw some bear sign on the way up but no live bears. There are a couple of good campsites right off the trail and possibly one on the other side of the lake (takes a little bit to get there). All sites filled up by Saturday night in early September so it looks well used. Once your there the hike to wee bear can be fun, technical and difficult. Took 4-hours round trip for one pair in our party. Overall the lake is great but it takes a while to get to. Plan ahead and leave early.