Bobsled hike stats
|Trail Description||Out and back|
|Trail Location||Snow Summit: 880 Summit Blvd., Big Bear Lake, CA 92315|
|Parking Lot||34.23725, -11688930|
|Round Trip Mileage||~4.0 miles|
|Average Time||1.5 – 3 hours|
|Elevation Gain||~1,025 feet|
|Best time to visit||May – October|
|Parking||Free between May – October. Fee during winter season of November – April.|
Our experience on the Bobsled trail in Big Bear
A trip to Big Bear Lake wouldn’t be complete without a stop at the local ski slopes, so we set out to explore Snow Summit (part of the Big Bear Mountain Resorts). We knew we wanted to get to the summit and found two options to reach the top.
Our first option was a $34 lift ticket combo (pricing subject to change) which included a scenic chairlift and lunch experience. We also planned on checking out the 1.0 mile loop trail at the summit of the mountain to round out the day.
After searching for reviews of the two lunch options, (Skyline Taphouse or the Bighorn Smokehouse) we weren’t left overly impressed with the dining options. We also discovered the 1.0 mile loop at the summit is a shared trail with mountain bikers.
Our second option was to hike up the newly created Bobsled hiking trail from the base of the resort. We couldn’t find a ton of information about the trail online, but we decided a 4.0 mile round trip hike up the ski resort would be preferable to the scenic lift experience. We were pleased to learn it was a dedicated trail to hikers only.
Insider-tip: There are two mountains part of Big Bear Mountain Resorts. The Bobsled trail is located at Snow Summit, rather than Bear Mountain (which is closed during the summer).
Getting to the Bobsled trailhead
We wanted to hit the trail reasonably early since it was going to be hot that day. After first going to the wrong mountain, we arrived at the Snow Summit area and snagged a free parking spot around 9 a.m. on a Sunday. The parking lot was probably 30% full when we arrived. Most activity in the parking lot seemed to be mountain bikers gearing up for a day on the slopes.
After leaving the parking area, you need to traverse through the village area of the resort and we immediately began to see large “Bobsled hiking trail” signs pointing us to the trailhead start. We appreciated the clear directions that helped ensure we wouldn’t waste energy or time finding our way.
Insider-tip: The trail starts near the bungee trampoline and gold panning area in the village area.
The way up
Once we made it through the village, the official trail starts off to the left of the main ski lift used in summer (lift #1). We followed a gentle incline up a dirt road which led up to the forested area and the base of the main elevation gain.
Off to the left of the dirt road we saw employees spraying down dirt tracks which we later learned was a fun area for the downhill mountain bikers to go over small jumps and twists and turns.
At the entrance to the tree line, the trail winds past a small stream and into beautiful meadows full of wildflowers.
It didn’t take long before we gained enough elevation to enjoy the first view of many of Big Bear Lake and the surrounding valley floor.
The trail continues to wind through the valley through forests and switch backs as you climb to the summit.
Despite it being mid-morning on a weekend, we mostly had the trail to ourselves.
We stopped frequently to snap photos, enjoy the quiet on the mountain and gawk at the abundance of lizards on the trail.
With only two miles to the summit and around 1,025 feet of elevation gain, we made quick work of the trail and made it to the top in just over an hour of hiking time.
By the time we reached the summit, mountain bikers were arriving in droves and we enjoyed watching them take off down the trails.
At the summit, we took note of the 1.0-mile mountain loop trail we had read about, but decided we didn’t want to check out. We also saw a small play area for children and located the prices for the Skyline Taphouse. It was still pretty early and we weren’t interested in having lunch on the mountain, so we decided to gradually head back down.
Unless you’re planning on having lunch or doing the mountain loop trail, there really wasn’t anything else to do at the summit and we found the views were better along the trail.
Insider-tip: We did ask an employee if we could ride down the chair without a ticket and he said yes.
Should you visit or skip the Bobsled hiking trail?
Rating: 5.0 Mooses
- What we liked
- The trail was recently constructed and it’s clear the trail builders took great care in the design. It is well-marked with plenty of signage and winds through a variety of terrain to keep things interesting on the entire journey.
- We enjoyed watching the downhill mountain bikers speed by on nearby biking trails.
- The views of the valley and Big Bear Lake from the trail were beautiful.
- What we didn’t like
- There were a few obnoxious bikers heckling hikers from the chair lift. No clue why.
Verdict: This newly constructed trail is a great way to save some money on lift tickets and enjoy the breathtaking views of the valley around Big Bear Lake. We highly recommend checking it out.
Know before you go
- Parking at the Summit Snow lot was abundant and free in the summer. We didn’t have any issues securing a spot.
- This hike is not at the Bear Mountain portion of the Big Bear Mountain Resorts, but rather at the Snow Summit area. We went to the Bear Mountain area first and found it closed during the summer. The mountains aren’t far apart, so make sure you go to the correct location.
- There was a heat wave in the area during our hike and there are quite a few areas on the trail that aren’t covered in shade. Be sure to bring adequate water on the hike.
- There were some bugs on the trail, but not enough to warrant bug spray while we were there.
Frequently asked questions about the Bobsled Hiking Trail
Can I ride the chair lift down for free during the summer?
Yes (during the 2021 season). We asked one of the employees at the top if we could ride down for free and he said yes. We ended up walking down as it was only two miles. This could change in the future, but we’ve found most ski resorts will let you ride down for free.
Is the Bobsled hiking trail a multi-use trail?
No, the Bobsled trail is reserved for hikers only. In fact, it is currently the only trail at Snow Summit that is for hikers only. All other trails are multi-use including for use by downhill mountain bikers. The resort is hugely popular for mountain bikes and other trails should be used cautiously when hiking.
Can you ride the chair lift up the mountain and walk down the Bobsled Trail?
Yes. Scenic chairlift passes are $25 per person or $34 for a lunch /chairlift combo (prices subject to change). It would be a great activity to ride up and then walk down the 2.0-mile trail back to your car.
What is the best time to visit the Bobsled hiking trail?
The best time to visit is during the summer season which is from May through October. Parking is free during this time and most of the snow is gone in the spring.
Are their restrooms available at the top of the chairlift?
Yes, they are conveniently located to the left of the chairlift near the Skyline Taphouse restaurant.