for free!

The Best Hikes in Big Bear - Jacinto

167 Triplog Reviews in the Big Bear - Jacinto
Most recent of 65 deeper Triplog Reviews
110.2 mi • 20,125 ft aeg
 Day 19. Camped at 367.1 (25.2)
Had some stomach distress; probably too much crap food yesterday. Still able to eat fine. Long dry stretch with lots of climbing so took 4.5 liters. Great day, lots of trains at the start. Leg seems to be gettimg better. Camped at Blue Ridge Campground.

Day 20. Camped at 383.9 (16.8 )
Walked 2 miles to the highway and hitched into Wrightwood for breakfast and resupply. Easy hitch back to the trail. Summitted Mount Baden-Powell and sang the critter song from Wood Badge. Made it to Little Jimmy campground around 9pm.

Day 21. Camped at 406.6 (22.7)
Very lathargic and slow this morning; hard to make miles. Had to detour around the Mountain Yellow Frog trail closure. Thankful for six easy miles to Sulphur Springs Trail Camp at emd of the day.

Day 22. Camped at 436.1 (29.5)
What a difference a day makes. Legs felt great the whole day. Wonderful views throughout the day. Finished at North Fork Ranger Station.

Day 23. Camped at 454.5 (18.4)
Lots of descending today which made for a fast start. Trail magic after 8 miles and I still made 10 by 10. Passed thru Vasquez Rocks County Park and made it into Agua Dulce around 1:30 pm for lunch, then went to Hiker Heaven for the night.

Daily vlogs of my hike: [ youtube video ]
132.7 mi • 19,093 ft aeg
 Day 12 Camped at 220.1 (26.5)
Crazy windy through wind farm to Whitewater;got blown all over, hard to walk. Stopped at Whitewater Preserve, had dinner then continued to Whitewater River to camp.

Day 13 Camped at 246.4 (26.3) Coon Creek Cabin
Tons of climbing today, 6000' between low and high. Really nice along Mission Creek. Bonked afterwards but recovered after a long water stop with no water for 17 miles. Dark and cold by the time I reached the cabin.

Day 14 Big Bear from 266.1 (19.7)
Easy walk to the highway.Trail magic along the way along with a private zoo. I saw a tiger and two grizzlies. Got a quick hitch to Big Bear Lake.

Day 15 Camped at 279.2 (13.1)
Did laundry and resupplied in the morning. Got another quick hitch back to trail. On trail a bit past two. Fire detour around some closed trail then a nice walk thru the forest with views of Big Bear Lake.

Day 16 Camped at 307.9 (28.7)
Longest day yet. 11.8 miles by 10. Right quad started hurting after 16. Got blister on left foot over compensating. Finished at
Deep Creek hot springs. Ugly old naked dudes are regulars. Found good camping away from party crowd up stream.

Day 17. Camped at 328.1 (20.2)
Slow day nursing my leg. Ended at Cleghorn picnic area where we ordered Pizza and beer.

Day 18. To 341.9 (13.8)
Made it to McDonald's. Ate large Big Mac meal, Quarter Pounder w cheese, McFlurry, and apple pie. Ended up staying at Best Western with Hillbilly to rest the leg a bit. Del Taco for dinner.

Daily vlogs of my hike: [ youtube video ]
20 mi • 11,024 ft aeg
 I finally did this famous deadly day hike toke me almost 12.30 hrs to finish from bottom to the peak then back to the tram. I confused my GPS what tell me how many time I took to hike(moving) or stop(break). started at the trailhead around 5:20 am with group 11 people and back to the tram 5:40pm. my GPS showing moving speed 2.5 but after download the computer only showing 1.5 m/h. which one is correct? anyway I did it and due to know that will be long day and 10,000 ft climbing I controlled my speed from start point. take easy one step to another step. I did not know I can finish C2C at the start point. I never climb over 7000 ft in one day before. So that is good enough for me. Do I want to do again? No. one is enough.
2.17 mi • 0 ft aeg
 We love this trail and have hiked in many times. This time we started at the bottom and went up about half way before turning around to meet time constraints. We have often left a car at the top or bottom and hiked in only one direction. There is more parking at the top than the bottom. It is a busy trail on weekends and holidays as it is very easy to access from the beautiful little town of Idyllwild. We hiked on a Monday and only saw one other hiker.

