Castle Rock Trail is a 2.6 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Big Bear Lake, California that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
2.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
833 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

rock climbing

trail running

walking

forest

views

wildlife

rocky

scramble

snow

Castle Rock trail begins 1.1 miles east of the dam on Hwy 18.

10 days 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
22 days 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 :)

28 days ago

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

29 days ago

Great hike and beautiful views at the top!

1 month ago

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.

1 month ago

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
1 month 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!

hiking
1 month 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
1 month ago

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

1 month ago

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

2 months ago

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.

2 months ago

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

2 months ago

Beautiful view once you get to the top!

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.

3 months ago

Lovely trail

hiking
3 months ago

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

3 months ago

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!

hiking
3 months ago

Nice short hike. Beautiful view from the top of castle rock

hiking
3 months ago

I think it was a bit harder then moderate.
Had to take up slow.
Somehow I found a really quick way down.

hiking
4 months ago

Really beautiful views at the top. It started off a little challenging but after the first mile or so it levels out. The trail splits off in many places, but there are blue trackers to keep you on path. Beautiful view of the lake from the top of the peak.
If you keep going you will end up at a small lake. It took us about 2.6 hours round trip going from the main road to the lake and back. My Fitbit counted 6 miles and 13,050 steps. The trail is dog friendly but make sure you check their paws because there are a lot of small rocks and sharp pine needles.

4 months ago

Use this trail to go on pacific coast trail.

4 months ago

great trail! with mind blowing experience at the top!

4 months ago

nice little hike. good workout on the legs for the first couple hundred yards.

hiking
4 months ago

Did this hike the week following Memorial Day weekend so it was super empty. We also didn't start the hike at the trailhead and clamored up to some boulders on a random hill first and then lost signal and kind of wandered up and down two big hills before finding the wooden steps. From there we explored some boulders and then got lost trying to find the signs again. Without any people on the trail, getting lost is fairly easy to do. Luckily we saw a lone hiker making their way back down and made it to the top. The hike is really fun, but challenging. The views are awesome and the bouldering is GREAT. I would highly recommend it.

4 months ago

Great little hike, however, grade very high!

4 months ago

So crowded over the memorial weekend. Beautiful views and the rivals and and trees were beautiful. So glad we went.

hiking
4 months ago

I went with my husband and our 5 and 6 year old daughters. We all loved this trail. It was steep, but our daughters did awesome. They have been hiking for the past year and this was their most difficult hike. Once we finished, they asked to do it again!

hiking
5 months ago

This trail started out fine. It was pretty dang steep, so we were glad we didn't have small children with us. The problems came when we were about a third a mile up. The path was so worn down by heavy foot traffic that you could no longer tell where the trail was at all! I even tried using the map from the app. No go. We wandered around for an hour then headed in the general direction of the lake. Eventually we found the trail about where we left it. The whole thing was frustrating. Counting all the steep terrain, and the unclear path, this is a difficult hike, and not pleasant.

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