Summary: This is a tromp through the forest, nothing spectacular, althought the views of the San Gorgonio Wilderness are superb. This trail is a good workout, but rough on the feet and ankles because of the absolute rockiness of the trail. I don't know if I've been on a rockier path in Southern California. I was really worried about my dogs' paws, but they are tough and they were alright.
You barely get any views of Big Bear Lake and the summit is forested, so no 360, but there is a barren shoulder about 1/2 mile before the top where you catch your best vistas of the trip. After resting on the top, I chilled out here for a while before heading down.
This is the highest peak in the San Bernardinos 9952' outside San G wilderness, and if you're looking for solitude and altitude, this could be your spot. Sign the register and make sure you take the right roads on the way back. I was a little unsure of myself, but my instinct never lead me astray.
Trailhead: It was difficult finding this trail. The book said it was a six mile hike, but after I sauntered on a gated forest road for maybe a mile and a half, I eventually found the trail and the sign that said 3 miles to Sugarloaf.
Not to brag, but I have an uncanny sense of direction and can sniff out trails better than a bloodhound. I didn't take a single wrong step, and I wasn't on the book's path.
Take Hwy 38 East 34 miles from Redlands, 2.1 miles past the entrance to Heart Bar Campground is Forest Road 2N93, turn left and follow it for exactly 6 miles. Park and take the locked gate to your left. Follow the road past a few lesser traveled jeep roads to the trailhead sign. From here it is a rocky trail all the way up- 3 miles.
I didn't take a topo and it appears there is a shorter route, but I didn't see it until I looked at the map back home. (Lat:34.19868 Lon:-116.81433)
Trail Guides for Sugarloaf Mountain - SBNF:
Best Hikes With Dogs - Southern California
by Allen Riedel (Mountaineers books)
San Bernardino Mountain Trails - 100 Hikes in Southern California
by John W. Robinson (Wilderness Press)
Day Hikers Guide to Southern California
by John McKinney (Olympus Press)
Best Seasons: Fall, Spring, Summer,
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs, Bikes, Horses,
Ranger Contact: Mill Creek Ranger Station (909)794-1123
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Allen Riedel, who has posted 123 other hikes on this site. To visit this reporters web site, click here.
Trail Reviews Submit your own review
Reviewed by IT on 5/26/2009
This is the most strenuous hike I know of near Big Bear. Hiked it over Memorial Day and saw 5 other people, which is a high number! I've been hiking this trail for over 5 years, and can't believe anyone has difficulty finding their way! Just take 2N93 until you see a parking area with signage and a gate. You're taking a road for the first couple miles (at least 2) through a canyon, then west on the ridge. It IS a rocky trail, so I recommend solid hiking boots with good insoles. While the views to the North are minimal, San Gorgonio is in plain view many times from the ridge. This hike has some interesting rock configurations, and I've never seen so many different types of butterflies as I did on this most recent hike.
Reviewed by David on 9/1/2008
There are a couple of ways to do this hike, the most accessible one mentioned here is relatively easy to get to and hike. There are a couple of turnoffs along the climb to the ridge, up the valley, continue going up and you'll be fine. Once you're on the ridge, the route is easy. The rockiness seemed minor to me after hiking in the Sierras. The overall hike was pretty blah with minimal views.
Reviewed by Adam on 9/24/2007
Hiked on 9/23/07. Trailhead descriptions here and in books are pretty much useless. The trailhead showing up in my Delorme topo map is also incorrect. On Forest Road 2N93, park near the abandoned car which is across the road from a gate and fence break. The car is on the east side; the trailhead and gate is on the west side. Walk directly through the fence break (gate to the right) and head up the bare hill, perpendicular to the fence, towards the berm at the edge of the brush. Walk around the berm to the left, under some shrubbery, and you will be on the trail.
Reviewed by Dave on 9/12/2004
A great weekend alternative to the crowded San Gorgonio Wilderness. Trailhead is 10 miles outside of Big Bear Lake area; take dirt road 2N93, which is across hwy 38 from the signed and paved Hatchery Road. Go about two miles to the Green Creek Stream crossing (lots of lush vegitation) and the trailhead is on the south side of the road. The trail is fairly easy to follow, up to the ridge then west. Last mile has a lot of loose shale. There is thin forest cover at the top, but walking 50 ft either south or north gets you great views of either San Gorgonio or the Baldwin Lake & Lucerne Valley area.
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