Explore the most popular birding trails near Big Bear City with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Great trail with great views! Also take it slow around the sharp turns since it gets pretty narrow

Absolutely gorgeous lake. Only saw the ranger up by the lake on a Tuesday morning. the crossing in the beginning is a bit dangerous, but the trail is nice. Steep initially until you pass the castle rock then it is completely flat. MUST DO, lake is so beautiful.

hiking
8 days ago

Great Hike!!! Not to steep. Terrain was a little rocky.

Was a great little hike. Remarkable beautiful views. Love this place.

Nice but more of a road than a trail for the majority of the distance. Not terribly well marked and easy to get off on an alternate route. The last 1/4 to 1/2 mike is very steep.

hiking
14 days ago

Completed today, 4th July! Repeat to all reviews. Hot. Drank 3 Liters out. Wore good Light weight pants an sun shirt. Really help with all the thorns snags and biting things. One 4’ king snake. Great training hike.
Hike out no joke.

hiking
15 days ago

Great hike with great scenery. Perfect thing to do while camping at Serrano campground. Approximately .7 miles from the campground to the trailhead. Need an adventure pass to park there if you are driving.

hiking
22 days ago

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.

Excellent hike from the base gate up.
Take the time and talk with the volunteers in the tower. They have a lot of great area information and can point out some great sites to see.

Definitely a “moderate”, not an “easy”. Dirt road to access was fine in our regular car as we took it slow, a lot of potholes but they weren’t too deep. Parked on a small pull out just before PCT. Really nice trail but a lot of steep climbing on a dirt road (especially near the top). The PCT options made it much nicer lower down. 4miles rt.

Love this trail.. JKU 3.5” lift with 35’s no lockers

My college friend took me and another friend who were both visiting from out of state on this hike. Was a great morning hike to experience the area and see the lake from above. We did see a rattlesnake (second time my friend has on this trail), so keep your eyes peeled near the rocky spots and your dogs close!

off road driving
1 month ago

first time taking out my xj sport with 30s and 3inch lift. we made it all the way had so much fun. just 4.l and pick your line and smooth throttle control and you will be good.

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!

Use this trail to go on Pacific coast trail

hiking
1 month ago

Just did Butler Peak this morning. Very beautiful hike all the way up to the peak. Nice gradual climb, nothing too crazy. Once you're up, amazing views of Arrowhead, Big bear, Snow valley, and the High desert.

trail running
1 month ago

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.

off road driving
1 month ago

Stock 2017 JKUR HR can do this with a little rock stacking. Trail is mostly flat, 4 or 5 semi challenging obstacles. Couple scratches on the gas tank skid plate.

Beautiful hike. not very tough but not too easy. Didn't see any other hikers and I went on a Saturday. Saw several Mtn bikers though and 1 guy on a dirt bike.

I love taking my dog for a walk on this path. easy 5 mile walk with nice lakeside views.

Great trail. easy 5 mile round trip hike with nice views of the lake.

It was beautiful - as Big Bear always is but follows a dirt road entire time so if you’re looking for a small trail in the forest, this isn’t it. But worth exploring!

off road driving
1 month ago

Not really a fan. A couple of moderately difficult step ups early on but this whole trail is nothing but rock. Not the challenging types of rocks, just rocks. And more rocks. To the extent that we just turned around at about the half way point cause it just wasn’t fun. Relentless rock bumps that just got old fast. As I mentioned, we didn’t do the whole trail so it’s possible that it gets better further up but I don’t think so.

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.

hiking
1 month ago

This was a great last minute hike choice. Knowing that there was a gorgeous view of Big Bear Lake waiting for us at the top made it all worth it. It’s a good moderate hike, lots of lizards and birds, many friendly fellow hikers, several bench seats at view look outs to take a break on if needed. Take water and some snacks

Good exercise hike even from the shorter "cheater" trail (please see my track from a few days ago). We got off highway 38 at the fire road where my track begins. It was a little less than 7 miles off road each way from there to the trailhead parking area. The hike itself was only 7.5 miles and 1600ft up/down from there round trip to sugarloaf peak. Not many wildflowers yet. The dirt road is maybe a level 2/10 off road experience. I took it a little too fast in my Kia Sorento, and had to replace a leaking strut 2 days later (just take it slow, and you should be ok). About 0.9 miles into the hike from the TH is where the "cheater trail" meets the main trail, then onto the ridge, and out to sugarloaf peak. There are some interesting trees (like giant Juniper trees), great vistas (especially of Mt. San Gorgonio), and some interesting rock formations. Note - the trail is like stair climbing for 50% of it (though never hugely steep), and is annoying rocky (have good hiking boots on). Max temp was 47 degrees our day, which with the sun was about perfect hiking weather.

off road driving
2 months ago

Great trail. Some minor challenges without lockers in a lifted 17’ JKU with 35” tires. Really only would have engaged them once but a little bump and we were up and over.

hiking
2 months ago

Good workout trail. Beautiful at the bottom with plenty of water and huge deep pools and waterfalls. Worth a visit. Trail is steep and slippery in places due to sand, but manageable if you take your time. We measured it at about 7/10 of a mile one way and about 900 feet of elevation loss to the bottom. That, of course, means 900 feet of gain hiking back out. Figure about 30 minutes going down and an hour or more going uphill. Take your time, rest when necessary and you will find it a moderate challenge. The trailhead is at the end of the dirt road that continues when the pavement ends. Probably 3-4 miles from Hiway 18. You'll know you are there when you get to the parking area with the "Fisherman" sign next to the beginning of the trail. The dirt road dead ends at this sign, so you know you are there.

very hard trail over grown shrubs and trees on trail .. you better be in good shape if you do this its a true but kicker .. last thought watch out for ticks i got one

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