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Pets allowed
Yes
Elevation Gain
?
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
2.00 mi (3.22 km)
Please respect the outdoors and leave no trace. One tip how to dispose of waste properly: Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products. For more information, visit https://lnt.org/learn/7-principles

The hills surrounding Big Bear are strewn with large granite boulders and blanketed in trees. Even though you may be hundreds of feet above the lake and thousands of feet above the San Bernardino Valley, good views can be hard to get among all the features on the landscape.

Castle Rock is one granite outcrop that stands out from the rest because it is especially tall. Rising about 100 feet from a hilltop, it towers over the pines, firs, and cedars to gain an incredible view of Big Bear Lake and surrounding peaks.

This destination is popular among visitors to Big Bear, but the typical starting point is from the lower (north) trailhead at a narrow pullout with limited parking. The upper (south) trailhead is not only less crowded, but it also demands less elevation gain. It does require a longer drive from town on unpaved roads, however.

If you are visiting other destinations in the national forest, Castle Rock Trail is nearby and well worth the effort. The final section of moderate rock scrambling rewards with 360-degree views over the breezy forest canopy.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

California Adventure Pass

Pros

Panoramic views over Big Bear Lake. Rock climbing/scrambling to the top. Less steep than a lower trailhead.

Cons

Crowds on Castle Rock are possible.

Trailhead Elevation

7,590.00 ft (2,313.43 m)

Net Elevation Gain

230.00 ft (70.10 m)

Address

2N86
Angelus Oaks, CA 92305
United States

Features

Rock climbing
Big vistas
Old-growth forest

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Comments

07.09.17
Definitely recommend hiking from upper (south) trailhead suggested here. Less elevation gain and far less foot traffic - most people who came from the lower trailhead tend to stop once they hit the rock.
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