Very few. Totally not the season right now. Have see lots of lupines before in the spring.
20.6 mi • 4,800 ft aeg
 This was not the hike I had planned for number 1000, but it's significant enough to be worthy of the distinction. Got to the TH around 7 am. This is a combo campground/TH so luckily there is a pay station ($5) that you can use to buy the needed Adventure Pass. (I have discovered that this is not the case at other National Forest TH where the pass needs to be purchased off-site :( ). This loop is composed of three trails - Dripping Springs, Palomar/Magee and the Wild Horse Trails. I noticed that at the start of the trail there were rails on both sides of the trail. I initially thought this was for show, but later discovered that it was constructed to preserve endangered frogs. The trail goes about .1 miles before the trail splits Dripping Springs to the right and Wild Horse to the left. If you are doing the loop not a big deal you will hitting them both anyway.

However, if you are looking to do an in and out - (and to be honest, based on the condition of the connecting trail(Palomar/Magee Trail) that is what you may be forced to do) - there are some noteworthy differences. The Dripping Springs is shorter (7 miles) and gets you to the top faster. It provides nice views of Temecula, Vail and .... Lakes, San Jacinto and Gorgiono Peaks. The trail is well maintained and for those inclined very joggable. The Wild Horse Trail is 3 miles longer and in my mind, has two distinct parts. The first 7 miles is a gradual climb as it wraps around the contours of the hills. There were a couple of sections that were the steepest sections of the hike, but they were very brief. After 7 miles the trail transitions from a single track to an old road. This is a steady climb where you'll have to navigate around 4-5 downed trees and at its end, will bring you to a ridgeline and a view of the coastline (on a clear day). Intersetingly, even though you have gone 3 miles more on the Wild Horse you are still not as high as you would be at the end of the Dripping Springs Trail. This trail to is very joggable with the exception of the trees that you have to climb over.

Back to my hike. :) For my hike I had decided to go CCW and so started up Dripping Springs. My goal - as always - is to jog as much as I can. (This trail is very joggable...not nearly as steep as the Bell/Windgate loop in the McDowells, it's just long). I got about 6 in before my feet started protesting, that was good enough for me. The climb had two brief "shelfs" that provided a brief respite from the climb, but also provided a view into the interior valleys of the mountain. With the second "shelf" there was a short descent before starting the last major climb. When given the opportunity to enjoy the views, take them. The sides of the trail are frequently overgrown with 6+ foot tall shrubs that obscures all views. I kept waiting to get that wide open vista view as I reached the top, but if it came I never saw it. There was only one section of the trail that was bad and it was literally 100's of yards from its end with a down tree that I had to negotiate.

