Castle Rock Trail: Fun Hike at Big Bear Lake

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2.6 Miles


2 Hrs




All Year

Elevation Gain

600+ Ft

Castle Rock Trail in Big Bear, California,  is a 2.6 mile hike that is heavily trafficked. The peak allows for an elevation gain of 600 feet, or more, with views of the entire Big Bear Lake and surrounding area. This trail is rated as a moderately difficult hike, but is more than worth it. 

Map of Castle Rock Peak Trail

Directions and Parking

Getting to Castle Rock Trail is very easy, but can be a total pain if you don’t plan ahead. I’m talking about bumper to bumper traffic in the winter during the holiday and snow season. 

Here are directions: Castle Rock Trail 1W03, Big Bear Blvd, Big Bear Lake, CA 92315.

I ended up parking at this location: 34.237712, -116.961391.

This is the “parking lot”. It fits about 4-5 cars, so it’s crucial to get here early if you want to park closest to the trailhead.

You can park in the nearby neighborhoods if this area is full, but it will take you an extra 10-15 minutes to get to the trailhead.


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Castle Rock Trail

Once I parked my car, I carefully crossed the street when I saw it was safe. 

You’ll want to be super careful when getting to the trailhead since it begins on a sharp turn on the street. The fast moving cars might not be able to see you, so be aware of that.

Here’s where the trailhead begins. I was in awe at the beauty of the sunlight shining through the trees and the snow glowing bright white. I know I was going to love this snowy, winter hike!

There’s a map that shows you an overview of the hike and area, in case you want to take a look.

Up ahead, I came across this bench that overlooks the snow and pine trees.

The sight is fantastic and you can probably take some cool pictures of yourself sitting on the bench, overlooking the views.

A little past the bench, there’s some steps that are pretty icy. This is probably the trickiest part of the hike. Luckily, I had my trusty trekking poles and grippy snow boots to help me out.

Further up, you’ll need to keep a lookout for this sign on the tree. Honestly, I was about to miss this because it camoflauged so well with the bark.

From there, I made a left and continued on.

I kept walking and spotted this rusty pole. This is another signal to make a left.

I saw these fallen trees and logs on the ground and walked over them. You can try walking around it if possible, but I ended up crossing through to make it more adventurous.

Another snapshot of the powdery snow and tall pine trees. 

This next part wasn’t on the trail itself, but I ventured off for a bit when I heard trickles of water flowing from somewhere. 

I was pleasantly surprised by this small pool of water. It looked beautiful with the sunlight glistening through the clear water. A closer look and you can see the leaves in this small pool.

Another picture-worthy spot and I wasn’t even at the peak yet!

Once back on the trail, I saw this sign posted on the tree as I got closer to the destination.

A confirmation that I was almost to the peak!

I could see Castle Rock Peak from here. This was one of my favorite views of this hike. It looks so very high up in person.

The trees and snow just add to the awesomeness.

As I got closer, I decided to follow the trail that loops around towards the front of the peak. 

Finally, I made it to the peak! Take a look at this amazing view.

At over 600 feet elevation, you can see the entire Big Bear Lake area from the top of the peak. These are just incredible views that you won’t get anywhere else.

I highly enjoyed Castle Rock Peak Trail and feel it’s well worth doing after a few days of snowfall or any time of the year. 

If you’re a huge fan of Big Bear like myself, check out my buddy’s YouTube Channel, Big Bear Weather And More, where he updates us on all the most recent news regarding snowfall, rain, and many fun topics.

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Hello, There!

I’m Phillip, and just like you, I feel very passionate about California and the outdoors. After many years of exploring amazing and hidden places, I thought I’d share them with you. Life goes by fast so get out there and enjoy it.  

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