The Camp Creek Trail is a three-mile out-and-back trail in the San Bernardino National Forest between Lake Arrowhead and Big Bear Lake, California. Going in, you'll descend over 2,000 feet, which you'll have to climb up on the way back! This makes the Camp Creek Trail a perfect choice for fit two- and four-legged hikers looking for a cardio challenge. For hikers with less cardiovascular endurance, it may still be worth taking it slow on this trail to enjoy its rugged solitude, excellent birdwatching opportunities, and beautiful views. The trailhead is easily accessible, situated just off of CA-18 about a mile from Snow Valley Mountain Resort.
Spectacular alpine forests surround you as you head into the woods and down the trail. Mountain peaks loom in the near and far distance, their chiseled rock faces sculpted by millennia of wind erosion. You'll start your hike on a wide fire road through a thick forest of sequoia trees, sugar pine, Jeffrey pine, and white fir. As the trail turns to singletrack, you'll emerge from tree cover and descend along a canyon lined with hardy chaparral scrub, live oak, and Coulter pine. Bear Creek and Siberia Creek meet at the bottom of the canyon, where incense cedar, box elder, and alder trees grow.
Local wildflowers include golden and common yarrow, creeping buttercup, mountain aster, phlox, and coyote mint. Sunrise-colored western tanagers, grosbeaks, and goldfinches all make their homes in this forest. Black bears, bighorn sheep, bobcats, mule deer, and mountain lions are among the mammal species that live in these mountains. A closer look as you walk by might reveal a California tree frog or western fence lizard clinging to a tree or a rock face.