At just over 7 miles I came to the beginning of the Palomar Magee Trail. I was kind of dreading this trail because I thought I had read that this "trail" was an old road converted to a trail. I'm not a huge fan of hiking roads and wasn't looking forward to it. My "road hiking fears" we're quickly cast aside and replaced by "you've got to be kidding me". I tried to envision the road, but nature had reclaimed this road...this trail with a vengeance. I've only been on one other "trail" that was as overgrown as this and that was the Ken Patrick Trail at the Grand Canyon. At 7.8 miles into the hike the trail was just gone. :o That literally was the look on my face. The trail was overgrown on both sides with 10 ft tall shrubs an trees. It was either forward or backwards, there was no left or right. After pondering the situation for a few minutes, I started pulling out dead debris and snapping small twigs. After doing several minutes of trail maintenance, I had enough room that I was able to crawl forward 6 ft and then I was able to stand and contort and climb over the bulk of the tree. As a side note, I was warned at the beginning of the trail to be aware of poison oak, poodle dog bush and ticks! After that obstacle, I came across 4 more downed tree areas - none of which were as bad as the first. Through this entire trail though, I was constantly bending my body trying to minimize foliage contact for fear of contact with above mentioned poison plants. At 10.25 miles I hit the halfway point and the beginning of the Wild Horse Trail. A couple of other notes about Palomar Magee Trail. There were several spots that opened up (mostly it was overgrowth on both sides) that gave great views to the west and the coastline. Also, there was a pine along the upper stretches, called the Coulter Pine, that had the most massive pine cones that I can recall seeing. They reportedly can get up to 10pds in weight, and they felt like it! Every time I came across one of the pine cones, I had to heft it, just to reconfirm that it was that massive. Also, at the juncture of the Wild Horse/Palomar Magee Trails, there was a third trail called the Cutca Trail that continued along the ridgeline toward the Palomar observatory. That trail would be for another day.

After Palomar, Wild Horse seemed like a breeze! It was all down hill, it was a very evident old road (8 ft wide in places, overgrowth encroaching in other places, but nothing serious) and it was shaded for a good part of it by oak trees that lined the path. Very nice! There were another 4-5 trees that I had to climb over (apparently the forest service is overwhelmed and has no time for trail maintenance in the upper reaches. I swear that one of the pictures from three years ago, showed the same downed trees that I had to climb through. :lol: ) and there was a bunch of gnats in the shaded regions, encouraging me to move along as quickly as possible. At just over 13 miles I passed around a metal railing, crossed over an old dirt road and hit a single track that was to be my trail for the next 7 miles. I had to cross a dry stream bed and do a short climb :( ,but thereafter was rewarded with flat or downhill stretches as it followed the contours of the hills back to the trailhead. No overgrowth and a fairly smooth trail. Ideal for running, if you are so inclined. It was only in the last 4 miles that I encountered anyone. I passed about 16 hikers in that last stretch.

The weather was perfect! A bit chilly at first, but I warmed right up with the initial climb. No jacket needed. Amazingly enough no wildlife to report. I thought I had made it through tick and poison free, but a day later I did discover a free loading tick :x . With all the overgrowth in the upper regions I can't imagine doing this loop in the warmer months when the ticks are more prevalent.
11.33 mi • 2,644 ft aeg
 Thanks Joe for getting this map loaded up. The trails out here very different than in Arizona. First the trailhead gives you the distance and really that is it. Once we started we did see signs that say trail and that is all. We did hit a few intersection and all the trails had signs that say trail. That's where Route Scout came in real handy as I knew which trail to take.

Now I can rub it in a little as it never got over 70 degrees and even got a few light sprinkles when we needed it.
The views were awesome and we never seen another person on the trails. Sections of the trail looked liked they have not been use in a while. However I did stop a footprint that crossed the trail. I am thinking bear but not sure.

