All of these rides begin with a ride up the Snow Summit Ski Lifts. Check out their website at http://www.snowsummit.com for current pricing, hours, etc.
From the OC / LA / IE areas, there are two main highways up to Big Bear: the 330 and the 38. The 330 is “fast way” but generally has drivers that frankly, don’t know how to drive mountain roads. The 38 up to Big Bear is longer, mileage-wise, but has far less traffic. Always check the Caltrans website for current road conditions.
There are many ways to get down the mountain at Snow Summit. These are just a few of the legal options that begin at the top of the ski lifts.
Here are a couple maps of the whole area:
Pine Knot Loop (9 Miles – Shown in red on the map)
The Pine Knot trail starts as a fire road, turns into a beautiful single track, and returns on the road through town, making it a great ride for a lunch break half way through. An advanced beginner could easily do this ride.
Fern Trail Loop (4 1/2 miles – Shown in blue on the map.)
The Fern Trail is pretty smooth all the way down with a few challenging rocky sections – a great option for beginners who want to step it up a notch.
Upper and Lower Falline (2 miles – Shown in yellow on the map.)
Falline is an advanced trail that is easy to miss and recommended only for the most experienced riders. A full-suspension mountain bike, pads and a full face helmet are a must for this trail. This route is 100% downhill.
Now you’re probably wondering – what about the OTHER advanced stuff? Why is that stuff not on the map? Advanced could mean that you’re doing the same trails, but 2-3 times faster. Advanced might also mean that you’re on trails that are seasonal – meaning that they change every year. And advanced might also mean that rather than avoiding some of the jumps that people build in this area every year, you might actually try them. Or advanced could mean that you’re riding trails that we’ll never post on a public website, such as those that are trespassing into known closed areas, ridiculously dangerous routes, etc. We know where they are, and if we hear people talking about them, we discourage people from riding THOSE trails.
Riding in the Forest is at Your Own Risk
The signs at the edge of the forest areas are real. If you’re caught on a trail other than a known and marked forest route and you need help, you’re gonna pay for it. Not only could you face paying a ticket or going to jail but in a worst case scenario when you get hurt, nobody is going to come save you. And if they do, you’re gonna get a bill for the search and rescue team. To make matters worse, your insurance company likely will not pay off because you were doing something stupid – and illegal. So, our advice is to stick to the known trails!
Photos of the Snow Summit Area