Explore the most popular walking 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.

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.

hiking
6 days ago

Took our five kids on the trail. It was easy for all ages (youngest is 3). We all loved the nature facts at each station! Lots of great views, too!

off road driving
6 days 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
9 days 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.

hiking
10 days ago

A perfect trail if you’re looking for a quick nature stroll! Thoroughly enjoyed the scenery and there were some pretty views over the lake. Family friendly and should be doable for most everyone. There were a few uphills, but nothing too bad. The parking lot has a decent amount of spots, but does require an adventure pass.

Hiked this trail on a Saturday - encountered less than 10 people total. While some parts are steep and there are loose rocks throughout - I've encountered much worse trail conditions.

Took the gravel road from 38 to the trail head which saved a ton of time and also kept me from having to hike a boring stretch with limited / no cover. The trail itself is mostly through a woodsy-feeling forest of pine and redwood trees.

There are several false-summits before reaching the final destination - a well-marked summit with register and three different summit markers. A very enjoyable day.

The trail offers a beautiful view of the surrounding mountains and of the lake as well. Big Bear is a beautiful and very scenic area with a lot of outdoor activities to offer whether during the skiing season or not. The trail has a few inclines that can be difficult if you're not in shape or have any medical issues. Great place just to hang out as there are picnic areas around the lake. Can easily make a nice day out it. Plenty of near by trails as well that range from easy to more advanced levels.

hiking
23 days ago

Nothing exciting, but good if you're in the area with younger kids who aren't up to a mountain hike.

If you are wanting a quick hike that is not challenging, this is it. For me, it was a workout! That was mainly because my son (aged 8 and has special needs) decided 1/2 way that he was not going to walk. I had to carry all 70lbs of him out. That said, even then, the hike was doable.

hiking
24 days ago

Amazing views!! road is currently blocked so looking at around a 6-7 mile hike up then back down. Not for the faint hearted but absolutely worth it! incredible views and got it all to ourselves it was perfect.

You can drive the gravel road from the 38 to the trailhead, which saves you a rather boring stretch of hiking. 4WD in dry conditions not required. And, for as far as we could find out, no permit required to park at the trailhead either.

The rim 10/15 mins before the actual summit gives you the best views to the south (San Gorgonio) and north (Big Bear lake + Mojave desert). All in all a decent hike and we definitely had a good time being away from the crowds (we saw ~10 people in total).

The trail took us 3hrs to the top and 2hrs down.

Although we are currently not in the best shape :)... we are experienced hikers and we felt that this trail was actually quite exhausting. Perhaps this was mainly due to a big part of the trail being groomed with rocks that are precisely the wrong size... rather easy to stumble on them... Too small to jump from rock to rock (alpine style) and too big to provide an even (gravel) surface... We suspect that it would have been a lot better if the trail wasn't groomed at all.

For mountainbikers: there's about 5 fallen trees over the trail, but easy to cross when lifting your bike. Some parts will be rather challenging to climb: steep and a bit loose rocks.

Loved this hike, beautiful views, friendly people, and great exercise! I was glad I brought my walking stick as it was quite rocky in places.

hiking
1 month ago

First time hiking and loved it. Beautiful views.. Rocky but durable. Will do it again. And I’m 63.. Feel so proud

hiking
1 month ago

I really enjoyed the hike on this cool morning. So much to see. Great views, birds, lizards.

hiking
1 month ago

Honestly this is one of my favorite hikes around Big Bear. Went up yesterday, about 10 miles. Parked at the blocked gate at the end of Rim of the World rd for free. Beautiful views, well maintained fire lookout. Chilly and windy up top but SO worth the view! Still some snow on the trail but won’t last long.

Beautiful, peaceful hike. If you’re driving towards Big Bear Village on 18, the parking will be on the left side of the road, and then you have to walk BACK 150 feet to find the trailhead on the right side of the road. First mile up is a climb, but later on the trails start turning into easier roads.

Great hike with a beautiful view of the lake and the valley. Fairly easy until you to the last .8 mile before the peak (a little steep). Please do not climb the Satellite at the peak due to high radiation.

consistent climb and well groomed. beautiful photo ops along the way. not recommended when it rains as it gets muddy fast.

beautiful hike with snow:) we didnt go all the way to the pacific crest trail sign but still did most of it. you do need an adventure pass for this when there is snow.

This was a nice stroll to the crest that overlooks the lake, going in late February was perfect weather. Plenty of dogs on this trail.

hiking
2 months ago

This trail is perfect for all skill levels. We just wanted a more leisurely hike and this was perfect. It Has small “rolling hills” that would make it perfect for trail running too.

off road driving
3 months ago

Great off road trail with two harder obstacles. Took 3 hours with photo ops taking our time. Moving time was 1.5 hours.

trail running
3 months ago

Took the butler peak trail. Trail running. Closed to cars. Amazing. Soft. Lil snowy. Epic views. And the tower. Just an incredible end to 5 miles up. Loved it.

off road driving
3 months ago

Lots of tight turns and plenty good obstacles.

The trail definitely crosses the ski slopes a couple of times, so be aware of that! Besides that it was a great hike, easy to follow, with great views.

Easy trail, beautiful views!

hiking
3 months ago

Did this hike on February 3rd with my fiancé and dog. Like others, we had to hike from the road to the trailhead to start. About half of the hike was on snow, and some sections were pretty steep and required extra care and a slower pace. At 12 miles and 3k+ elevation gain topping out at 9950+, this hike pushed us to our limits. Luckily the weather was good. It would be difficult to find the trail in bad weather.

I would recommend this hike to advanced hikers who want a real challenge and are willing to spend most of the day on the hike. All in all, the hike took us about 5 hrs and 45 minutes. We took a couple breaks for snacks and water and pictures as well.

Last thing is to be careful of icy conditions during this time of year. Both my fiancé and I slipped and fell on the way down one time, and had a few other scares. Make sure you are outfitted with proper gear and bring plenty of water. Have fun!

Completed Sugarloaf Mountain Trail in 6hrs, over 12.6 mile in/out, at 3,228ft.

The dirt road was closed and I had to hike one mile to get to the trailhead. The ranger said not to hike it, but I did it anyway. I wanted to reach the peak and see the view of Mt. San Gorgonio.

Good for building and strengthen your endurance. Very hard with extreme inclines, not for beginner hikers. Advanced hikers, need a partner! Highly recommended during this time of condition (February 2018). I was the only hiker, there!

The trail conditions need to be maintained: it was covered with overgrown heavy vegetation, rocks, icy-snow, and soft snow that made it hard to located the trail. I got detoured and lost. I couldn't find my way back down because of the sun light reflected off the snow, which made it very hard to see my footprints and path: so I made my own pathway down the mountain. I got to admit, it was scary. Need a good sense of navigational skills. Must stay on the trail!

Need clamp on's (boot snow chains)! Man, I am tired! I recommend not hiking this trail until it is fixed.

I am proud of myself for doing this - it was a difficult hiked due to the trail conditions.

Great hike

off road driving
3 months ago

Fun off road trail, second obstacle can be tricky when wet.

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