Pineknot Trail to Grand View Point (Big Bear)
|In This Guide|
|Total Distance (?)||7.5 miles (12.1 km)|
|Hike Time||2:30-3:30 Hours (Total)|
|Total Ascent (?)||1,200 feet (366m)|
|Highest Elevation||7,720 feet (2353m)|
|Fees & Permits||Parking Pass|
|Alerts & Closures (?)||San Bernardino National Forest|
While it isn’t a hike to a high mountain summit, taking the serene and scenic Pineknot Trail up to Grand View Point offers you a similar payoff, but without a big effort. The trail climbs gently through the pine forest, with glimpses down to Big Bear Lake, and then ends at Grand View Point, which has sweeping views of the San Bernardino high peaks. Overall it’s a pleasant hike that offers something nice for hikers of all ability levels.
Where is the Pineknot Trail?
The Pineknot Trail is located in the town of Big Bear Lake, and it starts at the Aspen Glen Picnic Area. Use this trailhead address:
Aspen Glen Picnic Area, 40105 Mill Creek Rd, Big Bear Lake, CA 92315
Gear For the Hike
- Like most of the area, it can get hot in the summer and cold and icy in the winter. There’s no real mountain summit, so what you wear at the start is usually fine for what you need at Grand View Point.
- I’d bring at least 1L of water.
- The hike is shady and the sun isn’t a problem.
- There are no real steep parts and trekking poles are probably overkill, but if you like hiking with them, they’ll work fine here too.
Stay Safe Out of Cell Phone Range
If you’re not familiar with the Garmin InReach technology, it allows you to send and receive text messages where you don’t have cell phone signals. You can also get weather reports and trigger an SOS to emergency responders. Even if you don’t have an emergency, sending a quick message telling a loved one that you’re okay or are running late is well worth the cost. The Garmin InReach Mini (REI | Amazon | My Review) fits in your palm and weighs next to nothing.
Altra Lone Peak 5
For most people, the Altra Lone Peak is a solid choice that will leave your feet feeling great at the end of any hike. The feel is cushy and light, and if it had a car equivalent, this would be a Cadillac or Mercedes Sedan. The grip is great and they’re reasonably durable for this type of trail runner, which I think is better in most conditions than a hiking boot, and here’s why. The downside of this shoe is that it won’t last as long as something like the Moab 2 (see alternate footwear choices at the bottom of my gear page). I’ve been using mine for many miles and my feet always feel great. Watch my video explaining why they are a great shoe here.
Latest Price on Women’s Shoe
REI | Amazon
Latest Price on Men’s Shoe
REI | Amazon
Black Diamond Trail Ergo Cork Trekking Poles
I’ve gone back and forth on trekking poles, but I think for most people they are a good investment. They help you dig in on the uphills, provide stability on loose downhills, act as a brace when crossing streams, and can probably poke away aggressive wildlife in a pinch. The Trail Ergo Cork poles are a good balance of light weight, durability, affordability, and ease of use. If you want something ultralight and a little more pricey, I’ve had great luck with the Black Diamond Z Poles too.
REI | Amazon
Here’s my complete gear list that I personally use, have tested, and recommend, updated October 2021.
No company pays me to promote or push a product, all the gear you see here is gear I use and recommend. If you click an a link and buy gear, I get a small commission that helps keep the website ad and promotion free. There is no cost to you.
Pineknot Trail Maps
Overall the trail is in great condition, and a local cycling club has even adopted some new trail signs. There are several cutoffs, trail updates, and use trails initially, and I’ll tell you how to navigate them below. You’ll share the trail with mountain bikers.
Explore Map on CalTopoView a Printable PDF Hike MapDownload the Hike GPX File
If you try to download the GPX file and your browser adds a “.txt” or “.xml” extension to it, simply rename it as a “.gpx” file.
How Are You Going to Navigate This Hike?
If you are a hardcore hiker and/or hike in extreme conditions, I recommend getting a dedicated GPS like a GPSMAP 66sr or 66i, or a wrist-based GPS with maps like the Garmin Fenix 6. If you only hike in fair weather and a touchscreen is fine, or just want a solid tool, I highly recommend downloading the smartphone app, Gaia GPS. It’s a piece of cake to use and very powerful, just make sure your phone is in airplane mode so the battery doesn’t drain. You can also check for wildfires, weather, snow, and choose from dozens of map types with a premium membership (HikingGuy readers get a big discount here). Note that I also carry a paper map with me in case the phone dies or gets smashed.
Pineknot to Grand View Hike Directions
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Turn by Turn Directions
From here, just hike back the way you came up.
This guide last updated on July 6, 2021. Did something change on this hike? If so, please contact me and let me know. I'll update the guide.
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