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Off Road Tours

Off-Roading in Big Bear Lake

For year-round off-road adventure in Big Bear, you can head into the forest in your own vehicle or go on an off-road tour with Big Bear Jeep Experience. Exploring the forest roads in Big Bear in your own vehicle and on your own time is fun, but if you’re not into the DIY experience, try a guided off-road tour. Big Bear Jeep Experience lets you take the wheel to explore the ridges, canyons, and meadows of the beautiful San Bernardino Mountains in fully equipped Jeeps. A lead guide stays in contact with your group during the entire tour. There are a several off-road tours to choose from including sunset tours, stargazer trips, and historic tours. Local Tip: Take it slow and be courteous. Hikers, mountain bikers, motorcyclists and animals also use these trails.

Off-Road Jeeps

Big Bear 4x4 Trails for the Casual Off Roader

On the North Shore, the most easily accessible off-road trail in Big Bear, even in a 2WD, is the Gold Fever Trail. Pack a lunch, pick up a map at the Big Bear Discovery Center and head up Polique Canyon for a 3-hour self-guided tour of Holcomb Valley. You’ll learn about the gold mining history in this neck of the woods and see some amazing views of Big Bear Valley. Local Tip: Take it slow and be courteous. Hikers, mountain bikers, motorcyclists and animals also use these trails.

On the South Shore, a good forestry road is the 2N10 off of Mill Creek Rd. This road opens around the beginning of May and closes around mid-November. There can be some challenging bumps along this road, so check with the Big Bear Discovery Center regarding trail conditions before you head out. From this trail, you can drive up to Bluff Lake Reserve for a .08 mile nature walk around this 80-acre protected area or drive right up to the trailhead for the .05 mile Champion Lodgepole Trail. The Champion Lodgepole Pine is the oldest tree in the Big Bear Valley and rumor has it that if you circle the tree three times and make a wish, it will come true. Fun for the kids! For a list of other vehicle friendly off-road trails visit the Big Bear Discovery Center.

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Big Bear 4x4 Trails - Beginner to Intermediate

On the North Shore, one of the most popular 4x4 trails in Big Bear is the road to Butler Peak Fire Lookout. It’s an easy drive, but only 4WD vehicles are recommended for the last section. Reopened in 2016 after a nine year closure due to fire, the landscape is hauntingly beautiful. The bonus at the end of the trail are the sweeping views of Southern California from the Butler Peak Fire Lookout.

On the South Shore, the 2N10 off of Mill Creek Rd. winds up the mountain and takes you across the Skyline Ridge. See boulder outcroppings, beautiful forested areas and spectacular views of San Gorgonio. Along this ridgeline, you will pass the back of Snow Summit Ski Resort and come out near Bear Mountain Ski Resort.

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4x4 Fun in Big Bear for Off-Roaders with Tons of Experience - Advanced Only

Through the standard off-road trail rating system, Big Bear boasts five black diamond trails and one double black diamond trail. These are not for the casual off-roader. Check out the off-road trails in Big Bear Lake.

On the North Shore you can head up to the John Bull Trail for a gut-wrenching, heart-stopping, boulder crawling adventure. Make sure you have all of the equipment you need for any kind of failure, be it human or vehicle related. This is no joke. Seriously tough double black diamond trail. If you have never attempted this trail, please call the Big Bear Discovery Center or call Big Bear Jeep Experience to get the most up-to-date and relevant info.

If you run into a problem and need help getting out, you can call Big Bear Off-Road Recovery and Towing.

Brad Kowitz from TrailRecon

Brad Kowitz from TrailRecon

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Big Bear Discovery Center is open from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m Thursday through Monday. They are all stocked up for the season with OHV maps, brochures/guides for the Gold Fever Trail and suggestions for other off-road trails in Big Bear Valley. The volunteer staff and forest rangers will give you the most current road conditions for whichever trail you decide to explore Big Bear.

Big Bear Jeep Experience

At Big Bear Jeep Experience YOU DRIVE OUR JEEPS! Follow our guide Jeep on an exciting and educational Jeep tour throughout the Big Bear Valley’s hundreds of miles of Jeep trails.

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.

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