Beginner Off-Road Trails Near Big Bear Lake, California

1N09 City Creek Trail

A long overland trail with plenty of recreational activities such as site-specific shooting areas, yellow post campsites and creek crossings. This is a well-maintained dirt road with some minor ruts, rocks and shallow creek crossings.…
Total Miles
21.1
Tech Rating
2 Easy
Best Time
Sp / Su / Fa

Smarts Ranch 3N03

This is a less often traveled trail close to Burns Canyon and 18. Although there are not any vistas, there are a few points to stop and enjoy the solitude. The section closest to Burns…
Total Miles
7.1
Tech Rating
3 Easy
Best Time
Sp / Su / Fa / Wi

Thomas Hunting Grounds

The Thomas Hunting Grounds Trail (1N12), often also referred to as the Morton Peak Trail, is an easy dirt road that takes you from the chaparral and shrubs of Mill Creek to the oaks and…
Total Miles
11.2
Tech Rating
2 Easy
Best Time
Sp / Su / Fa

Coxey Road

Nice, easy going, wide sandy trail connecting other great OHV roads. The trail runs from Grapevine Canyon Road to Bowen Ranch Road. Look for the sign for 3N14 off Grapevine Canyon Road to start the…
Total Miles
6.9
Tech Rating
1 Easy
Best Time
Sp / Su / Fa / Wi

Alder Creek Road - FSR 1n16

Starting in Highland, 1n16 is a fairly easy dirt road with some parts rutted out, but any 4x4 can make it through the trail easily. Many parts of the trail are single-vehicle wide, but there…
Total Miles
10.5
Tech Rating
2 Easy
Best Time
Sp / Su / Fa

Willow Creek Road

Total Miles
6.2
Tech Rating
3 Easy
Best Time
Wi / Sp / Su / Fa

Psycho Ranch Turnout

This trail tears off from the main route of Coxey into the hills. There are a few singletrack turnoffs for those looking for some adventure. There were no natural camping spots noticed on this route.…
Total Miles
1.4
Tech Rating
3 Easy
Best Time
Wi / Fa / Sp

Bowen Ranch

This wide washboard trail heads up into the hills passing private property and open BLM land. It ends at the Bowens Ranch and hot springs (more info below). There are a few dispersed camping spots…
Total Miles
3.2
Tech Rating
2 Easy
Best Time
Wi / Fa / Sp

Juniper Flats Southern Access

This generally easy trail leads from the Bowens Ranch gate past the hot springs trailhead parking area and into the vast area of Juniper Flats. This large flat area up in the mountains is full…
Total Miles
3.5
Tech Rating
3 Easy
Best Time
Wi / Fa / Sp

Japatul Road

This trail heads up toward Juniper flats and splits to either Flagpole trail or continues to the flats. The valley views below are pretty great once you ascend to the ridgeline. Once you pass the…
Total Miles
1.9
Tech Rating
3 Easy
Best Time
Fa / Sp / Wi

The "Shooting Range" Quarry

This out and back trail ends at a small turnaround loop with a great view. A short side trail heads up to the old abandoned mine, which features a few flat dispersed camping spots and…
Total Miles
1.6
Tech Rating
2 Easy
Best Time
Wi / Fa / Sp

Pilot Rock OHV

Pilot Rock OHV offers spectacular views and water crossings along the hills near Silverwood Lake and Arrowhead Lake. Some of the surrounding cities include Lugo, Hesperia, and Apple Valley. It can take 1 to 4…
Total Miles
5.8
Tech Rating
2 Easy
Best Time
Sp / Su / Fa / Wi

Ride to the Fish Pond

This trail is very easy, on this ride you'll see great views of the Orb Mountains and enjoy a great ride through easy terrain. At the final destination, you will find an old water trough…
Total Miles
8.9
Tech Rating
1 Easy
Best Time
Fa / Wi / Sp

Idyllwild Mountain Road

Beautiful trail overlooking the neighboring town of Banning and the surrounding mountains. The deserted mountain scape is chock-full of secluded camp spots with some wind cover and appears to occasionally be used for shooting. The…
Total Miles
7.3
Tech Rating
2 Easy
Best Time
Sp / Su / Fa / Wi

