Big Bear Off
that some trails in the San Bernardino National Forest
are for hiking, riding and non-motorized vehicles only.
Dirt roads and trails that are open to ATV's, dirt
bikes and 4X4's are clearly marked. The Big Bear
Forest Service office can be reached at 909 866-3437 for
detailed information about OHV areas, rules and regulations.
The San Bernardino National Forest requires motorized play
to be confined to designated trails and roads. There are
no 'open' areas for racing or cross-country
travel. Areas of the forest that have experienced forest
fire are particularly fragile, so please stay on the designated
roads when riding in these areas.
of the best base camps for this sport is at Big Pine
Flats. In Fawnskin (HWY 38), turn north on Rim of the
World Street. This road quickly turns into Forest Road
3N14. Seven miles north is the Big Pine Flats campground
(restrooms and water available). This is an extremely
isolated area and a great setting for off-highway fun.
Flats is another ideal area for off-road adventures.
Take HWY 18 east from Big Bear and look for Forest
Road 3N03 on the right. Follow the signs into the area.
There is no specific campground at Cactus Flats but
the area is open for self-contained and rustic camping.
No fires allowed. National Forest Adventure Pass is
required to use these and all areas in the San Bernardino
you've always wanted to get away from civilization
but don't have the vehicle for it, try doing
it by tour. Big Bear Jeep Tours (909/878-JEEP) and
Big Bear Off-Road Adventures (909/585-1036) will take
you on deep-woods explorations at no risk to your own
car. The mountains are full of springs, rivers and
meadows that are well off the beaten track and can
be accessed most easily by 4-wheel drive.
Center recommends the Lucerne Valley Car Tour if you
want to see some interesting topography with little
effort and a family car. Driving from Big Bear Lake
down the back route to Lucerne Valley on paved HWY
18, families can experience a Desert Adventure quite
simply. This 20 mile drive takes you from an Alpine
forest environment through Pinyon Pine Groves and into
a beautiful Joshua Tree forest (Cactus Flats). Park
the car at any available place and step into these
unusual environments at any point along the way as
the high desert wilderness comes right up to the road.
The view of the Mojave Desert is astounding from the
top, and the change in climates and scenery on the
way down the route is amazing. Continue down to the
desert floor and into Lucerne Valley and return via
the same route. In the spring and early summer the
Joshua Trees and wildflowers may be in bloom and the
unusual rock formations are always a treat.
you have a high clearance or 4-wheel-drive vehicle
and the Gold Rush is of interest to you, the Discover
Center has put together a self-guided car tour through
Holcomb Valley. Holcomb Valley was the premiere sight
for gold miners in Southern California. This now desolate
and uninhabited high mountain valley was once swarming
with miners and their suppliers. During the height
of this gold rush, there were enough residents and
excitement to put Holcomb Valley in the running for
San Bernardino County Seat. This is a 3-hour, twenty-mile
historical tour. Markers are set along the way at specific
sights and if you pick up a pamphlet coded with the
markers you can spend an afternoon in a beautiful,
wild setting and learn a little California history
along the way. Bring a picnic and explore the woods,
meadows and streams along the route.