The Bear Woodland trail is a short loop in Big Bear, California. Heavily trafficked, this trail offers views of Big Bear Lake Lake, the surrounding San Bernardino Mountains, spring wildflowers, and conifer forests.

Bear Woodland Trail Hiking Guide

Put into act over one hundred years ago, the San Bernardino National Forest is now composed of over 600,000 acres of land. Altogether it includes three Ranger Districts and two separate counties. Thankfully, this designated area of national forest, is one of the last areas to stop the sprawling suburbia and endless concrete that makes up most of Southern California.

Most people who reside in Southern California are not strangers to the small mountain town of Big Bear. During the winter months, this town and its surrounding mountains are one of few places in the region to enjoy the little winter weather that Southern California offers. The Bear Woodland Trail is a short loop trail on the north end of Big Bear Lake and just outside the main city of Big Bear, California.

This trail is a perfect option for those wanting to explore some nature just outside the town limits. There are several informational placards along the way highlighting the flora of the area. To the south will be views of Big Bear Lake, snow summit, and the surrounding hills of the San Bernardino Mountains. Although this trail is close to the town, there is plenty of opportunity for wildlife viewing if you’re lucky.

On A Personal Note:

Bear Woodland trail  is a great introduction for those that have never hiked in the San Bernardino mountains before.  The views of the lake are decent and the placards are interesting. My wife and I did this trail because we didn’t have much time in the area. It was sufficient enough to get some fresh air. If I’m being completely honest, there are better trails in the area. The Pine Knot to Grand View Point is one that I would recommend if you’re looking for something longer.

Do you have any updates to the hiking trail or want to share your hike/pictures? Please leave a comment below.

  • Overall Difficulty: 5% 5%
  • Overall Views: 70% 70%
Bear Woodland Trail Quick Facts:
  • Elevation: 6,769 feet.
  • Elevation Gain: 250 feet.
  • Estimated Distance: 1.6 miles. 
  • My Distance: 1.4 miles. 
  • Estimated Time: 30-90 minutes. 
  • My Time: 36 minutes moving; 51 minutes total. 
Bear Woodland Trail Directions:
Click here for driving directions. This trail is on the north side of Big Bear Lake. There is a small parking lot with a compostable toilet. An Adventure Pass or America The Beautiful Pass is required for parking. Parking can fill up quickly especially during the weekends in the morning. During the winter, occasional ice and snow is possible on the roads. Check with local authorities to find out about road conditions.  
Bear Woodland Trail Pictures:
Who Bear Woodland Trail Is For:
Novice Hikers: This is a great trail for those that aren’t used to hiking, those new to hiking, people who are unable to do longer hikes, or those on a time crunch. 

Advanced Hikers: Those who fit into this category of hikers will be bored with the trail but it’s a good option to just get outside. 

Expert Hikers: If you need to get outside and have a small window of time, this is an option. However, you’ll be more amused by some of the more difficult trails in the area. 

It’s always a good idea to be aware of what type of hiking level you’re at.

Best Time Of Year To Hike Bear Woodland Trail:
There’s not really a bad time of year to hike this trail. The best time of year really depends on your own personal preference. This is an area of Southern California that does experience a full four seasons. Summers can be quite warm but the good news is early mornings can still be quite comfortable. This mountain range lies at the western end of the Sonoran monsoon season. The monsoons can bring hot and humid weather with the threat of thunderstorms. During these periods of activity, storms can pop up quite quickly, flash flooding can occur, and the threat of lightning can be present.

In the fall, temperatures can become cool in the morning and throughout the night. In the lower elevations, the trees can put on a display of fall colors. Winters can be cold and stormy with occasional snow and ice along the trail. The higher elevations can have light to moderate snow cover. Spring can have a wide variety of wildflowers up until mid-summer.

It’s always a good idea to check the weather before heading out on a hike.

Bear Woodland Trail Conditions:

Bear Woodland Trail is in great condition and compost mostly of lose soil.  This hike is also an interetive trail. Thre are informational brochures at the trailhead that corespond to numbered placards along the trail. The placards highlight facts about the area. To save paper, you can also view a copy of the interpretive guide here on your phone. There is no poison oak along the trail. Always use caution and keep an eye out for rattlesnakes.