Grays Peak Trail Hike Big Bear

Hike Grays Peak Trail (Big Bear)

In This Guide
  • Video and Turn-by-Turn Grays Peak Trail Directions
  • Getting to the Grays Peak Trail
  • Insider Tips and Recommendations
Total Distance (?)7.2 miles (11.6 km)
Hike Time3-4 Hours (Total)
Difficulty (?)Moderate
Total Ascent (?)1,300 feet (396m)
Highest Elevation7,290 feet (2222m)
Fees & PermitsParking Pass
Dogs AllowedLeashed
Alerts & Closures (?)San Bernardino National Forest
Park Phone909-382-2682
Weather & ForecastLatest Conditions

Grays Peak Trail, one of the most popular hikes in the Big Bear Area, is not too tough, but plenty nice. You’ll hike through an old-growth forest, be treated to views of the surrounding peaks, and then reach the forested knob of Grays Peak, which has lengthwise views of Big Bear Lake, as well as the San Bernardino high line of peaks. It’s such a nice area that two bald eagles decided to raise a family here! More on that in the guide.

Where is the Grays Peak Trail?

The trailhead is easy to find. There is a dedicated rest area and parking lot for the trail in Fawnskin, right next to Big Bear Lake. Use this trailhead address:
Grays Peak Trail, Fawnskin, CA 92333

Grays Peak Trail Directions 4
There’s a very large parking lot.

You need a National Parks Pass or and Adventure Pass to park here.

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There are bathrooms at the parking area.

Gear For the Hike

Although this is a backcountry hike, it’s not especially technical or tough. I do the hike using regular hiking gear, but I’ve seen plenty of folks here in fitness clothes. Just know that it can be colder at the top, and in the winter, the trail can be covered with snow and ice (it’s actually a good snowshoe hike if that’s your thing). I bring 2L of water when I do the hike.

Gear 2022 8

I waste my time with lousy hiking gear so you don’t have to. Only the winners get onto my gear page. There’s no fluff, sponsorships, or promotions. It’s just gear I personally use, have tested, and recommend. Right now I’m liking my inReach Mini 2, Garmin Epix, and Lone Peak 6 shoes.
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My September 2022 Top Gear Picks

Grays Peak Trail Maps

The hike is on a mixture of singletrack and (very laid back) Forest Service roads. It’s all well-marked and easy to follow.

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Elevation Profile

Grays Peak Trail Elevation
The hike is steadily uphill, but not steep. Overall the climb is pleasant and easy for most folks with decent fitness.

3D Map

Grays Peak Trail 3d Map
From this angle you can see how the trail climbs gently from Big Bear Lake up to Grays Peak. Grays Peak, on the western end of Big Bear Lake, is unique in that it offers views lengthwise down the lake.

Hike Brief

Big Bear Eagles
In 2013, a pair of bald eagles started nesting in the area around Grays Peak. Photo San Bernardino NF Twitter

Grays Peak Trail Hike Directions

Video Directions

Have a question about the guide or want to see what other people are saying/asking? View the Youtube comments for this video. Leave a comment and I will do my best to respond.

Turn by Turn Directions

Grays Peak Trail Directions 1
The hike starts at the big trail board, at the end of the parking area.
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You’ll start climbing from the start, but it’s not too steep and very scenic.
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And as you climb you’ll pass through the boulders that are common on hikes around Big Bear.
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At the top of the first section the trail levels out and you get a breather.
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When the singletrack joins Forest Service Road 2N04X at around 0.8 miles, bear right and continue on the road.
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Just behind you when the trail joins 2N04X is a Yellow Post camping site, which is free and offers nice views over Big Bear Lake.
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Notice the huge old growth trees in this section.
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This section of the hike is along the dirt road for about 0.3 miles.
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And then you join the larger 2N70 road. Keep to the right.
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And about 200 yards after joining 2N70, look for Grays Peak Trail off to the left.
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The trail is marked with a sign.
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And now you’re back on singletrack, gently making your way up to Grays Peak.
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As you climb you’ll see Delmar Mountain to the north.
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At about 2.6 miles in, you’ll come to a scenic overlook facing north. After this, the trail turns south and you head toward Grays Peak.
Grays Peak Trail Directions 18
As you hike southwest you can see Butler Peak in the distance. The mountains beyond that are in Angeles National Forest.
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Look closely to spot the fire lookout tower, which is the highest tower in the northern part of San Bernardino NF.
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You’ll also see evidence from the 2007 Butler 2 Fire as you hike in this section.
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The trail winds around as it climbs to the peak, which is dead ahead here.
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When you crest the ridge, the trail swings left.
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And you’ll get views of all the 10,000 foot+ peaks in the forest, including San Gorgonio.
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When you get to the split, there’s a viewpoint ahead, and then the trail to the peak is a sharp left.
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The viewpoint area has an old witness post.
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And great views down Big Bear Lake.
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The last little climb to the summit is steep.
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And has some nice boulders to climb up on to enjoy the views from.
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And that’s it! From here, just go back the way you came up to finish the hike.

Did something change on this hike? If so, please contact me and let me know. I'll update the guide.

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This Guide Was Written by Cris Hazzard

Cris Hazzard 4 Mile Trail Yosemite
Hi, I’m Cris Hazzard, aka Hiking Guy, a professional outdoors guide, hiking expert, and author based in Southern California. I created this website to share all the great hikes I do with everyone else out there. This site is different because it gives detailed directions that even the beginning hiker can follow. I also share what hiking gear works and doesn’t so you don’t waste money. I don’t do sponsored or promoted content; I share only the gear recommendations, hikes, and tips that I would with my family and friends. If you like the website and YouTube channel, please support these free guides (I couldn’t do it without folks like you!).

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