Perched within striking distance of Los Angeles, the San Bernardino Mountains offer some of the most popular day hiking and camping destinations in the area. Like the San Gabriels to the west, the mountain wilderness offers a forest enclave of juniper, Jeffrey pine, and ponderosa for the Angelino weary of the urban grind. Mule deer, bighorn sheep, mountain lions, and black bears wander the slopes up here among the mountain aeries and river valleys. Strap on your hiking boots and go for a walk in the woods. Here are five hikes to get you out on the trail!
- Lower Deep Creek Canyon + Warm Springs: Part of the Pacific Crest Trail, the waters flow year round at Deep Creek Canyon, including a pair of hot springs. Deep Creek Hot Springs offers the best pools, and Warm Springs offers the most seclusion, but be sure to check for restrictions related to water quality.
- San Gorgonio Mountain: The focal point of the San Bernardino wilderness, San Gorgonio is certainly its most popular destination. Hikers are drawn by the long summit and abundant views. Consider an overnight camping trip to get away from the crowds.
- Cougar Crest Trail: Big Bear Lake is another of the most popular destinations in the San Bernardino Mountains, and Cougar Crest Trail offers wildflowers in early summer and views of Big Bear Lake and the surrounding mountains all year long.
- Champion Lodgepole Pine + Bluff Lake: The world’s largest lodgepole pine lives in the San Bernardino Mountains, and this easy 1-mile trail will take you there. Extra points for the Bluff Lake Reserve, which is just a short hike away.
- Grand View Point Hike: A long out-and-back hike with great views of the Santa Ana and San Bernardino valleys. Consider this as an alternative to the crowds at San Gorgonio Mountain.