Mountain Biking in Big Bear, CA: What to Know

mountain biking in big bear guide

With a year-round population of 5,561, Big Bear Lake is one of the most tranquil towns in Southern California. Surrounded by forests and the majestic San Bernardino mountains, it offers some of the area’s most breathtaking scenery along with pristine mountain biking trails.

Whether you’re an amateur thrill seeker or a seasoned pro, Big Bear is worth adding to your list for your next mountain biking adventure. In this post, we take a closer look at everything you need to know about Big Bear mountain biking to help you plan your next trip!

When to Visit Big Bear for Mountain Biking

You can typically mountain bike in Big Bear for a good part of the year, although the best seasons to do so are between late spring to early fall. During this period, the weather is typically warmer and the trails are clear. The air is usually also the clearest during this period, letting you enjoy the surrounding views to the fullest. 

Many biking trails are covered in snow during the winter months, making them inaccessible or harder to navigate. (With the abundance of snow in California in 2023, opening day for Big Bear’s Summit Bike Park, for example, is June 9th.)

Where to Bike in Big Bear

You’ve got options to choose from when it comes to places you can go mountain biking in and around Big Bear.

Here are some of the most popular biking trails and bike parks that you can consider visiting during your next trip to the city:

Bear Lake Woodland Trail

If it’s your first time visiting Big Bear Lake, the Bear Lake Woodland Trail is a must-see, especially for mountain biking beginners. This trail is a relatively straightforward one that’s just on the outskirts of town and exposes you to the wildlife and the fauna native to the area.

At just 1.5 miles long, this trail can be completed in under an hour even on foot, making it ideal for first-timers and bikers with companions who prefer hiking. 

Butler Peak Trail

The Butler Peak Trail is a moderately challenging, 10-mi long mountain trail that will take you up and around Butler Peak, located within the San Bernardino mountains in between the towns of Green Valley Lake and Fawnskin.

Along this trail, you can also visit the Butler Peak Fire Lookout, a lookout tower that offers some of the most breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and of Big Bear itself. 

Beast Trail

For a more challenging and exciting mountain trail, check out the Beast Trail. Widely considered to be one of the most challenging mountain trails in the Big Bear area, the Beast Trail is an 11.3-mi loop trail with 3,500 feet in elevation gain that will take you up to Snow Summit.

As a reward for your efforts, you’ll be treated to some of the best views of the lush pine forest that surrounds the city. If you’re lucky, you might even encounter some local wildlife. 

Big Bear Mountain Bike Park

If you’re new to mountain biking or want to brush up your skills in a controlled environment, consider planning a visit to the Snow Valley and Snow Summit Bike Parks. Owned and operated by Big Bear Mountain Resort, these mountain bike parks offer some of the most well-maintained mountain trails for downhill riding.

These mountain bike parks also offer tuning and repair services to help you ensure that your bike is in tip-top condition. If you’re new to the sport, you can also take mountain biking lessons at the bike parks to learn the fundamentals before striking out on your own on one of the many beginner-friendly trails. They also provide mountain bike rental services, so you won’t need to worry about buying or bringing your own bike. 

To get up to the Snow Valley and Snow Summit Bike Parks, you’ll need to take a chairlift that’s been equipped with a bike carrier for the season. You can either purchase a same-day ticket or opt for a season pass if you intend to stay in the area longer. 

Where to Stay in Big Bear

Of course, let’s not forget accommodation when it comes to trip planning. With so many Big Bear cabins, hotels and vacation rental options, how do you choose where to stay?

While hotels are always a viable option, consider staying in a cabin rental while you’re in Big Bear for a more memorable, cozy experience. Here at Sky High Cabins, we have a range of Big Bear cabin and vacation rentals for you to choose from — including luxury cabins for large groups. Book a lakefront cabin if you want to wake up to a magnificent view of Big Bear Lake and the surrounding mountains.

Alternatively, for easier access to the mountain biking trails and the Big Bear mountain bike parks, book a cabin nestled away on Big Bear Mountain or Snow Summit.

Why Sky High Cabins?

When you book with Sky High Cabins, you can rest assured you’re getting the best bang for your buck.

We manage all our cabin and vacation rentals directly on behalf of their owners, meaning that we get to ensure that each one is cleaned regularly and maintained to the same high standards. 

We also offer a variety of different cabin types to suit the needs and preferences of our guests, ranging from pet-friendly cabins to cabins with hot tubs and amazing views. Browse our cabin rentals to find one you like, and start booking your Big Bear mountain biking adventure today!

Want more Big Bear MTB trail info? Find biking guides & tips on the tourism website here.

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