Sometimes I feel like such a schmuck. What’s taken me so long to ride this trail? I’ve been to Big Bear countless times over the years (mostly in the Winter, so there’s that excuse)… but other than riding the bike park at Snow Summit once (way back when they still weighed your bike) – I’ve never “really” ridden in Big Bear. I’ll definitely be back for a more extended immersion – but at I least touched the crown gem of the area- the Skyline Trail.
Brought the family up for a quick weekend getaway from the hustle and grind of L.A. – didn’t have to be at work ’til 1pm on Monday… so… saw the sign for Sizzler, we were all in – remember that cheese toast? It’s like crack. Shared the magic with my kids, and they are forever changed. Jumped in the hot tub for soak… hmmm… what else?
We hit the Alpine Zoo – love this place. It’s a rescue and release zoo, with such a diverse collection of animals. From snow leopards to wolves to grizzlies to bobcats and much more. They bring in wounded animals, rehab them, and get them back to the wild whenever possible. My kind of zoo. The kids love “Pooh” – a black bear with three strikes that was slated to be euthanized. His last strike was for stealing honey from a beekeeper (seriously).
So yeah… we had perfect weather, just after a rainstorm. Sunny, and in the low 60’s when I slipped away to ride the 15 miles of singletrack bliss named Skyline trail. Such a gem. I rode Sunny (my drop bar mtb / Salsa Cutthroat). Super easy to access the trail head from town. Just get the details from MTB Project. Although Skyline is actually a point to point, it’s very easy to turn it into a loop which starts and finishes in town. I did it from east to west, but you can totally ride it either way and seems like it flows equally as well in both directions.
Velcro dirt after a storm. Perfect temps. Couldn’t get enough of the mixed bag of terrain and viewpoints sprinkled in throughout. From full throttle bermed turns over twisty, loamy dirt to tight, rocky switchbacks and undulating grade reversals, I was always longing for more!! None of the climbs are too long, and all are rewarded with flowy goodness. I only saw one trail runner and one other MTB on a Sunday. Nice!!
Finished up at Grizzly Manor for brekky. I don’t recommend! Waited an hour and a half to get seated (I know it was Sunday at 10am, but still). Then it took another 40 minutes to get our food which was so-so. So, don’t go… they were actually telling people to go to Denny’s down the block… we should have.
Definitely worth riding Skyline. Next time will explore more and hope to reintroduce myself to the bike park next year… until then… where shall we shred next??