Big Bear, California, is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream. The region is known for its stunning mountain views, crisp air, and abundant trails, which make it a perfect destination for mountain bikers. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned biker, Big Bear has something for everyone.
From the beginner-friendly trails at Snow Summit to the more advanced runs at Castle Rock and Gold Mountain, Big Bear is home to California’s best mountain biking trails. You’ll enjoy over 50 miles of trails, ranging from easy, intermediate and difficult. So, grab your bike, and get ready for the thrill of Big Bear Mountain biking.
The 8 Best Mountain Trails in Big Bear California
Big Bear’s challenging trails and breathtaking views make it a true paradise for mountain bikers. It’s one of the popular destinations for outdoor enthusiasts and adventure seekers, thanks to its picturesque forests and rugged terrain that provide a perfect setting for a thrilling mountain biking experience.
Enjoy the wind in your face, the thrill of conquering a difficult trail, and the awe-inspiring views of the San Bernardino Mountains. With its wide range of trails, you’ll surely find the perfect route for your next biking adventure! Here is a look at the best mountain biking trails in Big Bear, perfect for bikers of all levels.
1. Snow Summit Bike Park
Snow Summit Bike Park is a favorite among big bear mountain bikers. The trail is easy, at only a 6-mile round trip with a relatively higher elevation gain of about 1,000 feet. It’s also accessible year-round and can be ridden by beginners and experts.
The park offers two trails: the “Tundra Trail,” which is wide and flat, and the “Snow Summit Trail,” which has some challenging climbs. This trail starts at the Snow Summit Ski Resort and takes you on a thrilling descent through the pine forest.
Snow Summit trail is filled with rocky terrain and steep drops, making it a favorite among adrenaline junkies. However, it’s also safe for beginners to learn before tackling more difficult terrain.
If you want something more extreme, try one of Snow Summit’s downhill courses like “Double Dutch” or “Hellbound.” They also offer beginner courses if you’re interested in mountain biking but aren’t sure where to start yet!
2. Skyline Trail
Skyline trail is one of the best mountain biking trails in the Big Bear area, providing stunning views of the mountain above Big Bear Lake and the Big Bear valley. This singletrack trail starts at the Big Bear Discovery Center and winds through the forest.
The trail is considered a moderately challenging route, with a series of challenging climbs and technical descents sure to get your heart pumping. It’ll take you approximately 2 hours to complete.
You’ll climb the mountainside for approximately 1.8 miles before reaching a thrilling 10-mile stretch that starts with an exhilarating downhill finale. This trail part is perfect for beginners or those who want an easy ride on their first day in Big Bear.
The Skyline Trail is a great place to bike, hike or run. You’ll first see it at the Pine Knot Trail (Grand View Point), where you can stop and turn back or continue for many more miles.
3. Champion Lodgepole Pine Trail
The Champion Lodgepole Loop is a three-and-a-half-mile singletrack trail that will take you through the remains of an old lumber mill and over several wooden bridges. This loop is moderately difficult, with steep climbs up to 100 feet high.
It’s one of the more scenic trails in Big Bear, making it popular among mountain bikers looking for an easy day trip or long weekend excursion away from town. The trailhead is located at Champion Lodgepole Loop near Lake Arrowhead Village.
If you’re new to this place, head south on Highway 18 up to Alpine Road. The road turns into Forest Service Road 6051 after about 1/2 mile downhill from Lake Arrowhead Village. Turn right past this intersection and head onto Forest Service Road 6051 straight until you see a “Champion Lodgepole Loop” sign on your left-hand side!
4. Bear Mountain Alpine Pedal Path
The Bear Mountain Alpine Pedal Path is a short, easy downhill trail that takes you to Crystalline Falls. It will not get you very far in terms of distance, but it will give you a great taste of this beautiful park and stunning views of the nearby mountains and valleys.
The trail itself is paved and well-maintained, making it suitable for beginners and experienced riders who want some exercise without having to worry about rough terrain or steep climbs.
