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Top 5 Hiking Trails in Big Bear

Big Bear is rich in natural beauty, and that is the primary reason visitors from around the world come to this sparkling gem in the San Bernardino Range. Big Bear is home to miles of great Big Bear hiking trails, many offering stunning views of Big Bear Lake and the San Bernardino Mountains. All Big Bear trails are dog friendly, and most are excellent for mountain biking.

Castle Rock Trail

2.7 miles roundtrip

For some of the most stellar views of Big Bear Lake, trek up the Castle Rock Trail. The Big Bear trail going up is mostly uphill, but the views are well worth the effort. Fortunately, it’s not a grueling uphill climb, and the path through the tall pine forest is replete with splendid rock outcroppings.

Pine Knot Trail

6.1 miles roundtrip

A favorite of cyclists and local trekkers, Pine Knot Trail is a lightly used spectacular trail featuring stunning lake views about halfway in and panoramic mountain views from the terminus at Grand View Point. For this Big Bear hike, you’ll need to get an Adventure Pass from the Big Bear Discovery Center. One note: there is a $5.00 parking fee.

Cougar Crest Trail

5.4 miles roundtrip

If you are lucky enough to be hiking Cougar Crest Trail in the spring, one of the most beautiful features of this Big Bear hiking trail are fields of wildflowers. At the end of Big Bear the trail you can keep going to the Pacific Crest Trail and up to Bertha Peak for commanding views of Big Bear Lake. The Cougar Crest Trail begins at the Discovery Center, and there is a $5.00 fee for parking. If you’re hiking in Big Bear during the winter and have kids in tow, there’s some great bunny slopes for sledding and tubing.

Pacific Crest Trail (PCT)

Hailed as “one of the best trail experiences on Earth,” the Pacific Crest Trail stretches from Mexico to Canada. If you want to access part of Pacific Crest Trail from Big Bear, head up to the end of Cougar Crest Trail to where it intersects with PCT. This spectacular, deeply historic Big Bear hiking trail will lead you to some of the most spectacular views you can possibly have of Big Bear Lake and the surrounding San Bernardino Mountains.

Grays Peak Trail

6.9 miles roundtrip

On the northern side of Big Bear Lake in Fawnskin you will find Grays Peak Trail. This lightly trafficked Big Bear trail leads to a beautiful rock outcropping where gorgeous views of Big Bear Lake await. About two-thirds of the way up you will come to Hanna Rocks, a lovely outcropping that is fun for a short rock-climbing jaunt.