mountain biker riding on an eBike with wild flowers around

Big Bear Mountain Resort has Southern California’s Best Hiking

Posted On: Jul 08, 2020

family of 4 hiking with a view of big bear lake in the background


If you're looking for a fun, low-cost way to get out and explore the great outdoors, head to Snow Summit in Big Bear Lake to explore some of the best hiking trails in Southern California, featuring picturesque lake views, snow-covered peaks, and more. Whether you're looking for a relaxing retreat or an all-day adventure, Snow Summit has options for all ages and abilities.

kids hiking bobsled chair

girl blowing a dandelion

Easily accessible from most points in Southern California, Big Bear Lake is perfect for day trips or extended stays to enjoy the variety of hiking trails. Get above it all and come experience the natural beauty of the San Bernardino National Forest; your trail starts here.

Here are the top reasons why Snow Summit's hiking trails are listed as Big Bear local's favorite things to do.


Located in the San Bernardino Mountains, Snow Summit offers a true alpine setting with plenty of Ponderosa pines, fresh mountain air, and spectacular views of Big Bear Lake and Southern California's tallest peak, San Gorgonio Mountain (elev. 11, 500 feet). Snow Summit has two on-site hiking trails – Mountain Top Loop (1 mi.) and Bobsled Trail (2 mi.) – as well as access to over 60 miles of trails throughout the Big Bear Valley.

view of san gorgonio mountain

The trails are typically open to the public from mid-May through October* and serve as a high-altitude oasis for visitors looking to escape Southern California’s sweltering summers before giving way to picturesque autumnal foliage in September and October.

*Operating dates subject to change based on weather conditions and other extenuating circumstances.


Between our on-site offerings and the extensive network of U.S. Forest Service trails available throughout the valley, there's no limit to the amount of terrain you can traverse. Check out Bobsled Trail for a top-to-bottom trek with over 1,200 feet of vertical or the Mountain Top Loop at the top of Chair 1 for a more modest trip. If it's been a while since you've been to the mountains remember to pace yourself and drink plenty of water until you become acclimated to the thinner air and be sure to bring sunscreen and/or protective clothing since the weather can change dramatically at higher altitudes.

couple on a hike in the wilderness

two girls running on a trail at snow summit


Whether you're limited on time, have mobility restrictions, or just prefer a more leisurely approach to enjoy the outdoors, the Scenic Sky Chair is a great option for outdoor adventurers of all ages. Enjoy panoramic views on a mile-long ascent through the San Bernardino National Forest before arriving at the top of Snow Summit (elev. 8,200 feet). Lift tickets* can be purchased in advance or at the Snow Summit ticket windows.

two girls taking a ride on a scenic sky chair

You can also take advantage of these sweet deals:

-Purchase Sky Chair or Bike park lift tickets at least 72 hours in advance to save 20%
-Free Sky Chair lift tickets for kids (ages 5-12) & under and seniors (80+). Limit two (2) free child tickets per paying adult.
-Hiking pass receive unlimited Sky Chair access for one low price
-Discounts available for active military and groups of 15 or more
-Free birthday lift ticket
-Free rides for 20/21 Bike Park and winter season passholders

Learn more about deals & discounts.

*Lift tickets are required for Sky Chair and Bike Park access. Lift tickets are not required to hike at Snow Summit. Scenic Sky Chair lift tickets include round-trip access.


Hike, bike, or take the Sky Chair to the top of the mountain and experience high-altitude dining at Skyline Taphouse, featuring indoor and outdoor seating, a made-to-order Mediterranean menu, outdoor BBQ, full bar, and amazing vistas*.

*Menu and seating availability subject to change.

girl drinking a soda

Lift + Lunch packages are available for Bike Park and Scenic Sky Chair.

family riding the scenic sky chair at snow summit


Mountain Top Loop features several interpretive signs along the pathway for guests to enjoy. Take a self-guided tour to learn more about the trees, plants, and wildlife in the area, along with facts about San Gorgonio Mountain, snowmaking, fire safety, and Big Bear Lake.

mountain top loop trail sign

Interpretive Signs for trees at snow summit


While dogs and service animals are welcome at Snow Summit, please be advised that animals are not allowed on the Scenic Sky Chair and must be leashed on the hiking trails and in the base area.

girl wearing a snow summit hat sitting with her dog on a hiking trail

girl hiking with dog


Nature is free for everyone to enjoy, which is why lift tickets or season passes are only required for Bike Park and Sky Chair access, not hiking or visiting the base area. Parking at Snow Summit during the summer is free during operating hours, on a first come, first served basis, but overnight parking/camping is not permitted.

family hiking together

Hiking is a great way to get outdoors and spend time with friends and family. Book a trip to Snow Summit today. If you're planning on riding the Scenic Sky Chair during your visit, be sure to purchase your tickets at least 72 hours in advance to save 20%.



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