The rock formations were awesome in every direction and once we were finished it was time for a cold one.
So we hit Pappy & Harriet's and realized we should have done this two weeks sooner as Paul McCartney played there 0n the 13 of this month oh well.
The food was good and there service was great and the beer was cold. A great way to finish off a hike.
10 mi • 5,000 ft aeg
 My original plan was to do Cactus to Clouds. Wednesday night, all ready to go, parked at lot across the street from the Palm Springs art museum, set to crash for the night and wake up early to get started up the Skyline trail. I decided to double check the Tram schedule, and..."CLOSED for annual maintenance", "Tentative" opening on Saturday. ](*,) With that bit of bad news, I needed a plan B. I was not going to hike 10,000 AEG and then back down into the heat. A quick internet search of alternate trails up to Mt. San Jacinto peak and I was driving around the mountain to Idyllwild. I parked at the trail head and slept in the back of the truck and got started at 7am. Great trail and perfect weather! I came across a Conservation Corps crew building a new trail about 3/4 the way up, chainsaws and jackhammers were not the sounds I expected to hear on my way to the top. Then around Little Round valley I ran into a very nice couple from Australia on their way back down after summiting. I got to the top at 2:30 pm after 7:30 hours :y: . Cool and breezy up top with views to die for. Simply amazing 360 degree views of Palm Springs, Banning, San Bernardino, Idyllwild, Salton Sea etc. I had the summit to myself for about 15 minutes then I was joined by a gentleman who was doing the day hike thing. After numerous photos and standing on top of the world, I went back down to Little Round Valley and set up camp. I forgot my thermometer, but based on internet weather search I'd agree it got down into the low 40's. With nice down top and bottom quilts, I was warm in my hammock. Despite my warmth, I didn't sleep well, I am assuming due to not acclimatizing to the altitude. Kept waking up feeling short of breath. Anyway, woke up and got started back down around 9am and made it back to the truck by 12:30. A lot of folks heading up, met some nice people whom I might hike with soon. Over all a great hike with awesome views! Highly recommend it!
13.7 mi • 1,426 ft aeg
 We were visiting the in-laws in San Berdoo, and I made my attendance dependent upon my getting to hike. Luckily, one of our cousins has a cabin in Big Bear City. Originally the plan had been to hike on San Gorgonio, but the trails are still closed due to the fire last year. So instead I had my DH drop me off at the PCT just off of Highway 38 and I hiked up to the Doble Mine Site (also the dump, a bit of a let down).

Overall, it was a nice little hike. There were some great views on both sides of the ridge, and the trail was always in great condition and easy to follow. Well, okay, so I got off it once, or twice. There are a lot of use trails up there, so it can be easy to get off the right track. Always picked it back up pretty quickly, though.

I love the smell of Jeffery sweet and vanilla. The whole walk was a gradual up and down, I wouldn't have even broken a sweat if it wasn't in the upper 80's.

After my hike, I got a shower (they insisted) and we went out for Mexican food. Felt a lot like being here in Tucson.
19.2 mi • 8,560 ft aeg
 My hardest hike in a very long time, and because you have to carry all of your water going up, my heaviest pack, too. Hot, sunny, long, beautiful, expansive, tiring, and finally annoying, but I did it up and down, finishing after dark and with no tram cheating. This is only the town to tram hike, not to the Peak, but I couldn't do that. Besides, I would prefer to enjoy some time up there if I come back to hike to the summit.

I carried a lot of food and 6 liters of water. Needed it all going up, but only 3 down. Also, I had a 12 oz NY Strip Steak on top, which was awesome to do. I'm in pretty good shape, but won't run out and do this anytime soon, again. 6 hours up, including numerous breaks, over an hour on top, and then 4 1/2 hours down. Not bad, I think.
2.8 mi • 530 ft aeg
Palm Canyon - Victor Trail Loop
 Our second stop in Indian Canyons was Palm Canyon. First we went to see the placeholder for West Fork Falls that was perfectly dry (short trail starts from the toilets end of the main parking lot) and then started the Palm Canyon - Victor trail loop.
Palm Canyon trail starts behind the trading post and from here the canyon oasis lasts as far as you can see from above: it's the biggest California fan palm oasis in the world according to the book. The trail descents into the wide canyon where one can find a picnic area under palms shade and mockup Cahiulla Indian dwellings made of palm leaves. Then the trail pretty much follows the creek that was mostly dry on the day of our visit. In just over a mile the trail reaches the junction with Victor trail to the left where we turned while Palm Canyon trail continues about 15 miles to Pines to Palms highway CA-74.
Victor trail goes up the ridge and gives views to the Palm Canyon, part of Coachella Valley, Mt. San Jacinto and surrounding mountains and hills and then descends to Fern Canyon. Following posted directions to trading post at all junctions we reached east additional parking lot and returned to trading post.

end of page marker