Skyline Trail – Big Bear's Destination Trail
Posted: 08/17/13 | By Daniel Pea
The Skyline Trail is Big Bear Lake's new destination trail. It's a multi-use trail for mountain biking, hiking & horseback riding; currently 8.4 mi long.
The Skyline Trail is the newest addition to Big Bear Lake's official trail system and can easily be called a destination trail.
Lake Tahoe has the well known Flume Trail and Rim Trail, and now Big Bear makes its mark with the Skyline Trail. As a multi-use trail for mountain biking, hiking, and horseback riding, it was designed by the good folks from the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) and Big Bear’s very own Big Bear Valley Trails Foundation (BBVTF). Currently, it spans 8.4 miles one way or 16.8 miles if you make a round trip. And that's just the beginning because BBVTF has bigger plans to have the trail become a 15 mile loop that begins and ends on the backside of Snow Summit. Keep your fingers crossed that it happens!
"I took my mountain bike up to the trail. Even though it is multi-use for horseback and hiking it really has a true feel for mountain biking, After all it was designed by IMBA, the masters of mountain bike trail designs.
The one thing I remember about the trail is that I didn't want to stop riding. I ended up riding a little over four miles, but I really wanted more. It was hard to stop, but the sun finally did set, and I only had an ounce of twilight to get back to my truck. I look forward to riding the entire 16 miles up and back soon.
What I like about Skyline is that it's a tight single track with solid compact dirt most of the way. I was amazed at how silky smooth the dirt really was. There are only a couple spots with rocky terrain, which are easy to navigate through. The turns are well developed, and there is an abundance of twisty turns throughout.
The trail really made me work, but that’s what made it so fun. During the ride I found myself constantly looking ahead to see where the next turn ended and where the next one began. It was left to right, then back to the left and so on. There were quite a few turns, and all unique from one another. There were some easy-to-do berms and some stumps for jumping. My favorite feature was a portion that offered a dozen whoop dee-doos. At one point during my ride trail I shouted "I LOVE THIS TRAIL!" The entire time I was riding up and down the terrain with an ear-to-ear smile. It was such a hoot!
For the most, part Skyline is relatively flat with a cumulative elevation gain of just 539 feet. There are many portions where just about anyone who can ride a bike can handle it. There are plenty of up and downs, and some of the downhill portions can kick the bike into higher speeds. This trail is a great spot to help boost one's skill level. When the trail does get rated it will at most get rated as an intermediate trail, but it’s probably closer to a lower-intermediate trail. Don't let that fool you though, because there is sooooo much fun to be had for all skill levels.
The trailhead - intersection of US Forest Service Road 2N10 and 2N06 - is easy to access and there are three ways to get there. I drove my truck up 2N10, which can be accessed from Club View Drive near Bear Mountain. A second way is to ride your bike up the same route from Club View Drive or from the Pine Knot Trail (1E01), accessed from Aspen Glen Picnic Area. The easiest and most convenient way to access the trail is to take the Scenic Sky Chair to the top of Snow Summit and ride down to the trailhead.
Ride the Skyline,