Tag Archives: Big Bear hike

Heart Bar Campground


San Bernardino National Forest: Heart Bar Campground
National Forest Service

At Hwy 38 & Forest Road #1N02 is a huge, pine forested valley, right next to San Gorgonio Wilderness. Heartbar Campground, Heart Bar Horse Camps, RV Dispersed Sites. Highway 38 – SE of Big Bear Lake, California; Mountain Bike, Hiking & Equestrian Trails with ridges of 10,000′ elevation. SAN GORGONIO peak nearby. Best high elevation scenery for SoCal by far.

  • backpacking
  • camping
  • fishing
  • hiking
  • mountain biking
  • mountain peaks
  • waterfalls
Primitive Camps on the Back Road #1N02

Heart Bar Campground

Big Bear Forest –  HEART BAR

This gorgeous valley is a developed recreation area w/ 89 camp sites, plus big equestrian area. Picnic, hiking, mountain biking, horseback trails, plenty RV spots, even a creek. (Oooops I meant the Santa Ana River) Highway 38 is kinda the long way into Big Bear Lake, up thru Angelus Oaks. Locals call this stretch of the highway Barton Flats.


horse camp
Bring the Horses & RVs

Group Campground facilities
Barton Flats – San Gorgonio Recreation Area

out back

Leading out the back way of HeartBar, past the horse camp – is a nice one lane dirt road, narrow in spots, with random, primitive camp sites along the roadway. Authorities refer to these spots as yellow post camp sites.

This backcountry route is marked as Forest Service Rd #1N02 – graded dirt road that leads back to Coon Creek Cabin.

Coon Cabin
Coon Cabin Backside

Big Bear Discovery Center
at Big Bear Lake


Southern California forest 

San Bernardino maps:

nearby mountain communities:

Forest Falls, late afternoon

Forest Falls is well worth a stop for a quick picnic or hike – and head dunk. Weekends can be busy and crowded. Since this location is close to Southern California and the population centers, expect weekends to be busy in the Big Bear mountains. Plan a trip for week days to experience less people, and more nature.

Heaps Arboretum

Big Bear Sequoias

Sequoia Trees in Big Bear? You find it hard to imagine that these famed trees exist in Southern California , but here they are tucked right on Hwy.18 in between Running Springs & Lake Arrowhead. This small redwood grove will be your treat after a short clockwise hike around Heaps Arboretum trail. It is located just inside the San Bernardino National Forest area.

A variety of pines trees grow in this park & there are plenty of small signs to inform you of each species. Benches are places along the path for a leisurely stroll. Great family hike on the way to Big Bear or Arrowhead. It is an easy hike for grandma too.

Wildflowers only last a short season, so get up there before the heat of summer kicks in. Early summer still has greenery, even though all the flowering plants have ceased.

Big Bear HikingA few miles east Lake Arrowhead on Hwy. 18 is a parking area for Heaps Peak Trailhead & the Arboretum. This small hike takes less than an hour & is the easiest nature trail around. Educational brochures are available & a small donation is requested.