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  1. #1
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    Looking For Big Bear Trails

    Hi, all. Just bought a "cabin" in the Sugar Loaf area of Big Bear and I am looking for some trails to ride. Took my two sons to the top of Snow Summit but the signs and maps were so bad, I had visions of spending the night on the mountain with them. Any tips are greatly appreciated.

    montenido

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by montenido
    Hi, all. Just bought a "cabin" in the Sugar Loaf area of Big Bear and I am looking for some trails to ride. Took my two sons to the top of Snow Summit but the signs and maps were so bad, I had visions of spending the night on the mountain with them. Any tips are greatly appreciated.

    montenido
    I've heard that the Grout Bay trail is beautiful. You can also hook up with several other trails to make an epic ride.

    http://www.socamtbr.com/trails/grout/grout.htm

    You're also not too far from the Santa Ana River Trail, one of the premiere singletracks on the west coast.
    If you want to play with electricity, more power to ya......

  3. #3
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    Good job!

    The whole area is full of excellent fire roads and jeep trails, with a sprinkling of singletrack in various places. Drive over to the north shore and stop in at the Nat Parks Visitors Center to atalk to the rangers and docents about trails. Try to pick up the 4x4 maps they have, buy a standard large area map from them and get the Snow Summit map (a cartoon, but useful if you correlate it to the real map). That will get you some great ideas for different rides. It neer hurts to go out wiht the truck and explore, too.

    Also, Big Bear Bikes and the other shops in town can talk to you about loops and rides you'll enjoy, all over the area. Unless you only want DH, there's a LOT of riding around there, even though it's hot, dusty and sandy in much of it.

    When you're talking to the Rangers, have them work out this loop for you, in Holcomb Canyon ( come across to the north shore, and go east to Van Dusen road (north) to get to this part of Holcomb Valley. Drive all the way up Van Dusen (3 miles) and hang a right at the Tee. Go east to the parking area adjacent to the little miner's cabin. That road you're on is 3N16. Get on your bikes, and cross the meadow to the north on the faint doubletrack there, then go west on that sometimes sandy road about a mile. You're in the old Gold Country area, and you'll pass the hanging tree, some old saloons and a lot of tailing and old mine shafts (filled).

    After about 1 mile take a right on 3N43. After awhile you will come to a clearing and find a trail marked, "The John Bull Trail - 3N10". It's about 3 miles of sometimes technical jeep trail from here with an excellent climb and the opportunity to take some side walks for outstanding views. After peaking, you'll descend the most technical section of jeep trail (it's always changing) and you will come down to an intersection marked as 3N32. Take a right which leads you back to 3N16. Take another right and in 1 mile you will be back to your car.

    Finally, check this out: List of rides

  4. #4
    g c
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    Quote Originally Posted by EBasil
    The whole area is full of excellent fire roads and jeep trails, with a sprinkling of singletrack in various places. Drive over to the north shore and stop in at the Nat Parks Visitors Center to atalk to the rangers and docents about trails. Try to pick up the 4x4 maps they have, buy a standard large area map from them and get the Snow Summit map (a cartoon, but useful if you correlate it to the real map). That will get you some great ideas for different rides. It neer hurts to go out wiht the truck and explore, too.

    Also, Big Bear Bikes and the other shops in town can talk to you about loops and rides you'll enjoy, all over the area. Unless you only want DH, there's a LOT of riding around there, even though it's hot, dusty and sandy in much of it.

    When you're talking to the Rangers, have them work out this loop for you, in Holcomb Canyon ( come across to the north shore, and go east to Van Dusen road (north) to get to this part of Holcomb Valley. Drive all the way up Van Dusen (3 miles) and hang a right at the Tee. Go east to the parking area adjacent to the little miner's cabin. That road you're on is 3N16. Get on your bikes, and cross the meadow to the north on the faint doubletrack there, then go west on that sometimes sandy road about a mile. You're in the old Gold Country area, and you'll pass the hanging tree, some old saloons and a lot of tailing and old mine shafts (filled).

    After about 1 mile take a right on 3N43. After awhile you will come to a clearing and find a trail marked, "The John Bull Trail - 3N10". It's about 3 miles of sometimes technical jeep trail from here with an excellent climb and the opportunity to take some side walks for outstanding views. After peaking, you'll descend the most technical section of jeep trail (it's always changing) and you will come down to an intersection marked as 3N32. Take a right which leads you back to 3N16. Take another right and in 1 mile you will be back to your car.

