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Sugarloaf Mountain Trail

HARD 138 reviews

Sugarloaf Mountain Trail is a 11.6 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Big Bear City, California that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 11.6 miles Elevation Gain: 3,228 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

blowdown

over grown

rocky

snow

Located in San Bernardino National Forest, the trail up to Sugarloaf Mountain offers great views of San Gorgonio, southern California's highest peak. Although the summit area does not offer all-encompassing views, hikers will find good views along the ridge-line climb. The parking area can be accessed south of Sugarloaf where Wild Horse Meadows Road intersects with Route 38. From here it is a nice hike down a dirt road to the trailhead. Sugarloaf trail will meander alongside Green Creek for the first two miles. Those interested in plants and trees will enjoy diverse species including the the mid-mountain White Firs, Jefferys and Ponderosas and the upper-mountain's Manzanitas and Sugar Pines.

hiking
rocky
6 days ago

Extremely gorgeous not very difficult. You can drive up 1.6 miles up the trail to a trail head and cut the hike to a 10 mile hike one of my favorites

hiking
rocky
scramble
18 days ago

Hard hike but totally worth it!! Wear good hiking shoes

hiking
bugs
rocky
1 month ago

There are some great vistas on the way up. The summit is a bit of a dud. The last climb back up to the ridge from the dip burns!

hiking
muddy
rocky
1 month ago

Hiked this trail with 8 kids and two other adults. I’d recommend this hike for anyone as long as they are wearing shoes that can withstand the rocky terrain which encompasses the entire trail.

hiking
1 month ago

We got up to the ridge and part of the way to the peak before turning back due to time. It is uphill all the way to the ridge and then, still uphill but less intense. The view of snowy Gorgonio peak was cool (once you hit the ridge). Lots of rocks underfoot. At the beginning we parked and walked road B to the TH which was fine. Overall decent hike and great exercise!

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

If you start in the morning there is plenty of shade. It starts off dense with trees, as you get closer to the top it opens up more. There are some parts of the trail that are rocky, so watch your footing. This hike doesn’t seem to have heavy foot traffic. But the trail itself is pretty maintained, can’t really lose the trail. The views going up are breathtaking! Although it is a challenge it is worth the trip! If you part right at turn out it is very rocky and bumpy. If decided to park right at the turn out, you will have to walk over an extra mile. If your car can make it through the terrain; be warned! The road narrows down to “one lane” traffic. There will be more areas to park, and you cut out that extra mile of walking on the road.

2 months ago

rocky

hiking
2 months ago

You can park right off the highway or, depending on the road conditions and your vehicle, you can drive 1.3 miles on 2N93 to a very small lot at the tailhead. There's a lot of motorized traffic on this sunny, rocky dirt road. If you are going to walk to the trailhead, I recommend taking 2N93B instead, as it is a more narrow road and I only encountered bikers. This is a pleasant hike if you are near Sugarloaf and want a relatively uncrowded route.

hiking
snow
2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

best hike in big bear

3 months ago

Did this trail today and I enjoyed it from the start! The first half is the hardest its a straight ascent the whole way until you get to the crest and then you head west towards sugarloaf through a nice forest I've done most trails in the big bear area and this is a must do I'm going to do it again. This trail and cougar crest to bertha peak are my favorite trails in big bear!!! This trail is harder and has more distant views! The trail starts as an ascent through a forested area up to a stream and a gorgeous stream to meadow setting with a diverse amount of green plant life and grasses with trees and the mountains on both sides it was like walking a forested tunnel. Great setting this is the closest I have seen in our local mountains that reminds me of the meadows and forests of Sequoia national park! After you pass the stream and pass the meadows you keep ascending until you reach the top of the crest where you head west towards sugar bowl through more forest until you hit some rock peaks. This is where the trail starts getting really rocky and it starts to take it's toll on the feet. Theres like three smaller peaks to climb on the way the first one is made out of black stones the other two are made out of pure stones making the trail super rocky through that stretch then you get to another forested area which is sugarloaf mountain. At the top theres two signs and the trail ends from there you can walk around and get really nice views of the San Gorgonios to one side and Baldwin lake with the desert in the background on the other and you can also see big bear lake through the trees further west. It's really nice up there even to camp out. On the way back before descending sugar loaf theres a spot where you get almost a 360 view and you can see how the big bear looks surrounded by mountains as it blends into the desert environment towards the distance. Great views I will be back for sure!

