Big Bear is known for its natural beauty. The alpine lake is surrounded by thousands of acres of forest and hiking trails in Big Bear CA. If you are looking for a relaxing vacation to get out of the city and enjoy some peace and quiet in nature, Big Bear is the perfect place to do so.
No matter what time of year you decide to visit, you can spend your days enjoying the area’s natural beauty. Take a hike in the woods around the lake, or layout on the shore of the lake and enjoy the fresh air. Here are some of the best hikes in the area.
Castle Rock Trail
Castle Rock Trail is one of the most popular Big Bear Lake hiking trails. The trail is short, 2.7 miles round trip, but all uphill, so it can be challenging. Once you get to the top of the trail you will be rewarded with amazing views of the lake and surrounding mountains. Bring a picnic along, as there are many points along the trail where you can stop to enjoy the view.
Pine Knot Trail to Grand View Point
If you are looking for a longer trail that will take all day, then consider hiking the Pine Knot Trail to Grand View Point. This 6.6-mile trail starts at the Aspen Glen Picnic Area and takes you to Grand View Point, where you will get spectacular views of Big Bear Lake. Along the way, you will walk through fields of wildflowers and underneath towering oak and pine trees.
Cougar Crest Trail
Cougar Crest Trail is a 5.2-mile trail with a moderate incline that takes you through fields of wildflowers and offers amazing views of Big Bear Lake. This trail is most popular during the spring when its flowers are in full bloom. At the end of the trail you can continue on to the Pacific Crest Trail and up to Bertha Peak for the most amazing views of Big Bear Lake.
Big Bear Lake Hiking Trails Parking
All three of these hiking trails in Big Bear CA are part of the U.S. Forest Service Trailheads, meaning you need an Adventure Pass to park at the trailheads. Adventure Passes can be purchased at the Big Bear Discovery Center and the Big Bear Visitors Center. Passes cost $5 for the day.
More Hiking Adventures to Add to the List
When you’ve successfully checked Cougar Crest Trail, Castle Rock Trail and Pine Knot Trail off your must-hike list, there’s no reason to let the fun stop there. Big Bear is home to a wide variety of trails that cater to hikers of all ages and skill levels and there’s much more to explore when you can’t get enough of time in the great outdoors. The following are a few more to consider adding to your list when you’re ready to make the most of every moment of your Big Bear stay.
The Alpine Pedal Path
When a convenient, scenic, and paved route is more your hiking style, the Alpine Pedal Path is sure to check every box on the list. This route meanders along the northern end of Big Bear Lake and is easily accessible off of 740 Stanfield Cutoff. The Alpine Pedal Path is popular among walkers, hikers, bikers, and joggers who are looking to make the most of the landscape while keeping things easy on their joints. The trail is open until 6:00 pm daily, making it a convenient stop to enjoy a stroll no matter when you’re in the mood to get some fresh air and no matter who else you might be out and about with.
Woodland Trail 1E23
Beginner hikers who are looking for a flat route to follow that comes with plenty of scenery to admire will find Woodland Trail 1E23 to be a great choice while you’re in Big Bear. This route can be enjoyed any time of day and the trailhead is readily accessible at 41948 N Shore Drive. Woodland Trail 1E23 offers up an easy-to-follow loop that takes hikers through beautiful woodland areas and offers up opportunities for bird spotting and wildlife watching as well. This trail is about 1.5 miles long in total, so plan on setting aside anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour to enjoy the entire experience.
Skyline Trail 2N10 Public Access
Situated at 40098 Mill Creek Road, the Skyline 2N10 Public Access Trail is a great option no matter what type of hiking you enjoy. Considered moderately difficult, the Skyline Trail runs through the Snow Summit Ski Resort and provides just over 15 miles of pathway to explore above Big Bear Lake. This trail is wonderful in the summer when the wildflowers are in bloom, but is just as exciting in the winter when you decide to turn your hike into a snowshoeing adventure. No matter when you explore, the Skyline Trail should definitely be included on your itinerary.
Planning Your Stay
If you are looking for accommodations in Big Bear, consider booking one of our luxury vacation homes. We have a variety of rentals, from cozy one-bedroom cabins to large homes that can sleep your whole family or group of friends. For more information on our vacation homes and Big Bear Lake hiking trails, please contact us today.