Top 8 Hiking And Trekking Spots In Big Bear Lake, California

hiking in big bear

As its name suggests, Big Bear Lake is a small but gorgeous city perched on the banks of the breathtaking Big Bear Lake. Water sports enthusiasts, hikers, adrenaline junkies, and skiers from all four corners of the globe converge here to test the adrenaline at places like Bear Mountain Ski Resort. Sightseers and nature-lovers are also in for an amazing treat with the eye-popping and mind-blowing scenery. The city is also a hub for fashion, business, and bustling street life. For an unforgettable adventurous experience, read on to know more about top hiking and trekking spots in Big Bear Lake, California.

1. Castle Rock Trail 1W03

Rock Scramble, here I come
Source: Photo by user daveynin used under CC BY 2.0

A few minutes east of the Big Bear Dam and not far from the Big Bear Lake Village to the west is the gorgeous Castle Rock Trail 1W03. This is a 2.6-mile (4.18 km) scenic trail that is moderately challenging to trek due to its steepness. Honeymooners and couples come here to enjoy the fresh air as they admire some beautiful flora and fauna in this route. Its 500-ft (152.4-m) elevation makes it more challenging for beginners, but it’s also good for adventure and burning calories. Sitting atop the trail is Castle Rock which offers amazing views of the lake.

Castle Rock Trail 1W03

Address: Big Bear Blvd, Big Bear Lake, CA 92315, United States

Website: Castle Rock Trail 1W03

Opening hours: Open 24 hours (daily)

2. Cougar Crest Trail

Are you enjoying your beautiful vacation in California and would like to go hiking and sightseeing but don’t have any place in mind? Then you need to pack your hiking gear, take your loved one and head to Big Bear Lake for a thrilling, romantic experience. Stretching about 5.3 miles (8.53 km), the Cougar Crest Trail is a scenic nature trail that is always flowing with thrill-seekers, hikers, and people looking for fun and adventure. The trail is lined with charming lavender with an enchanting scent and features mind-blowing views near the middle of the trail and at the peak.

Cougar Crest Trail

Address: Cougar Crest Trail, Big Bear, CA 92314, United States

Website: Cougar Crest Trail

3. Alpine Pedal Path Trail 1E50

Located on Stanfield Cutoff in Big Bear, Alpine Pedal Path Trail 1E50 is a 5.4-mile (8.69-km) scenic trail that meanders through the beautiful lush green forest. It is beautifully manicured, making it attractive and easily accessible to people from all walks of life. What makes this trail even more appealing is the fact that the lake is just a stone’s throw away and boasts picturesque views. Apart from hikers, you’ll also meet bikers and people skating along this trail or just enjoying a leisure walk as they interact with nature. The bald eagles here are also a big attraction.

Alpine Pedal Path Trail 1E50

Address: 740 Stanfield Cutoff, Big Bear, CA 92314, United States

Website: Alpine Pedal Path Trail 1E50

Opening hours: 6am - 6pm (daily)

4. Pineknot Trail 1E01

Situated just of Mill Creek Road and neighboring Aspen Picnic area, this is a 6.6-mile (10.62 km) out and back-scenic trail with a moderate flow of people — the Pineknot Trail 1E01. Lined with a wide range of blossoming wildflowers, this trail meanders through the well-spaced, charming pine trees bringing you picturesque views of the calm, turquoise lake and forest. This is a magical place to bring your family for a picnic and for sightseeing. You’re likely to meet people here enjoying romantic moments or just using that peace and tranquility of the forest to meditate and tap into that natural vibe.

Pineknot Trail 1E01

Address: Mill Creek Rd, Big Bear Lake, CA 92315, United States

Website: Pineknot Trail 1E01

5. Woodland Trail 1E23

Source: Photo by user Steven Miller used under CC BY 2.0

Are you a hiking beginner, or planning to take your kids out for hiking around California? Near Big Bear, there is a perfect spot where you can go and have adventurous experiences as a family – Woodland Trail 1E23. This is 1.6-mile (2.57 km) trail is one of the most used trail loops in the area due to its flatness. With several wooden signs along the way, the trail also enables you to enjoy self-guided tours as your tear through the woodlands. There are some benches along the way to relax and catch a breath before continuing with your sojourn.

Woodland Trail 1E23

Address: 41948 N Shore Dr, Big Bear, CA 92314, United States

Website: Woodland Trail 1E23

Opening hours: Open 24 hours

6. Bristlecone Hiking/Riding Trail Head 1E32

Bristlecone Trail Hike
Source: Photo by user Trail Sherpa used under CC BY-ND 2.0

Whether you love hiking or you’re a biking enthusiast who would like to spend the weekends enjoying outdoor thrills, there’s one place where you can do that – Bristlecone Hiking/Riding Trail Head 1E32. This is one of the most scenic areas and a major tourist destination in California. Although the hiking path is beautiful and well-maintained, you’ll find large fallen logs along the way where you can have a little break and take some photos of the picturesque scenery. You will have the chance to view some birds soaring in the sky, or perched on large trees.

Bristlecone Hiking/Riding Trail Head 1E32

Address: Big Bear, CA 92314, United States

7. Truck Trails

Truck Trails
Source: Pixabay

The Big Bear area of California is a paradise for hikers, thrill-seekers, and nature-lovers because it boasts a wide range of hiking and nature trails. Although there are many hiking and trekking trails in the area, there is one that stands out from the rest – Truck Trails. What makes this trail unique is that you can come with your SUV and enjoy wonderful views of wildlife in their natural habitat. You can also pack a picnic bag and bring your kids along. Those who love mountain biking can come by and experience thrills as they admire the spectacular views.

Truck Trails

Address: 1380-1524 Moonridge Truck Trail, Big Bear, CA 92314, United States

8. Pacific Crest Trail - Polique Canyon Trailhead

Pacific Crest Trail
Source: Photo by user Samantha Levang used under CC BY 2.0

You can experience California’s nature and beauty at its best when you enjoy a scenic hike at Pacific Crest Trail – Polique Canyon Trailhead. This trail is one of the longest trails in the entire region, and it cuts through California’s Kings Canyon National Park boasting spectacular views. The undeniable beauty of this place reminds you of the TV film “Wild,” which features scenes from this place. The trail crosses several national parks and enchanting forests, providing beautiful sites for doing some photoshoot. Stretching about 2,650 miles (4,264.76 km), this adventure may take between two to five months to complete depending on the weather.

Pacific Crest Trail - Polique Canyon Trailhead

Address: Pacific Crest Trail, Big Bear, CA 92314, United States

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 8am - 5pm (closed on Sat & Sun)

Discover hidden gems in Big Bear Lake, California

Whether you are a vacationer, a honeymooner, an adventure-seeker or just a plain traveler in search of adventure and fun, California is the perfect place to come and enjoy once-in-a-lifetime moments. With the attractive and splendid trails mentioned above, you’ll be able to experience Big Bear Lake’s charm at its best.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

Get Trip101 in your inbox

Unsubscribe in one click. See our privacy policy for more information on how we use your data

Stephen Kinyanjui is an IT graduate who previously worked as an IT Assistant in a BPO company. He has an insatiable desire for traveling and adventure. He’s an artist who loves drawing and...Read more

 Want to contribute as a Local Expert?
Explore Big Bear Lake
Good things are meant to be shared!