Horsethief Flats - 3n03A

Total Miles


1857.61 ft


2.75 Hours

Technical Rating



Best Time

Summer, Fall, Spring

Trail Overview

Coming off of Highway 18 between Big Bear and Lucerne Valley it is about 1 mile along 3n03 to reach the offshoot of the Horsethief Flats Trail. This is rated as a Black Diamond, which is the designation for the most difficult trails in the area. The beginning of the trail is fairly easy being a single-vehicle-wide dirt road with a few spots to pull off and eat. Progressively the trail turns rockier and puts vehicles in more off-camber situations, with a few spots being near steep drop-offs. To descend into Horsethief Flats there is a steep, rocky, decline that may cause some under-built vehicle problems. To get down to Horsethief Flats, there are two options as the trail is split, neither being much easier than the other. During the descent, there is a great view out over Johnson Valley. In Horsethief Flats, there are many spots to stop and eat or even camp. This is an out-and-back trail, so it is necessary to climb back up the steep rocky section and retrace the rest of the trail back to 3n03.


Begins as a single-vehicle wide dirt road that progressively turns into rocks, cliff edges, and off-camber situations with many decent-sized obstacles along the way. Erosion may cause larger boulders to tighten or even completely block the path.

Technical Rating


Access Description

When coming down Highway 18 from Big Bear, there are 2 turnoffs that can get you to 3n03A: the beginning of 3n03 or through Cactus Flats.