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful views. A little bit muddy at the start by the creek crossing. Otherwise it’s dry. Easy gradual climb. Views of Baldwin Lake and Big Bear Lake about 1.5 miles up. Very little shade, but some on occasion. Quiet compared to Cougars Crest.

hiking
3 months ago

The recording is from the gate adjacent to Hwy 38. It is currently open and you can drive to the trailhead and take a mile (each way) off the hike if you have a vehicle you’re willing to drive on a somewhat rocky dirt road. There’s a lot of runoff right now from the snowpack, so the beginning of the trail is kind of muddy. The first 3 miles (2 from the trailhead) are kind of bland so I put my headphones on and just got them out of the way. Once you reach the ridge, you start getting some views. It flattens out a bit, but not for long. Currently, there are some snowdrifts that I postholed at least 20 times, but I started my hike around 1pm so an earlier hike might have been more solid. Keep an eye on your GPS or you might miss the hard left turn to the southern face away from the snow. The summit is below the tree line, so you don’t get wide open views in all directions. But, with some effort you can find what you’re looking for. Otherwise, my only “complaint” is that most of the trail is rocky...not granite boulder kind of rocky...those fist-sized rocks that demand a little more effort from every step.

hiking
blowdown
rocky
scramble
snow
4 months ago

Great views, trail to ridge in good condition, minor snow drifts. Trail across ridge to summit still has a lot of snow fields and big drifts. Bring micro spikes for the snow scramble. Don’t forget the pie and ice cream!!!!

hiking
7 months ago

Overall great trail. The fire road to the trail head was closed for the winter season right off rt38 so the first mile or so to the trail head is a flat gravel road. Would have liked to do a little off-roading in the jeep! For good reasons tho there was plenty of packed snow and ice about .5 miles on the fire road. Once at the trailhead the entire hike was packed snow and ice at this point. Glad I brought microspikes! Didn’t see a single person out there but I had my dog and a friends dog with me and they loved it. Only hiked about halfway up the trail it was pretty tough in the snow and didn’t wanna push the dogs too hard in the deep snow. I’ll be back to do this trail to the summit come spring when the fire road is open to the trailhead and there’s less snow on the ground.

8 months ago

great spot to visit when there is snow. There was a lot of spots for sledding

fun but challenging trail.

hiking
10 months ago

Did this hike last Friday and was surprised how vacant it was. Only saw one other person on the trail. Beautiful views of San Gorgonio wilderness. Ended up hitting the trail from the old road which had to offroad about 6 miles to get to the entry. Made it up and back in 3.5 hours. Would definitely recommend.

hiking
10 months ago

Did this hike this past Saturday. Like most other reviews you can skip the first mile by driving down the dirt trail in off the 38. We went about halfway and parked by other cars but could have driven in even further. From where we parked round trip was 13 miles according to my Fitbit. We brought our dog (and her backpack) and she did about half the hike on her own. The least favorable aspect of this trail is how rocky the path is. It was hard on my feet so I can only imagine how hard it would have been on my dog if we didn’t have a pack for her to hitch a ride in. Other than that great weather, great views, and now I’m feeling sore but accomplished!

hiking
Sunday, July 29, 2018

Great little training hike with a steady incline. Very rocky the majority of the time so wear appropriate shoes. A vehicle with nominal clearance can make it to the trailhead or add a mile to your hike and park at the road. The actual summit doesn't have a panoramic view but if you head toward the rocks (toward San Gorgonio) theres some sweet look out points. Added a waypoint to my track for a good lookout fort in the rocks.

hiking
Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Did Sugarloaf this morning and it was a hell of a hike. got to the top in 2hr 45min with a lot of breaks in between. great views on the way to the top and lots of shade too, which is good considering it's been a hot summer up here. definitely bring lots of water with you on this hike. it's always good to be safe.

Monday, June 18, 2018

This was a great hike. It took us about hours to the top. The is a little rocky at times, but was hardly any trouble. The first mile has a lot of gnats and flies due to the streams, but you quickly gain 1000' and they are no longer a problem after that. We saw some bear prints but no luck in seeing an actual bear. We sat at peak for some time and were amazed at the numerous butterflies floating about, even saw a blue bird. It's a tough trek, but so worth it!

trail running
Thursday, June 14, 2018

Fun trail, some of which becomes hard to follow the higher you go up. Thankfully, it's easy to stay on course because of the blazes in the trees. I did encounter a black bear on Wildhorse Meadow Road just after exiting the Sugarloaf trail on my way down. It ended peacefully (the wonderful creature wandered off after a few minutes), but it may be helpful brush up on what you should do when you come face to face with bears in the area.

Monday, May 28, 2018

This was cool trail and good work out. We made it up in about 2 hrs and 15 minutes with a good pace. Beautiful views of Gorgonio peak near top. Take car to trail head if you can to avoid walking on dirt road for first 2 miles. Have fun.

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