Sugarloaf Mountain Trail Guide - Big Bear
- 12 miles - Hard Effort
- 5-7 Hours (Total)
- 3,360 Total Feet of Climbing
- Max Elevation of 9,952 feet
- Leashed Dogs Allowed
Although Sugarloaf Mountain, at 9952 feet, is the highest point in Big Bear Valley, this mountain peak is often overlooked by hikers today. That's good news for you because the Sugarloaf Mountain Trail is rarely crowded, offers a good climb with excellent views, an old-growth forest, and another peak to add to your list. And while the summit doesn't have a viewpoint, you do get some of the best panoramas of the San Bernardino high peaks along the way.
- Video and Turn-by-Turn Directions for the Sugarloaf Mountain Trail
- How to Get the Start of the Sugarloaf Mountain Trail
- Gear, Tips, and Recommendations for the Hike
When planning, always check the park website and social media to make sure the trails are open. Similarly, check the weather and road conditions.
Where is Sugarloaf Mountain Trail?
Sugarloaf Trail is set back from the paved road by about a mile or so, up a rocky Forest Service road which is tough on most cars. So the safe bet is to park just off the (paved) Rt-38 at the beginning of the Forest Service Road 2N93, and then walk up the road to the official start of the trail.
There's not an address for the parking area, so use this lat/lon: 34.231438, -116.806414
Gear For the Hike
- This is a mountain hike so bring clothing and a shell for changing conditions.
- I bring 3L of water which is on the conservative side.
- Trekking poles will help on the steep sections.
- In the winter the trail can be covered and ice and snow. If you're familiar with the trail already, it's best not to do the hike in those conditions.
Top Spring 2023 Gear Picks
Osprey Stratos and Sirrus 24 Daypack ( Amazon | Sirrus REI | Stratos REI )
Garmin Mini 2 Satellite Communicator ( Amazon | REI )
Black Diamond Distance Z Trekking Poles ( REI | Amazon )
As a hiking guide, I test lots of hiking gear. On my picks page, I'll show you all of the gear that I actually use. I don't accept paid promotions or talk about the stuff that doesn't make the cut. It's just the gear that works best, so you don't have to waste your money.
All My May 2023 Top Gear Picks
LAST DAYS ➤ Biggest REI Sale of the Year
Sugarloaf Mountain Trail Maps
One of the neat things about this hike is that once you leave the Forest Service Road, you are actually on the Sugarloaf National Recreation Trail (NRT). NRT Trails are part of the National Trails System Act of 1968, the same one that created the (official) PCT and AT. You can read a more about the history of the NRT trail system in my guide to the Gabrielino NRT.
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Sugarloaf Mountain Hike Directions
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Turn by Turn Directions
Wildhorse Meadow, where this road goes, was named after World War 1 when the US Cavalry realized that modern warfare made fighting on horseback obsolete. They decided to let their horses go, and the herd settled in the meadow southeast of Sugarloaf Mountain.
What's the triangular marker at the summit?
This Guide Was Written by Cris Hazzard
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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