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“Great Place for Day Hikes”

San Bernardino National Forest
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: This region encompasses 660,000 acres of the San Bernadino Mountains with elevations ranging from 1,000 feet to the highest at Mount San Gorgonio at 11,502 feet.
Reviewed 5 July 2014

This forest offers hikes for persons at all athletic levels. There are lots of beautiful trees and rocks to see. I highly recommend bringing a picnic lunch, finding a nice quiet place to stop and then just listening. The sounds of the wind in the trees, the lizards skittering, and birds calling is amazing.

5  Thank VanEsq12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"big bear lake"
in 18 reviews
"lake arrowhead"
in 12 reviews
"get away"
in 7 reviews
"hiking trails"
in 4 reviews
"couple of hours"
in 3 reviews
"beautiful scenery"
in 3 reviews
"easy hike"
in 2 reviews
"san diego"
in 2 reviews
"fresh air"
in 2 reviews
"mountain drive"
in 2 reviews
"different levels"
in 2 reviews
"running springs"
in 4 reviews
"day trip"
in 3 reviews
"scenic highway"
in 2 reviews
"southern california"
in 2 reviews
"snow"
in 8 reviews
"trees"
in 8 reviews
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63 - 67 of 112 reviews

Reviewed 5 May 2014

We saw Big Bear Lake and Lake Arrowhead. We loved the scenic drive, it was fresh and cool. Lake Arrowhead had several shops and restaurants. There were plenty of stopping places on the drive too.

8  Thank Penny E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 April 2014

My wife and I spent a day in the San Bernardino National Forest - specifically, in the mountains along Routes 38 and 18, from well east of Big Bear City to about Crestline, where we descended back down to the valley.

Yep, it's beautiful. But we found the management by the forest service to be poor and capricious. First, the signage is uniformly poor everywhere. Major picnic and recreation areas might or might not be acceptably marked, but other than that, forget it. For example, major scenic turnouts that are even labeled on maps have no signage associated with them - you just come upon them (bang!) along the road and have to make an instantaneous guess about whether this is "it" or not.

An issue more specific to us, but still telling of management attitude: We were up there early in the season - April 8. We came from near Chicago, so we checked this out well ahead of time. We read on their website, as well as being told, that the areas we would be visiting would be opening on April 7, weather permitting. Both April 7 and 8 were beautiful days up there - sunny, high 66 on the 7th, 68 on the 8th. Although there was some snow left on steep shady areas of the mountains, we encountered NO snow on any roads or in any of the natural areas we stopped in. In short, the weather DID permit - yet we found ONLY ONE of the national forest areas we stopped at to be open. The rest we tried to visit were closed and locked up tight - not only no explanations, but nobody to ask.

There is really no excuse for these problems. People need signs, and need to make plans. Our trip was hobbled by poor signage and our plans were semi-trashed by the capricious management decisions, or bad information, or both, of the forest service.

How can they get away with this? Easy - they are a beautiful mountain area adjacent to the most populated cities in the country, which is cool in the summer while the cities cook. People will come up there no matter how poorly it is managed - the forest service doesn't have to care. I can't imagine what this place must be like in mid-summer when crawling with people. The natural beauty will be there, but otherwise, lower your expectations of the management of the area, or you will be very disappointed.

9  Thank RJay4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 February 2014

san bernardino is the largest county in the country! there is a lot of diversity in there! this is a great place to get away with the family and get back to nature! there is a great variety of trails, awesome rock climbing, and of course beautiful scenery!

2  Thank lostintheamazon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 29 November 2013

Went up end of October of this year: beautiful fall leaves & crisp weather. Ate at the Belgium Waffle which was wonderful. Fed ducks & squirrels and then shopping at Bass & Van Huesen Outlets. Then ate a chocolate covered apple, rolled in roasted nuts at the Rocky Mtn Chocolate factory. Ran through the Christmas store next to the Pentelon Outlet. The drive home was very pretty.gyhhhyyb

5  Thank 1rmcbrl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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