View of Castle Rock looking towards Big Bear Lake

Castle Rock Trail

This is a fun hike with beautiful scenery. The marked trail starts up a steep forested gully, which has a beautiful running stream, until about the middle of summer (depending on rainfall). The trail climbs steeply to the left (east) side of the gully through magnificent stands of Jeffrey Pine, Ponderosa Pine, White Fir, Western and Incense Cedar, passing huge granite boulders. Just before the trail takes a sharp turn to the right up some steep rock steps, there is a waterfall straight ahead (in the spring and sometimes early summer months). After you have hiked about � mile, the trail reaches a saddle (there is a stream on your left in Spring and early Summer) and starts to descend - Castle Rock is the large rock formation immediately east of this saddle. Leave the trail here. The easiest way up the rock is to go about 50 feet around the north and west sides of the formation, then climb up an indentation to the summit and enjoy the beautiful view of Big Bear Lake.

  • LENGTH: From the parking area - 2 Miles (Round Trip)
  • ELEVATION GAIN: -700 feet
  • CLASSIFICATION: Moderate (if you are in shape).
  • WHAT YOU NEED: An Adventure Pass if you park your car in the parking area -these can be purchased at the Discovery Center, Ranger Station and various other stores in Big Bear Lake.
  • WHAT YOU SHOULD WEAR: Comfortable hiking shoes and clothes - a hat - sunglasses -
  • WHAT YOU SHOULD BRING: Water - snacks - camera - windbreaker.
  • HOW TO GET THERE: From State Highway 18, 1 mile east of Big Bear Dam or 3 miles west of Big Bear Lake Village. The parking area is small and on the opposite side of the road, so be careful of oncoming traffic when crossing the highway.