Castle Rock Trailhead in Big Bear
Castle Rock Trail in Big Bear, California
Take a picturesque journey beginning at the O’Leary/Castle Rock Trailhead, where you’ll come to the start of Castle Rock Trail #3506. This trail ambles northeastward along Macduff Mountain’s base, passing an old mixed conifer forest and Cougar Creek before connecting with Forest Road 480. Then from there it steadily ascends up the southeast side of Castle Rock until finally reaching its triumphant terminus – a stunning viewpoint atop this majestic mountain!
For avid mountain bikers, the O’Leary Trail Complex is an Epic Ride as classified by the International Mountain Bicycling Association – a 22 mile single-track loop with intense backcountry features that will challenge you both technically and physically. When combined with other trails in the area, it forms a world class trail system for those who seek adventure off the beaten path.
Take a moment atop Castle Rock to rest and enjoy the stunning views of Big Bear Lake and the San Bernardino Mountains. There are plenty of opportunities for wildlife spotting, so keep your camera handy! From here you can either continue riding down the west side of Macduff Mountain or return to the O’Leary/Castle Rock Trailhead. Either way, the journey is sure to be memorable. So come and explore Castle Rock Trail – and all that Big Bear has to offer!
Location of the Trail
Review of Castle Rock Trail
“I really enjoyed this trail. Lots of challenges, some easy parts, some really hard parts, really good work out and a variety of terrain. The first part of the trail off the 18 is super tough, gain elevation fast and it’s steep. After that the rest has a moderate incline. The trail was highly trafficked but the signs were scarce and hard to follow. Because hikers have left the trail so many times, it’s hard to tell which one is the main trail. It was easier for me to follow the man-made pillars made of rock, this helped me know the main path. When I got to the foot of the actual castle rock face I missed the turn off to the right to climb the rocks and reach the summit. I kept going, which was a treat for me, I ended up hiking a little further to bluff lake. Wow what a sight!!!! It was absolutely beautiful, serene and breath taking. On my way back I laughed when I saw the turn off I missed but I guess nature had a different plan for me on this day. Start early, before the heat, wear good shoes, pack enough water! Getting here early ensures parking, solitude and no heat!”
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