The South Fork Trail offers an extraordinary hiking adventure for beginner or advanced hikers, and it's only an hour drive from Big Bear Frontier Cabins and Hotel. A scenic journey through the mountains along CA-38 will get you there. Here's a glimpse of what's in store on this incredible mountain excursion.
Once you arrive at one of the most celebrated trails in all of Southern California the seemingly endless miles of towering timbers and sweeping mountain landscape will have you speechless. There is no permit or 'special papers' required for the first few miles of travel - although you may want to get an Adventure Pass in case you want to hike further. They're free and easily attainable at the Discovery Center or any nearby ranger station.
Hooting Owls of Wonder!
On your first quarter-mile as you enter the mountainous trailhead filled with conifers; this is where you have the greatest chance of seeing some adamantly perching owls. Keep your eyes peeled to the trees and you might just see them look back and do their signature swivel.
Further along the trail, around the 2.5 mile mark you'll come to Poop-Out Hill. Rising 7,740 feet above sea level, this lookout offers a great natural venue to snap a few memorable photos. Beyond here you'll need an Adventure Pass.
Dollar Lake & Dry Lake
The trail continues onward to South Fork Meadows where you come across your first fork in the road. Venture left towards Dry Lake, which by the way has plenty of streams and water present, especially after heavy snow years. Journey to the right towards Dollar Lake and find a glacial cirque carved into the mountain that traps melted mountain snow and then refreezes it for wintertime. Further up, nearing the end of your journey is the Southland's highest peak - Mt San Gorgonio.
When it's time to head back and unwind after a long day on the trails, be glad you've chosen to stay in a comfortable cabin with relaxing accommodations at the magnificent Big Bear Frontier.