Cougar Crest Trail is a 5.3 mile heavily trafficked 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 best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 5.3 miles Elevation Gain: 898 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

walking

bird watching

running

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

blowdown

muddy

rocky

snow

NOTE: On site parking requires an Adventure Trail pass.

mountain biking
fee
rocky
8 hours ago

This is a moderate, almost continuous climb, with a narrowing path and lots of rocks. Cars must have a pass tag to park at the trail head or you can park two miles away and warm up on the way to the trail head. The altitude, elevation change and large rocks will make hiking challenging and rewarding. There are over a dozen wooden benches and picture points along the way with plenty of tree shade. Climbing on a bike is possible as long as you are patient, careful on the sharp rocks, and ready to pick up and walk your bike across a dozen rough spots. A big box store bike will make it up and down, but the closer you get to the Pacific Crest Trail junction or to the Bertha peak the bike’s suspension will take a beating. A full suspension bike with 100+ mm of travel front and back would be more fun on the way down. If you are looking for an easier ride then go out on this trail less than a mile and turn around. Beyond the first half to 3/4 of a mile the trail’s rocks and tree roots will test your patience and subtract from the fun and downhill speed factor.

hiking
2 days ago

Great trail for families. Very easy with nice views.

hiking
rocky
6 days ago

A fun day hike that’s suitable for families and dogs. I would recommend a pair of hiking shoes with good grip, as most of the trail is rocky. The incline isn’t very strap at all. Once you reach the end of Cougar Crest, you have an option to continue up Berta peak. This part of the trail is strap, but short and has a great 360 degree panorama of the surrounding area. Snow capped summits, and Big Bear Lake off in the distance with boats and jet skis dotting the water below. Bring sunscreen, and some snacks with water. The town below has great food, ice cream, and souvenir shops. We stopped at the Fire Rock Burgers and Brews restaurant, and had a great time!

hiking
7 days ago

we got there at 6:30 with no car but when we came down at 10:30 the parking lot is full other than that the hike is moderate make sure you go to the end of the cougar Crest and you'll see a very nice view of the lake

hiking
bugs
rocky
8 days ago

hiking
8 days ago

Nice moderate hike, lots of dogs! Moderately trafficked today due to the holiday weekend. Bathrooms are closed, portapoty is gross.

hiking
bugs
rocky
9 days ago

hiking
9 days ago

Great trail. it was well maintained and only a handful of people, although covid quarantine is still going on. beautiful views and some neat wildlife!

9 days ago

Everytime I get to Big Bear I make a bee line for this trail! My favorite Big Bear Lake Hike! Gradual ascent. Moderate hike, some small hard patches. Beautiful views. Do it. Super enjoyable.

hiking
rocky
14 days ago

hiking
18 days ago

Welp, didn’t see any cougars... :/

hiking
22 days ago

Been twice, love this trail! It has shady and unshady areas so wear sunscreen. Some areas are rocky but I just wore gym shoes and did fine. Excited to go back maybe in the fall when there’s snow back on the slopes...so pretty but almost all melted now. The views of the lake, slopes, & mountain range are fabulous. We had a picnic after. In the middle of the parking lot there are a couple picnic tables. Port-a-let is overflowing...I would pull off the side of the road and pop a squat before u get there but that’s just me. Happy trails!

23 days ago

Nice moderate hike. Started around 4pm and ran into two different baby rattle snakes. Great view of the lake and valley.

hiking
rocky
24 days ago

Easy to moderate hike with a steady uphill climb. You get occasional view points of the Big Bear Lake. Bring plenty of water as this trail is not very shaded. Also it's dog friendly! Also, the parking lot was empty on Thursday

hiking
27 days ago

Great trail! It was a pretty gradual ascent the whole way and the views of the lake and snow capped mountains were beautiful. We started at 8am on a Saturday and made it back to the trailhead around 11 and the parking lot was full, so it may be good to get an earlier start!

hiking
rocky
28 days ago

hiking
29 days ago

I truly enjoyed this trail. Make sure you have proper shoes since it’s rocky... FYI many dogs were being walked without a leash! Don’t owners think your dog might attack another dog or a human.

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Tons of great junipers and rock formations

hiking
bugs
rocky
1 month ago

I enjoyed this trail... it was more challenging for me because I'm so use to doing easy hikes but this was great. there are some rocky patches... as long as you have comfortable shoes you're good. also the view is amazing and the the weather was awesome

hiking
fee
rocky
1 month ago

Really nice hike. Slightly challenging but you’ll get used to the trail.

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

To the guy who posted on 4/18/20 Your new nickname is Godzilla. It must take a lot of arrogance to step on somebody’s zen. I personally go up there and stack those rocks for my own personal zen and am local. I put up a trail cam to make you famous. Many hikers we’ve past also find it magical and personal. I truly hope to stumble over you soon. Much love Godzilla.

hiking
1 month ago

4/18/2020 Great trail. I’ve hiked it a dozen times or more. Make sure you have your adventure pass or you will be ticketed for parking It was a beautiful day. Not too crowded (Covid), and most were respectful of social distancing and/or wearing masks. I was happy to see I did not have to kick down any stupid cairns at the big rock pile. Also...just a reminder. Please. Leash your dog. Even if it’s friendly. Not everyone loves your dog like you do. Not everyone is comfortable with your unleashed dog.

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

Great trail beautiful scenery Nice spots to sit and enjoy nature and pray

hiking
1 month ago

Bruce. Snow

Showing results 1 - 25 of 825