Castle Rock Hike, Big Bear Lake

The best view of Big Bear Lake!

This is one of my favorite hikes in Big Bear, California. We have done this hike several times & every time the view does not disappoint! If you find yourself in Big Bear and are looking for a hike, this is the one.

Castle Rock hike begins off of Big Bear Blvd where you park off of the main road. (See map below.)

Parking can get tough so make sure to get to the trailhead early enough if you plan on hiking during a busy weekend. On weekdays the trailhead is fairly uncrowded.

Castle Rock is roughly 2.7 miles round trip with about 820 feet of elevation gain. This is a fairly steep hike so be prepared to use those legs! While hiking you will see markers & signs indicating which direction to follow.

Once you get to the top you will see Castle Rock (yes, this is an actual giant rock). This is almost the end of the trail. If you want to do some rock climbing you can climb to the top of this rock & that is where you will get the best view of Big Bear Lake! If you are not comfortable rock climbing you can still get some great views from below.

You can do this hike year-round but remember Big Bear does get snow. We have hiked Castle Rock in the snow and it is much more difficult. Be advised that if you plan on hiking in the winter make sure you have clamps for your shoes or hiking poles. It gets VERY icy & cold at the top.

Packing List for Castle Rock Hike:

  • Sturdy shoes (with grip)
  • Hat & Sunglasses (the trail is pretty exposed in some areas)
  • Water (duh)
  • Hiking Poles (the hike is steep)
  • Snack to enjoy at the top
  • Camera to snap some photos to share

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