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Off Road Tours

Tours that will take you off the beaten path.

Off-Roading in Big Bear Lake.

For year-round, off-roading adventure in Big Bear, you can head into the forest in your own 4X4 vehicle or join an off-roading tour with Big Bear Jeep Experience. Exploring the forest roads in Big Bear in your own vehicle is certainly fun, but if you’re not super experienced or a little unsure, try a guided off-road tour first. Big Bear Jeep Experience lets you take the wheel to explore the ridges, canyons, and meadows of the beautiful San Bernardino Mountains in a fully equipped Jeep. A lead guide stays in contact with your group during the whole 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.

Two Jeeps ascend a Big Bear fire road

4x4 Trails for the Casual Off-Roader

On the North Shore, the most easily accessible off-road trail, 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, take forestry road 2N10 off of Mill Creek Rd. This road is open from around May to mid-November. This can be a challenging road, so check with the Discovery Center regarding trail conditions before you head out. From this trail, you can drive up to Bluff Lake Reserve for a .08 mile walk around the 80-acre protected area or drive to the .05 mile Champion Lodgepole Trail. The Champion Lodgepole Pine is the oldest tree in 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 Discovery Center.

Off-roading is a unique way to exploring the Valley

4x4 Trails - Beginner to Intermediate

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. This route was reopened in 2016 after a nine year closure due to fire. The end of the trail is highlighted with sweeping views of Southern California.

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.

The views are incredible along off-road Jeep excursions

4x4 Trails - 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. 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.

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Brad Kowitz from TrailRecon

Brad Kowitz from TrailRecon