Pine Knot Trail in Big Bear

Pine Knot Trail is the perfect complement to a mid-afternoon picnic. This trail starts at Aspen Glen Picnic Area and continues toward Grand View Point.

Enjoy all of the seasons in a unique way along this trail. Wildflowers and towering oak and pine trees offer a perfect tasting of the high desert scenery of the San Bernardino National Forest. During the winter months, Pine Knot Trail becomes a winter wonderland perfect for sledding and cross-country skiing. In the autumn, the oak trees turn magnificent shades of orange and yellow.

Hikers love Pine Knot Trail in Big Bear, because it’s shaded almost the whole way to Grand View, dog friendly, easily accessible and well-marked. The trailhead is just a six-minute drive from the south side of the lake.

The view at the top is spectacular. After you climb through the gentle switchbacks, meadows and pine trees, emerge at the summit for a panoramic view of San Gorgonio, the highest peak in Southern California, and even Catalina Island off the coast of Los Angeles. The hike gains about 1,095 feet in elevation.

If you hike to Grand View Point, this hike is 6.6 miles roundtrip. Be aware of horse riders and mountain bikers on this trail. Pine Knot Trail is heavily trafficked, but hikers say it’s in good condition.

Pine Knot Trail in Big Bear is very accessible. There is parking, a vault toilet and picnic tables provided. Read up on safe encounters with bears and snakes before you go.

A $5 daily Adventure Pass is required here. You also can buy a yearly pass for $30.

Directions to Pine Knot Trail

From Big Bear Marina, head south on Paine Road/Paint Court toward Simonds Drive. In 0.1 miles, turn left on Lakeview Drive, then Big Bear Boulevard. Stay on Big Bear Boulevard for half a mile and turn left on Mill Creek Road. The trailhead will be on your left.

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