Pine Knot Trail to Grand View Point is a hiking trail located in Big Bear, California. The trail is of moderate difficulty and great for wildlife viewing, bird watching, wild flower viewing, hiking, and mountain biking. Pine Knot Trail to Grand View Point provides incredible views of the San Bernardino National Forest and San Gorgonio mountain.
Pine Knot Trail to Grand View Point
Pine Knot Trail is a beautiful trail just outside of the town limits of Big Bear, California. Because of the simplicity of access, the trail is moderately to heavily trafficked. Trail access isn’t just limited to pedestrian traffic but is also available for dogs, mountain biking, and equestrian use. Pine Knot Trail offers incredible views of Big Bear Lake. As the trail leads to Grand View Point, you’re greeted with the view of the Santa Ana River Valley and San Gorgonio Mountain.
I hiked this trail during late Spring and one of my favorite parts of the trail was the view of San Gorgonio Mountain and the abundant wildflowers. One of my least favorite parts about this trail was the mountain bikers. While I am all for the idea of sharing trails, it’s how the way mountain bikers used the trails that bothered me.
The trail clearly states multiple times for riders to use bells when traveling downhill. Well, nobody does. This makes it a little unsafe at times as the mountain bikers irresponsibly come down the hill at a fast speed without being able to be heard by other people. So please, if you’re a mountain biker, please use caution when coming down at fast speeds and wear something that can allow you to be heard by others. Other than my one complaint, the trail is great, and the views are lovely.
One last thing to keep in mind, some of the other posted trail distances say that the trail is about 6.1 miles but we logged well over seven miles to Grand View Point.
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- Overall Difficulty: 60% 60%
- Overall views: 80% 80%
Pine Knot Trail to Grand View Point Quick Facts:
- Elevation: 7,761 feet.
- Elevation Gain: 1,217 feet.
- Estimated Distance: 6.1 mile.
- My Actual Distance: 7.4 miles.
- Estimated Time: 4 hours.
- My Time: 3:08 hours.
Pine Knot Trail to Grand View Point Directions:
Open in maps. Pine Knot Trail access begins in the Aspen Glen Picnic Area which is a short distance from Big Bear Lake in Big Bear, California. Since this trail is located in the San Bernardino National Forest, you will need a permit to access this trail. You can either use an Adventure Pass or an America The Beautiful Pass. There is limited parking at the Aspen Glen Picnic area which will likely fill up early. We parked along the street but pay attention to no parking signs as to not get towed or receive a ticket.
Pine Knot Trail to Grand View Point Pictures:
Who Pine Knot Trail to Grand View Point Is For:
Novice Hikers: I think this trail is actually great for novice hikers to test their hiking skill levels. The incline of this trail is at a fairly steady pace without any switchbacks. The hike also has a decent amount of shade to help keep sun exposure to a minimum. Keep in mind, snow or ice on the ground will make this trail more difficult for all skill levels.
Advanced Hikers: This is a perfect hike to spend a few hours on during the day. The views of San Gorgonio are amazing.
Expert Hikers: This is a fun hike to spend a few hours in the morning with no challenging sections. Ice or snow on the trail will make this hike more difficult.
It’s always a good idea to be aware of what type of hiking level you’re at.
Best Time Of Year To Hike Pine Knot Trail to Grand View Point:
Pine Knot Trail to Grand View Point Trail Conditions:
The trail is in great condition. Pretty much all of the trail is made up of dirt surface with a few rocks here and there. It’s maintained primarily through foot and bike traffic and privately. The trail starts near the Aspen Glen Picnic Area. From there begins a steady incline up to the top where Grand View Point Is.
I read on All Trails where one person stated that the trail is about 95% shaded. While there is a fair amount of shade, that is a gross exaggeration. Most of the coverage is by pines which still allow a fair amount of sun to get through to the trail. I’d say the trail is about 50%-60% shaded which is nice to limit sun exposure. Most of the trail is made up of pine forest and chaparral.
My favorite part of the trail were the wildflowers along the way and at Grand View Point. My fiancé and I stopped at the point for about twenty minutes to enjoy the view and have a snack. From there you’re looking straight down into the Santa Ana River Valley and directly across to San Gorgonio mountain which is one of the So Cal Six Pack Of Peak mountains.
I did this hike during late Spring in June. There were still plenty of wildflowers and temperatures hadn’t gotten too hot yet. Some of the trail features really nice meadows but I didn’t notice any Poison Oak. I wouldn’t doubt that there are some areas that might have the plant so keep an eye out for Poison Oak. Also, watch out for rattlesnakes as this is a perfect habitat for them.