The length of this ride is only 2 miles (3 km), but don’t let that fool you—it’s still long enough for anyone who wants an exciting ride on a mountain bike! It’s also ideal if your goal is to exercise while enjoying nature around the Big Bear Lake area.
The trail begins on the west side of North Shore Elementary School and ends just before the intersection of North Shore Drive and North Shore Lane.
5. Castle Rock Trail
Castle Rock Trail is a 4.3-km out-and-back trail near Big Bear Lake, California. The trail starts and ends in the same place. It’s rated moderate by the Forest Service, but some steep sections have loose rocks.
You’ll ride uphill for an elevation gain of 250m or more. The breathtaking views of the entire Big Bear Lake and the surrounding area make it worth the challenging ride. However, you’ll want to remain cautious when getting to the trailhead since it begins on a sharp turn on the street.
Getting to Castle Rock Trail is easy but can be distressing if you don’t plan. You can easily access it via parking lot #1 on Pine Ave., just south of Big Bear Lake and about a mile from downtown Big Bear Village.
6. Lake Williams Loop
The Lake Williams Loop is a great mountain bike trail for beginners. It’s about 5 miles long and easy to ride. So, if you’re looking to take your first steps into mountain biking, this is a great place to start.
The lake Williams loop is generally considered a moderately challenging route that takes an average of 2 hrs. to complete. It’s located in California’s San Bernardino National Forest near Big Bear Lake.
This trail offers gorgeous views of the lake and nature, such as the redwood trees and wildflowers. Lake Williams Loop is also a popular trail for birding, fishing, and hiking.
7. Aspen Glen Picnic Area and 2N10
Aspen Glen Picnic Area and 2N10 is a loop trail that’s 6.5 miles long, but some sections are quite steep. This single track is for advanced riders, with technical features and many up-and-down sections.
This trail follows an old fire road and offers a mix of singletrack and double-track sections. It has plenty of opportunities to test your skills on the varied terrain, including lots of trees blocking the view.
Advanced riders also have the opportunity to try the more challenging ride on the nearby Pineknot Trail. This trail is longer than the others and begins at the Aspen Glen Picnic Area on Mill Creek Road.
It offers scenic views of the area, with towering pine trees and the surrounding mountains. The trail is also home to wildlife, so be mindful of keeping an eye out for deer, squirrels, and other local fauna.
8. Grout Bay Picnic Area Trails
Of course, no trip to Big Bear would be complete without a visit to the Grout Bay Picnic Area on the scenic north shore of Big Bear Lake. The area offers several easy-to-navigate trails perfect for beginners of all skill levels.
The Grout Bay Picnic area is known for its serene atmosphere and stunning views of the lake. These makes it a great place to take a break and enjoy a picnic lunch before hitting the trails again. The trail here is a scenic option for those looking for a more leisurely ride.
This trailhead is on the west side of Highway 38, 0.6 miles west of Fawnskin, across from Grout Bay Picnic Area. It begins in the pine-filled woods above the lake and climbs to the summit of Grays Peak. It winds through the forest and along the shore of Grout Bay, offering stunning views of the lake, mountains and surrounding Big Bear Valley.
Why You Should Try Out the Big Bear Trails
Get ready for an adrenaline-pumping adventure! Big Bear, California, is a mountain biking paradise, offering world-renowned biking trails to explore. The area has some of the best well-maintained trails in California, usable all year around.
The San Bernardino National Forest steers the conservation efforts of the trails around here. They have partnered with the Big Bear Mountain Resort, the City of Big Bear Lake, San Bernardino County, the Big Bear Valley Trails Foundation, and the Southern California Mountains Foundation to form the Trails Advisory Group.
Big Bear Lake offers various mountain biking trails to suit all skill levels. Whether you’re a pro mountain biker or a beginner looking for a fun outdoor adventure, there’s something for everyone in this beautiful mountain setting. Head to the adrenaline-pumping descent of Snow Summit or try the scenic beauty of the Grout Bay Trails!