Sugarloaf is a round-topped mountain rising to almost 10,000 feet within the San Bernardino Forest, and is the tallest mountain outside the San Gorgonio Wilderness. A 10-mile hike to the summit with your leashed canine companion is a challenging, arduous trek, with some gentle as well as steep climbs, plenty of rocks on the trail to walk on and climb over, and a long approach road to the trailhead off Hwy 38. There are no amenities at the trailhead, so bring whatever you'll need, including bags for picking up after yourself and the 4-footed creature energetically trotting alongside.
Begin this lightly-traveled trail a short distance from the closest parking area, and you'll have a steady uphill climb to the sub-alpine ridge lying just below Sugarloaf's peak. The gentler climb along the ridge lets you'll marvel at the surrounding terrain: Big Bear Valley and Green Creek lie below, and the San Gorgonio Mountains to the south are fur-tabulous to look upon! Interesting rock formations surround you, some of which are below your feet.
Wildlife abounds on this trail, and while you're watching the many songbirds flitting from tree to tree and the raptors sailing on the thermals, your pupper will have nose to the ground, ears on alert and eyes pinpoint-focused! Bears, coyotes and smaller mammals make the forest around the trail their homes. Diverse plants and trees include some of the biggest Junipers on the continent, with their gnarled red bark, and manzanilla thrives alongside sugar pines. Open year-round, there are several grreat sledding spots just off the trail, and in the spring, butterflies shuttle among the grrrorgious wildflowers blooming in the meadows and among the trees. The solitude is massive!
If you and your special pup are looking for adventure that can be had in less than a day, the Sugarloaf Mountain Trail may seem custom-made for you!