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Hiking in the Southern California San Bernardino MountainsThe forests surrounding Big Bear Lake offer trails for hikers and walkers at all skill levels. For the adventurous, high peaks offer 360 degree panoramas. Snow Summit's Sky Chair can easily take you to the top so you can hike down while enjoying spectacular scenic vistas that include superb views of Big Bear Lake and deep forests. Entry into the National Forest is free, but parking requires an Adventure Pass from the U.S. Forest Service. More...
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Big Bear Discovery Center

The National Recreation Reservation Service handles reservations for most campgrounds, while some are first-come, first-served, and others reserve through the ranger station.

Scenic Sky Chair at Snow Summit

Enjoy the most breathtaking views in Big Bear. Hikers, MTB riders, and sightseers of all ages welcome.

Open Air Big Bear

Open Air Big Bear is a coalition of event producers and organizers of outdoor events and activities in Big Bear Valley. The “Go To” place for everything sporting in Big Bear.

Snow Summit Hiking

With access to two on-site trails and an extensive network of Forest Service trails, Snow Summit is Southern California’s premier hiking destination. Your trail starts here.

When it comes to taking a trip to the mountains it’s only natural to make a connection with hiking in the woods. Hiking is one of the most popular activities in Big Bear Valley because it’s one of the easiest activities to do for people of all ages and all walks of life. The gear for hiking is the least bit complicated, too. In fact, all it takes is a good set of sturdy shoes, a bottle of water, sunblock, a hat for shade and maybe a hiking stick. Big Bear’s thousands of acres of wilderness take care of the rest.

The great thing about Big Bear is there are multiple trailheads with easy access points throughout the valley. One of the most noteworthy hiking trails is the Pacific Crest Trail, which meanders through the east and north ends of Big Bear Valley. Other popular trails in the Big Bear Valley include The Woodland Interpretive Trail, Pine Knot Trail, The Town Trail, Cougar Crest Trail, Castle Rock Trail and the Champion Lodgepole Trail. All of these trails mentioned can easily be identified on the trails map. Another worthy trail for a trek is the new Skyline Trail, which can be found on the backside of Snow Summit Mountain Resort. The Skyline Trail is relatively flat, snakes east to west, and parallels the US Forest Service Road 2N10.

Some hikers prefer to “bag a peak,” and The San Bernardino National forest has its fair share of peaks to conquer including Bertha Peak, Sugarloaf Mountain, Delamar and Sugarlump just to name a few. The main reason why hikers like to reach the top of these summits is to experience the outstanding panoramic views. Depending on which trail you take to the top you could see views of the Mojave Desert, Baldwin Lake, Mount San Gorgonio and of course Big Bear Lake.

The actual hike provides scenic wonders from start to finish too. Hikers are treated to lush meadows that line the trails along the way. The meadows present a variety of flora created by natural springs, and the greenery is rather overwhelming. Of course that’s a good thing. In fact, these green patches attract various winged beings from butterflies to hummingbirds and golden finches. During the late spring and most of the summer a variety of wildflowers are sprinkled throughout to add to the picturesque appeal.

Delve deeper into the woods to explore. You may find some boulders to climb or a down tree that is great fun to walk across. Various evergreens like White Firs, Jeffery Pines, Cedars, Lodgepole Pines, Ponderosas and Sugar Pines provide shade throughout. A variety of birds will dazzle your sense of hearing with a harmonious symphony of bird chirps only audible in the forest. Other wildlife that has been seen on a day hike includes mule deer, grey squirrels, chipmunks, cottontails, foxes and lizards.

See the trails map to pick out your next hike in Big Bear. A visit to the Big Bear Discovery Center provides hikers with every resource to plan a full day of hiking and picnicking. Here you can pick up more expansive trail maps of the San Bernardino Mountains that identifies more trails to choose from.

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