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San Bernardino Mountains

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Big Bear Lake Area 
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Nearby Mountain Bike Rides

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From MP's sister site: MTB Project

San Bernardino Mountains  


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Elevation: 7,000'
Location: 34.2059, -117.123 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 1,064,288
Administrators: C Miller, M.Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: C Miller on Feb 2, 2006
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You & This Area
Best routes for YOU in this area
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Tyler Logan at the crux of Highgrader, 5.11a, West...

Description 

Rising east of Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Mountains, the San Bernardino Mountains are home to the tallest peak in Southern California, Mt. San Gorgonio (11,502'/3506m), as well as numerous hiking trails, campgrounds, off-road trails and thousands, yes thousands, of rock climbs.

The rock in the San Bernardino Mountains (SB's) is mostly granite which ranges in quality from excellent to somewhat grainy ala Joshua Tree, with most being quite good. Because many of the routes are newer don't be surprised if some are a bit dirty and sport some residual lichen - it's nothing a bit of traffic won't take care of.

Routes in the SB's are typically single pitch affairs with the odd exception, but what the SB's lack in height they make up for with diversity and a plethora of crags scattered far and wide. Oddly, the neighboring San Jacinto Mountains (home to Tahquitz and Suicide Rock) seem to have gotten the wealth of multi-pitch crags. Many traditional and sport routes are found here, often with both styles at the same crag. The bouldering potential here is huge and much potential still exists for those so inclined.

Three major climbing areas exist in the SB's - the Lake Arrowhead Pinnacles, Keller Peak and the Holcomb Valley Pinnacles; these are areas with enough climbing to keep one busy for days or more. There also exists many other minor areas which are worth checking out for a day or less of climbing.

Getting There 

Four main routes exist for getting into the San Bernardino Mountains:

  • Highway 18 (southern approach) - Starts from Hwy 30, climbs into the mountains quickly via a 4 lane road, and then pinches down to a narrow and windy 2 lane road when you hit the rim, just past the Crestline turnoff. Plan on 30 minutes to the rim and another 15-20 minutes to Running Springs.

  • Highway 330 - Short and direct, this mostly two-lane highway with the odd passing lane breaks off Highway 30 in the town of Highland and ends at the junction with Highway 18 in the town of Running Springs. Expect about a 30 minute drive from Highland to Running Springs; holiday weekends can more than double this time, so plan accordingly.

  • Highway 38 - Starts at Interstate 10 in Redlands and takes a scenic route through the moutains to end at the Big Bear Lake dam. Also known locally as the "back route", this road tends to avoid the traffic common to Highway 18 with it's lack of facilities along the way. Plan on a one hour drive from Redlands to Big Bear City and note that this is a two-lane road most of the way with the odd passing lane - getting stuck behind a motorhome will increase your drive time.

  • Highway 18 (northern approach) - Leaves Highway 247 (aka the Barstow Road) in the town of Lucerne Valley and climbs steeply up the northern escarpment of the mountains to pop out on the eastern end of Baldwin Lake, which lies due east of Big Bear Lake. Plan on about 45 minutes to Big Bear Lake from the bottom.


Weather 



Camping 

Free camping is available almost anywhere in the forest, often with established campsites near the climbing area. Fire restrictions are commonly in effect during the summer months, meaning no open fires, but stoves are usually allowed.

Scattered throughout the area are a number of pay campgrounds with varying fees and degrees of comfort.

See the individual areas for more detailed camping information.

Climbing Gear 

If sport climbing nothing more than a dozen draws are needed, and if climbing some of the traditional routes a standard rack to 3" should suffice for the majority of the routes. Check the individual area descriptions for more details.

Guidebooks 

Hidden Treasures, the only comprehensive guidebook for this area, is currently out of print. Overall a good book if you can find one but be aware that being older many new routes are not included in it and a number of the ratings are suspect. A newer book covering Big Bear East is now available which covers climbs in that area.

The Southern California Sport Climbing Guide has a limited amount of information on the area making it more of a "select" guide, but be warned that it's full of mistakes (and not just the Holcomb Valley section).

