Pineknot Trail Featured
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Los Angeles Hikes

Pineknot Trail to Grand View Point (Big Bear)

  • 7.5 miles - Moderate Effort
  • 2:30-3:30 Hours (Total)
  • 1,200 Total Feet of Climbing
  • Max Elevation of 7,720 feet
  • Leashed Dogs Allowed

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.

In this Guide:
  • Video and Turn-by-Turn Directions to Grand View Point
  • How to Get to the Pineknot Trail
  • Grand View Hike Maps
  • Insider Tips and Recommendations for the Hike

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

Pineknot To Grand View Hike 1
Look for the Aspen Glen Picnic Area nestled in the middle of a residential area.
Pineknot To Grand View Hike 2
There's a moderate amount of parking, but I've never seen the lot full early in the morning.
Pineknot To Grand View Hike 3
Since Aspen Glen offers picnic benches and a bathroom, there is a fee. You can use an Adventure Pass or a national parks pass, which I highly recommend investing in.

Gear For the Hike

Gear That I Love Right Now

Nothing is sponsored or promoted, just the actual gear that I use.

Gear Inreach Mini 2
Garmin InReach Mini 2Hit SOS or just tell loved ones that you're running late where your cell phone has no service.  Review here.
Gear Topo Pursuit
Topo Pursuit 2The best hiking footwear I've ever owned. No blisters. Get them wet, they dry quickly. Lots of cushion and comfort.
Gear Epix Pro Up Ahead
Garmin Epix ProHiking maps, route info, and fitness stats on my wrist. Review here.
Hikelite 26 Gear
Osprey Hikelite 26Lightweight, carries all your gear, and your back doesn't get sweaty. Oh yea, it's also one of the most inexpensive packs you can get.

Check out the complete list here. ( Updated July 2024)

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.

Click Here To View

Use This Map:
View in CalTopo | PDF Map | GPX File

Elevation Profile

Pineknot Trail Elevation
You'll climb about 300-400 feet every mile, which is a gradual gradient. Some sections are uphill, none steep, some rolling, and there are many flat sections in between.

3D Map

Pineknot Trail 360 Map
From the parking area you'll wind your way up Red Ant Canyon (yup) to Skyline Road. Just past that is Grand View Point.

Pineknot to Grand View Hike Directions

Pineknot To Grand View Hike 4
The trailhead is on the other side of day use area, past the picnic benches.
Pineknot To Grand View Hike 5
Look for the official trailhead where the clearing ends.
Pineknot To Grand View Hike 6
It's a little farther than this. You'll see a mix of the old a new signs along the way.
Pineknot To Grand View Hike 7
The beginning of the hike is the most confusing, with lots of cutoff trails. The official trail goes left along the gully, and up along the other side of the gully.
Pineknot To Grand View Hike 8
When you come around the bend on end of the gully, stay straight on the new trail, not back to the left.
Pineknot To Grand View Hike 9
Once around the bend hike straight on the trail.
Pineknot To Grand View Hike 10
Soon you'll hike around a corner and leave the confusing start behind.
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At the intersection, go straight through.
Pineknot To Grand View Hike 12
Here's the sign at intersection. We're heading to Skyline (before continuing to Grand View). Also note that the new signs refer to the trail as the "Pine Knot" and not the "Pineknot" which is the official spelling.
Pineknot To Grand View Hike 13
Now you have a nice long gradual uphill through the pines.
Pineknot To Grand View Hike 14
Avoid several cutoffs which you'll see on this stretch.
Pineknot To Grand View Hike 15
As you ascend you'll get some views down to Big Bear Lake.
Pineknot To Grand View Hike 16
At the junction stay right and continue on the Pineknot Trail, which goes downhill for a short stretch.
Pineknot To Grand View Hike 17
Just past the junction there's a nice bench with views to Big Bear Lake.
Pineknot To Grand View Hike 18
Now you have a long cruise uphill toward Skyline Road.
Pineknot To Grand View Hike 19
Go straight past a side trail that joins from the right.
Pineknot To Grand View Hike 20
When you get to Knickerbocker Road (2N08), cross and bear left for a hot second.
Pineknot To Grand View Hike 21
And then look for the Pineknot Trail to continue across the road.
Pineknot To Grand View Hike 22
The trail levels off and there's another bench.
Pineknot To Grand View Hike 23
And then you'll see Deer Group Campground on the left.
Pineknot To Grand View Hike 24
Hike across the access road to Deer Group Campground.
Pineknot To Grand View Hike 25
And then the trail follows the dirt road down to the right.
Pineknot To Grand View Hike 26
And soon you'll arrive at Skyline Road. Cross the road and visit the viewpoint.
Pineknot To Grand View Hike 27
From the viewpoint you'll get a preview of Grand View. The tallest mountain in the distance is San Gorgonio, the highest peak in Southern California.
Pineknot To Grand View Hike 28
Once you've enjoyed the view, head back to the trail and continue about 0.25 miles to Grand View Point.
Pineknot To Grand View Hike 31
There's another sign right there confirming that you are on the trail to Grand View Point.
Pineknot To Grand View Hike 29
You have a little climbing left to do.
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And then you'll arrive at the hilltop at Grand View Point.
Pineknot To Grand View Hike 33
There's a nice bench to take in the views.
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And an interpretive display that explains what you are looking at. You have a sweeping panoramic view of the San Bernardino Mountain high peaks, also known as "10,000 foot ridge" since all the peaks are above that attitude.
Pineknot To Grand View Hike 35
The peak in the middle without any trees is San Gorgonio at 11,499 feet. In the winter this range is usually covered in snow.

From here, just hike back the way you came up.

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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!). You can stay up to date with my new guides by following me on YouTube, Instagram, or by subscribing to my monthly newsletter.