Sustainability made simple

7 Don’t-Miss Hiking Trails in Big Bear

Big bear hiking trails
Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / BigBearCabins

Big Bear Lake is perfect for a nature-packed California adventure. Check out some of the best Big Bear hiking trails for a great workout with picturesque views.

Big Bear Lake is a small California town, popular with visitors for hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, skiing and snowboarding throughout the year. Surrounded by the the rugged San Bernardino Forest, Big Bear Lake has access to loads of trails for all different types of skill levels. Camp nearby or stay in town and enjoy the boutiques and restaurants around Big Bear Lake Village. Just remember to be a responsible and eco-friendly visitor with these sustainable hiking tips.

  1. Pack out what you pack in: essentially, don’t litter! Be careful not to leave anything behind when you go hiking, even if you think it’s something that’s biodegradable. Thinks like plastic wrappers, banana peels and hygiene products ruin the natural environment for wildlife and fellow hikers alike.
  2. Adhere to rules and regulations: make sure to look out for signage and season-specific rules, follow park instructions and conduct yourself accordingly. The rules are in place to keep both you and the environment in good shape.
  3. Respect the natural environment: be respectful of the space you’re in by staying away from animal habitats, making sure not to feed any wildlife, sticking the trail and refraining from taking home keepsakes from the natural environment.
  4. Take public transport or carpool: whenever possible, reduce your carbon footprint by taking public transport or carpooling with your friends.

1. Pine Knot Trail to Grand View Point

Hike up to Grand View Point on this Big Bear hiking trail.
Hike up to Grand View Point on this Big Bear hiking trail. (Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / pasja1000)

Explore the wildflowers along the trail to Grand View Point, a beautiful view of the San Bernardino Forest and Big Bear Lake. The Pine Knot Trail is almost seven miles long, comprising of over one thousand feet of elevation gain. This out-and-back trek is moderately challenging, taking an average hiker about three hours to complete. It’s also a great trail for horseback riding and mountain biking.

2. Champion Lodgepole

This 4.4 mile loop trail takes just over two hours to complete. With less than a thousand feet of elevation gain, the Champion Lodgepole trek is moderately difficult. Enjoy the vegetation, blue water, and rock formations while hiking or mountain biking. Feel free to bring your four-legged friend along, as this Big Bear hiking trail is dog-friendly.

3. Castle Rock Trail

Castle Rock Trail is one of the most popular Big Bear hiking trails.
Castle Rock Trail is one of the most popular Big Bear hiking trails. (Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / jpenrose)

This short and sweet hike is just 2.7 miles out and back. Popular for its beautiful views, Castle Rock Trail includes 820 feet in elevation gain. Though a shorter trek, it is considered moderately difficult and takes approximately an hour and a half to complete. It’s a popular route, so prepare to see other visitors along the way.

4. Jenks Lake Trial

Jenks Lake Trail is an out-and-back trail leading to the man-made Jenks Lake. This is an easy hiking trail, popular amongst amateurs and avid hikers alike. It’s only three miles long, and includes under 500 feet of elevation gain. The trail takes an average hiker less than an hour and a half to complete.

5. Alpine Pedal Path

Alpine Pedal Path is another short and sweet trek.
Alpine Pedal Path is another short and sweet trek. (Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / spencerlikestorun)

Alpine Pedal Path is a moderate Big Bear hiking trail. Just five miles long, this trail includes less than three hundred feet of elevation gain and takes an average of just an hour and a half to complete. The trail is open year-round, but it’s most popular from May to April.

6. Cedar Lake Road to Elsie Caves

The Cedar Lake Road to Elsie Caves is one of the more unique Big Bear hiking trails. Check out this 3.1 mile out-and-back trail to see meadows, forest, and lake views. With just 462 feet in elevation gain, this route is considered moderately challenging. Peppered with memorabilia from Winnie the Pooh, this hike is full of cute trinkets and drawings.

7. Lookout Point

Check out Lookout Point, one of the longer Big Bear hiking trails.
Check out Lookout Point, one of the longer Big Bear hiking trails. (Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / BigBearCabins)

Take Castle Rock to Lookout Point to enjoy the forest, lake views, and wildlife. This 8.3 mile loop is moderately challenging. With 1,276 feet of elevation gain, this trek is moderately challenging. It’s most popularly visited between May and November, so plan a trip during the low season to limit your impact on this fragile environment.

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