California – a great destination for hikers, beach-goers, outdoor enthusiasts, and adventurers alike. No matter where you are in California, there’s always something to do.
One of my favorite places to visit is San Bernardino County because of all the mountains and trails that you can hike around the area. A particularly beautiful trail that stands out is the Pine Knot Trail near Big Bear Lake.
PINE KNOT TRAIL OVERVIEW
Before heading out to Pine Knot, here is an overview of the trail with some information about the trail and things you need to know and remember.
Pine Knot Trail is a trail located near Big Bear Lake in the San Bernardino National Forest.
The trail is about 3.4 miles long and takes around 1 to 2 hours to complete, depending on your level of experience and physical fitness. However, the trail is considered easy to moderate, making it family friendly since the terrain is not too difficult for young kids.
It is mainly used for hiking, but it is also popular among bikers and equestrians as well. Even though bikers and equestrians often use the trail, it is still in good condition. Dogs are also allowed on the trail, as long as you keep them on a leash.
The trail starts in Aspen Glen Picnic area and takes you up to the forest where you’ll have amazing views of oaks, pines, wildflowers, and of course, views of Big Bear Lake while walking along a creek and through a meadow. You can also see San Gorgonio and Catalina Island.
The trail is accessible year-round, although it is particularly special during fall because of the magnificent autumn colors. It is also popular during summer because it is filled with wildflowers. During the winter, you can also go snowshoeing.
Things To Remember
Don’t forget to grab yourself a recreation pass, which costs $5 for the day pass, or get one at $30 for one whole year. You can park in the Aspen Glen Picnic Area or anywhere near there – just remember to display your recreation pass on the dashboard of your car.
Remember also the proper trail etiquette – everyone yields to equestrians and cyclists yield to hikers. Travel only on safe spots and stay on designated trails. This isn’t just for your safety, but for the protection and preservation of the mountain environment as well.
Note that Pine Knot Trail is not that well marked for winter and it can be difficult to follow the trail after some fresh snowfall.
And just with every single hike you will take (now and in the future), remember to always notify someone about where you’re going and the estimated time it will take you to get back. You don’t want what happened in 127 Hours to happen to you, now do you?
GRAND VIEW POINT VIA PINE KNOT TRAIL
A popular endpoint from the Pine Knot Trail is the Grand View Point. If you continue in a generally south direction in Pine Knot Trail, you’ll reach Grand View Point.
The trail is about 6.1 miles and is lightly trafficked. It is an out and back trail that is rated as moderately difficult. The best times to get to Grand View Point is from March to November.
To get to Grand View Point, continue along 1E01 (Pine Knot Trail) past its intersection with the 2N08 at the junction with 2N10. Hike a quarter of a mile along the remaining peninsular path until you reach Grand View Point. It takes around 2 to 3 hours to reach Grand View Point.
What’s great about Grand View Point is that it will get you away from the crowds of Big Bear Lake and it has beautiful views overlooking San Gorgonio and the Santa Ana River Valley.
OTHER END POINTS
Another end point that you can access (apart from Grand View Point) via the Pine Knot Trail is Skyline Ridge. It is roughly 6.1 miles to get there and takes around 3 hours. From Skyline Ridge, you pass through secluded woodlands on a gentle uphill, to views of San Bernardino.
Trick or Treat or Plantation Trail
You can access this trail if you are on a bike. When you get to the intersection of 2N10, head west until you reach Trick or Treat, or the Plantation Trail.
ASPEN GLEN PICNIC AREA
Since the trail starts in Aspen Glen Picnic Area, you can consider hanging out there with your friends or family before you head out to your trail – or even after your short hike in Pine Knot.
The Aspen Glen Picnic Area is especially great during winter because you can go sledding there. The park gets pretty full during the winter and summertime because it’s generally a nice place to hang out. However, the surrounding rolling hills allow for some extra breathing space for sledding without having to fight for space with other people.
The picnic area also has numerous tables and barbeque stations so you can cook a nice meal with your friends or family. There are also pit toilets there in case you need to use the restroom before or after your hike in Pine Knot.
You can also head to the village in Big Bear Lake to visit shops, cafes, and restaurants to warm up after your hike or sledding adventures in the picnic area.
There are truly a lot of places to visit and things to see in California, but if you’re heading own there, make sure to add San Bernardino, Big Bear, and the Pine Knot Trail to your list of places to visit.
So there you have it, some information you might need if you’re thinking about visiting Pine Knot Trail. If you do go there, come back here and let me know how it went in the comments below. I’d love to hear about your experiences. If you have any comments or questions, go ahead and leave them in the comments below as well!