Websites 



Climbing Season



Weather station 3.7 miles from here

820 Total Routes

['4 Stars',15],['3 Stars',207],['2 Stars',354],['1 Star',229],['Bomb',4]
['<=5.6',68],['5.7',67],['5.8',73],['5.9',104],['5.10',282],['5.11',107],['5.12',50],['5.13',6],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',25],['V2-3',26],['V4-5',11],['V6-7',1],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for San Bernardino Mountains:
Gold Standard   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Central Pinnacles : Gold Wall
Bye Crackie   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   Central Pinnacles : Coyote Crag
The Dead Terrorist   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 7 pitches, 540'   Frustration Creek : Lower Tier
Coyotes at Sunset   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Central Pinnacles : Coyote Crag
Aurora Borealis   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   Black Bluff - North Face : Black Bluff - N. Face (Righ...
Golden Poodle   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 75'   Central Pinnacles : Coyote Crag
Supercalibelgolistic   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 85'   Pinnacles North : Stone Wall
Pistol Pete   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Central Pinnacles : Doc Holliday Wall
Vertical Epic   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Pinnacles North : Stone Wall
Ricochet   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   Central Pinnacles : Pistol Whipped Wall
NeuroToxin   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   Lake Arrowhead Area : Sphinx Rock (aka The Cliff ...
One Armed Bandit   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Central Pinnacles : Claim Jumper Wall
Claim Jumper   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Central Pinnacles : Claim Jumper Wall
Powder Keg   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   Motherlode Rock : Motherlode Rock - North Fac...
Lost Orbit   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   Lost Orbit Rock : Lost Orbit Rock - East Face
Doc's Holiday   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Central Pinnacles : Doc Holliday Wall
Coyotes in the Henhouse   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Central Pinnacles : Claim Jumper Wall
Arrogant Bastard   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Pinnacles North : Stone Wall
Delusions   5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   Frustration Creek : Upper Tier
The Incinerator   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   Central Pinnacles : Incinerator Wall
Browse More Classics in San Bernardino Mountains

Featured Route For San Bernardino Mountains
John Cardmon making the clip before attempting the crux on Incinerator.

The Incinerator 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a  CA : San Bernardino Mountains : ... : Incinerator Wall
A local classic that tackles the steep face/arete on the north side of the formation. Mostly good holds the entire way with an obvious crux past the third bolt, where a long reach gains better holds above. A hold broke in the crux area several years back, but the grade remains intact, if not more solid than before.Super fun and well-protected, this is a popular one to finish the day or oneself on. ...[more]   Browse More Classics in CA

Photos of San Bernardino Mountains Slideshow Add Photo
Pre-thunderstorm cloud formations,"no photo doctoring"!
Pre-thunderstorm cloud formations,"no photo d...
Sunset from the top of Hungover Wall
Sunset from the top of Hungover Wall
Dave Daly on 'Arrowsphere' (5.9), Pinnacle #2, on the Main Pinnacles Ridge.
Dave Daly on 'Arrowsphere' (5.9), Pinnacle #2, on ...
Tala at the Luna Boulders, San Bernardino Mountains
Tala at the Luna Boulders, San Bernardino Mountain...
Fire on the mountain (9/01/07), Butler Peak
Fire on the mountain (9/01/07), Butler Peak
Mike making the long reaches on Segments in Space, 5.11c
Mike making the long reaches on Segments in Space,...
Closeup of the massive bolts used in the Lucky Baldwin Stamp Mill, Big Bear
Closeup of the massive bolts used in the Lucky Bal...
Coxey Meadow, San Bernardino Mountains
Coxey Meadow, San Bernardino Mountains
Butler 2 fire from Keller Peak 9/15/07
Butler 2 fire from Keller Peak 9/15/07
San Gabriels from Rim of the World (Hwy 18) on a June evening drive up to the cabin with my boys.
San Gabriels from Rim of the World (Hwy 18) on a J...
Boulders, San Bernardino Mountains
Boulders, San Bernardino Mountains
A beautiful day on Big Bear Lake
A beautiful day on Big Bear Lake
Looking into Holcomb Valley from the Pinnacles, Big Bear
Looking into Holcomb Valley from the Pinnacles, Bi...
Sunset from Skyline Trail (2N10), Big Bear South
Sunset from Skyline Trail (2N10), Big Bear South
Gnome Dome (aka Butt Rock), San Bernardino Mountains
Gnome Dome (aka Butt Rock), San Bernardino Mountai...
Hitchcock Ranch, Holcomb Valley
Hitchcock Ranch, Holcomb Valley
Hawks on the pacific crest
Hawks on the pacific crest
High above the treetops on Pistol Pete (5.10a), Holcomb Valley Pinnacles
High above the treetops on Pistol Pete (5.10a), Ho...
California Buckwheat bloom in the foreground
California Buckwheat bloom in the foreground
End of the day, San Bernardino Mountains
End of the day, San Bernardino Mountains
Snow at the Hitchcock Ranch, Holcomb Valley
Snow at the Hitchcock Ranch, Holcomb Valley
Snowshoeing along 2N68 - just past the junction with Rim of the World Drive.
Snowshoeing along 2N68 - just past the junction wi...
Bush Beardtongue (Keckiella breviflora), San Bernardino Mountains
Bush Beardtongue (Keckiella breviflora), San Berna...
Cabin seen from the Woodland Trail on a wintery Saturday afternoon in April 2011.
Cabin seen from the Woodland Trail on a wintery Sa...

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By Adam Stackhouse
Administrator
Feb 29, 2012
No more stupid fees (for those that comply with these kinds of things)

latimes.com/news/local/la-me-f...