Grandview Point/Pine Knot Trail

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As seen in the Nobody Hikes in L.A. Guidebook!

San Gorgonio from Grandview Point
On the Pine Knot Trail

Grandview Point/Pine Knot Trail

  • Location:  Big Bear Lake.  From highway 18, turn south Mill Creek Road (left if you are coming from the east, right if you are coming from the west) and go about half a mile to the Aspen Glen Picnic Area.  Note that if you are coming from the east (Big Bear City), take the second of the two lefts; the first leads to a dirt road in a residential area.  A United States Forest Service Adventure Pass ($5 for a day, $30 for the year) is required for parking. Click here to purchase.
  • Agency: San Bernardino National Forest/Mountain Top Ranger District
  • Distance: 6.5  miles
  • Elevation gain: 1,100 feet
  • Difficulty Rating: PG-13 (Altitude, distance)
  • Suggested time: 3 hours
  • Best season:  May-October
  • USGS topo map:  Big Bear Lake (Not all trails shown)
  • More information: here; trip reports here
  • Rating: 8

If you think that an amazing 180 degree view beats an average 360, Grandview Point is your type of place.  While not a summit, per se, the point provides great view of San Gorgonio, Sugarloaf and the Santa Ana River canyon.  The point’s unique location provides perspectives that can’t be found anywhere else in the area.

From the parking lot, look for the Pine Knot Trail (1E01).  The trail ascends steadily through forest (mainly pines and fir) and around large rockpiles, with a few nice views of Big Bear Lake in between.  Stay left at the first junction.  There are a few false trails, but the main route should be obvious.  It is popular with mountain bikers, and when in doubt, use the tire tracks as your guide.  Stay left at another split about a mile in.  The scenery is attractive, although perhaps a little monotonous for veteran Big Bear hikers.  At about two miles in, you reach an attractive green meadow and soon after cross the dirt road 2N08.  Shortly after this, you arrive at the Deer Group Camp.  The Pine Knot Trail skirts the outside, paralleling 2N08 for a while.

After another stretch of climbing, you top out at an open field, and views of San Gorgonio open up.  Shortly after this, you cross road 2N10 and follow the sign to Grandview Point.  From the point, you get great views of San Gorgonio to the south, Sugarloaf to the east and Old Saddleback and the rest of the San Bernardino Mountains to the west.   If you are careful, you can climb down a few yards past the point and get even more dramatic views.

On the return trip, you can use the forest roads (2N10 to 2N08) to make a loop, or return on the Pine Knot Trail.

Text and photography copyright 2012 by David W. Lockeretz, all rights reserved. Information and opinions provided are kept current to the best of the author’s ability. All readers hike at their own risk, and should be aware of the possible dangers of hiking, walking and other outdoor activities.  By reading this, you agree not to hold the author or publisher of the content on this web site responsible for any injuries or inconveniences that may result from hiking on this trail.  Check the informational links provided for up to date trail condition information.

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