Pilot Rock Road

Total Miles
8.4
Tech Rating
3 Easy
Best Time
Wi / Sp / Su / Fa

2N40 Cloudland Truck Trail

A short, but beautiful trail with great views of San Bernardino and the mountains beyond. It is doable in 2WD during dry conditions, but 4WD may be required when wet. Closures can occur during winter…
Total Miles
6.4
Tech Rating
3 Easy
Best Time
Sp / Su / Fa

Black Mountain

This is a well-maintain fire road that takes you up to boulder basin group campsite. On the way there, you'll see some turns-outs for rock climbing and overlanding. During the winter months, trails may be…
Total Miles
10
Tech Rating
1 Easy
Best Time
Su

Black Mountain Road

This is an easy trail that most stock vehicles could tackle. There are some really beautiful views, and the high point is the lookout, which gives a breathtaking view of the sunset. There are 5…
Total Miles
5.1
Tech Rating
1 Easy
Best Time
Sp / Su / Fa / Wi

Cleghorn Ridge

If you are a beginner looking to push your limits, this is a great route for you. You will follow along a ridge with great views of Silverwood Lake and have the option to dip…
Total Miles
14
Tech Rating
3 Easy
Best Time
Wi / Sp / Su / Fa

San Jacinto Ridge Trail (FS 5S09)

San Jacinto Ridge is a two-way trail running East to West between the Banning-Idyllwild Panoramic Highway (SR 243) and Bee Canyon Road (FS 5S07) in the San Bernardino National Forest. Comprised of mostly hard-pack dirt,…
Total Miles
10.4
Tech Rating
3 Easy
Best Time
Sp / Su / Fa

Stoddard Mountain Road

This is the main graded trail into the OHV area. It is mostly well-graded with plenty of washboard bumps and mild transition to make life easier for those towing trailers. There is a pit toilet…
Total Miles
3
Tech Rating
2 Easy
Best Time
Wi / Fa / Sp

The Main North to South Access Wash

A sandy run from the central valley to the northern open section. The wash is wide and allows for oncoming traffic to pass. The sand is generally more on the coarse side, lending to an…
Total Miles
2.2
Tech Rating
3 Easy
Best Time
Fa / Wi / Sp

Eureka Peak

This trail takes you to Eureka Peak, which is a mountain top viewpoint allowing you to have a 360-degree view of the area from a high elevation. There are hiking trails throughout this area and…
Total Miles
8.6
Tech Rating
2 Easy
Best Time
Sp / Su / Fa / Wi

Desert Front Trail

This trail is mainly dirt road with some sand in areas and some off camber turns with slight hills. In Spring and Summer, the trails are mainly dry and possible in 2WD. There are forks…
Total Miles
11.7
Tech Rating
3 Easy
Best Time
Sp / Su

Sheep Canyon

This is a very easy trail leading from Swarthout Canyon Road to Lytle Creek Road. No major obstacles, but the uphill portions can be a little slick. Street legal vehicles only.
Total Miles
2.1
Tech Rating
1 Easy
Best Time
Sp / Su / Fa / Wi

Upper Lytle Creek Divide

The trail consists mainly of dirt, rocks, and some roots. It is wide enough for one vehicle, but there are turnouts for passing throughout the trail. Stock height 2WD SUV and truck type vehicles are…
Total Miles
7.3
Tech Rating
3 Easy
Best Time
Sp / Su

Sharpless Ranch

This is a simple trail that leads from Lone Pine Canyon Road to Upper Lytle Creek Divide. It is an easy trail that is just a fun little uphill or downhill trail depending on direction…
Total Miles
2.2
Tech Rating
2 Easy
Best Time
Sp / Su / Fa

Gobblers Knob Spur A

This is a beautiful trail that leads you to the highest point within the little set of trails in this area. It also connects at the top with the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). Be careful…
Total Miles
5.2
Tech Rating
3 Easy
Best Time
Sp / Su / Fa

6S13 - Thomas Mountain Road

Uneven, rutted dirt trail with loose rocks and sand. Muddy conditions should be expected during the rainy season. The trail is primarily one vehicle wide with some portions wide enough for passing oncoming traffic. Steep…
Total Miles
7.7
Tech Rating
3 Easy
Best Time
Sp / Su / Fa

Slade Canyon

This is a a fun, quick trail that leads you up into the mountains from the creek bed below. After heavy snowfall, ice could make for very dangerous conditions. If snow is present 4WD is…
Total Miles
2.6
Tech Rating
2 Easy
Best Time
Sp / Su / Fa