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Cougar Crest Trail

MODERATE 611 reviews

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

Directions from Big Bear Lake, CA: From the Discovery Center on the northeast shore of Big Bear Lake the trailhead is located 0.6-mile to the west on Highway 38. Or you can park for free until 6 PM at the Discovery Center and walk the 0.6-mile west on Highway 38 to the Cougar Crest Trail.

hiking
rocky
14 days ago

Trail is well marked and not too steep. Partial shade and nice views of the lake in some areas. Parking (paved) and restroom (gross) at trailhead. Gets busy on weekends late morning to early afternoon.

hiking
rocky
16 days ago

Decent hike. Gradual climb. Took a first-timer who kept a decent pace, but took a spill on the way down. WATCH YOUR STEP ON THE ROCKS. The trail is littered with outcroppings of rocks in a lot of places so it’s uneven footing. Great views of the lake though and you meet the PCT at the top. If you keep going past the PCT and the top trailhead you’ll get some cool views on the other side of the mountain

hiking
18 days ago

Well marked trail with great views of Big Bear Lake.

hiking
rocky
20 days ago

Great trail. Moderate hike. Wet well marked. Only a few people on a Monday morning. Heard rattlers a few times in the rocky places. Lots of gnats at the car when we got back, none in the morning when we started.

hiking
23 days ago

Nice trail with easy parking access. Outrageous views of big bear lake just before the trail crosses the pct AND just a 1/4 mile AFTER that intersection. Go early or late or on a weekday to avoid crowds.

hiking
rocky
26 days ago

hiking
rocky
27 days ago

Super moderate ✌

hiking
30 days ago

amazing day on the trail. on the summit a met a couple from Germany who knew my great grand father from Germany. of all places to meet. trail is awesome. make sure yo bring LOTS of water. at least 2L. cant drink enough up there.

hiking
30 days ago

Very rocky trail with several beautiful view points. We found trekking poles to be very helpful. Wear good hiking shoes with good tread/ grip and plenty of water. Only complaint was the “bathroom at the parking lot trail entrance. One of the nastiest I’ve seen in awhile

recorded Cougar Crest Trail

hiking
1 month ago

We started out at 6;30 am. It can get hot quickly so bring plenty of water. Nice incline all the way to Bertha Peak trailhead. Then steep to Bertha Peak.

hiking
1 month ago

Great and easy trail! Beautiful views

hiking
1 month ago

Great little moderate to the PCT and back. Plenty of ppl but great views

hiking
1 month ago

Good hike. Lots of shade with occasional views of the lake.

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail! Clear and wide. Beautiful plants and trees along the way. The view from the top was gorgeous. We saw several People carrying their dogs down. It is a longish Trail and rocky in spots. I would not bring a small dog on this trail.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike with nice vistas of Big Bear Lake.

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

Well maintained trail with some beautiful overlooks of Big Bear Lake. Moderate traffic at 1000.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike! Mod elevation gain, steep in some spots, rocky throughout. Dry and hot— recommend bringing more water than you think you need! Plenty of spots to stop in the shade, nice beeeze. Well marked trail, great views of the lake from the top.

hiking
1 month ago

A great hike with the dog on 8/19/19. Started at cougar crest trailhead, connected to PCT, and hiked up to berthas peak. Started at about 900 and encountered very few other hikers on the way up (maybe a handful). On the way back down around 1200 the trail started to get a little more crowded. Would suggest starting earlier rather than later. Would definitely come back again!

hiking
1 month ago

Decent, a bit hot and crowded in the late summer. Start early.

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

My husband and I loved this trail. It was a bit hot and next time we will go earlier in the day but very pretty view of the entire lake. Well worth it.

hiking
2 months ago

Great trail. Nice views of the lake.

hiking
2 months ago

I've done this trail multiple times. I'd say most areas are moderate but definitely some difficult sections. If you can make it to the top, the views are amazing!

hiking
2 months ago

Awesome out and back

hiking
2 months ago

Did this one in December. Beautiful trail with amazing views at the top. Can also hike the PCT for a while. It was a little muddy and wet.

hiking
bugs
2 months ago

Parts of trail still wet from Thunder storms... started at 8:30 am after breakfast at sugar Bear cafe ...

hiking
no shade
rocky
2 months ago

This is a great trail! Parking lot is nice and big. Trail is uphill but doable. I loved it.

hiking
2 months ago

Easy terrain and good views of the lake. Elevation of trail not bad.

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

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