    Finally, check this out: List of rides
    To add to EB's suggestion:

    Instead of going right at the top of Van Duesen Canyon Road, go left. Enter the campground on the right and make a left on the first "street". Follow this to the end of the campground and look for the void in the fence. Beyond the opening is a singletrack with a fun jump. Go through the fence at the other end and make a left. Follow EB's directs to a T from here.

    When leaving John Bull trail, follow any fireroad downhill. They will all take you back to the same "rough" spot.

    Hey EB, ever do the 5 peaks challenge?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by g c
    Hey EB, ever do the 5 peaks challenge?
    Oh, that sounds so painful, just in its name... heh heh. No, I've never done that one.

    When I used to ride Holcomb a lot from our place in Whispering Forest, I'd ride up Van Dusen (something I never do or suggest to others anymore because of speeding trucks and dust issues), go east out to Lucky Baldwin Mine then take the easier section of John Bull counterclockwise to 3N32, then down to do the ride described above, except that halfway down 3N32, I'd take the alternate route, Mezcals Maze, and come out back at the miners cabin, before riding back down Van Dusen. That would leave me so thoroughly worked that addtional mileage would be out of the question.

    Today, I think the same route, but parking at the miners cabin, would still be enough.

  6. #6
    g c
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    Quote Originally Posted by EBasil
    Oh, that sounds so painful, just in its name... heh heh. No, I've never done that one.

    When I used to ride Holcomb a lot from our place in Whispering Forest, I'd ride up Van Dusen (something I never do or suggest to others anymore because of speeding trucks and dust issues), go east out to Lucky Baldwin Mine then take the easier section of John Bull counterclockwise to 3N32, then down to do the ride described above, except that halfway down 3N32, I'd take the alternate route, Mezcals Maze, and come out back at the miners cabin, before riding back down Van Dusen. That would leave me so thoroughly worked that addtional mileage would be out of the question.

    Today, I think the same route, but parking at the miners cabin, would still be enough.
    Where were you in Whispering Forest???? I have a place on Eagle Mountain up near the top in Whispering Forest.

    We hook up that part of the route some times and add in Gold Mountain for fun. Either that or do Bull and then go down Snow Slide to Green Valley and back. Five Peaks used to be a historic/folkloric ride that the locals did every year. They summited the five peaks on the back side of the lake, through Butler, in one day. 67 miles with 4 miles of hike/scree field. Do an internet search on the Beat the Vulture and it comes up. I have the route memorized (from years ago) if you are ever intersted in joining us.

    We also ride from my place over Sugarloaf, down Wildcat, up 38 and then some seriously fun dirt back to Holcomb Valley. Good stuff.

    Where is your place now?

  7. #7
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    Oh, I know what that 5 Peaks challenge was all about...damn locals and their big lungs.

    In Whispering Forest, as you head up Eagle Mtn., the first street on the left is Bear Mountain, first left is Feather Mtn, 4th cabin on the left is the "Basil Hutte", a big, yellow prow house now behind a grove of scrubby pines. It used to have a 170' pine right in front of the house---when the beetles got it, my Dand and I cut it to a 15' stump with the plan to chainsaw it into a large, standing bear sculpture. When I bolted an old easy chair to the top of the stump on a big MTB week, I set the stage for the revocation of my cabin rights... heh heh...well it's sort of funny NOW. It was a pretty damn good seat.

  8. #8
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  9. #9
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    Thanks For The Replies

    Hi, all. This should keep me busy for the summer. I have a black/white Kona Bear, if you see me on the trails say hi.

    Thanks again, montenido

  10. #10
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    my LBS carries Franko's maps.
    http://www.hawaiianresources.net/FrankosMaps.htm

    I was there over the July 4th weekend and used it when I went up Van Deusen and into Holcomb Valley.

    I do have one question...I ran across a place called Wilburs Grave. Who is Wilbur?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by dkr92886
    I do have one question...I ran across a place called Wilburs Grave. Who is Wilbur?
    Just some dude that had a famous horse.

  12. #12
    g c
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    Quote Originally Posted by EBasil
    Just some dude that had a famous horse.
    Now THAT is funny!

    Wilbur was a mill worker who had a mishap with a saw. Let's just say he saw a bunch of red.

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