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Burns Canyon

1 Review
Location Big Bear Lake, CA
Rating Difficult,
Length 19.1mi
Time 5hrs

Vehicle Types


Challenging loop heads for Pioneertown.

Take an easy forest road to a challenging loop through scenic Burns Canyon. Visit a stone arrastra from bygone mining days. Green-sticker vehicles are allowed after Waypoint 02. Get a copy of the San Bernardino N.F. Motor Vehicle Use Map so you can differentiate numerous legal and illegal side roads. We were disappointed to learn that Heartbreak Ridge 4×4 Trail, which we drove for the first edition of this book in 2003, does not show on the latest MVUM.


Trail Ratings Defined

Much of this trail is easy to moderate; however, two steep hills have large boulders to maneuver around. Modified vehicles are best, but some aggressive, high-clearance stock vehicles will be able to get through.






High Point


Best Time To Go


Best spring through fall.

Current Conditions

(909) 382-2790.San Bernardino National Forest, Big Bear Discovery Center.

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Trail Updates

Submitted by Bruce
Had driven this trail 2 times a couple of years ago and it was as described in the guidebook. Went again last week and the heavy rains last winter completely changed the trail. The hard sections are more challenging, and some sections went from moderate to difficult. Increased puckerage for sure.


Rate this trail on a scale of 1 to 5.


Walt says

Let me give an accurate account of this trail. It starts off easy. Nice Josua trees. Roads pretty decent. Then as you start to head up the mountain it gets very rocky. There will be climbs that are rocky. Tight shelf roads and hikers. Be aware of the hikers walking along the shelf road. I recommend clearance. I made it with a 2 inch lift on my 2022 4runner. I hit my skid plate on one very deep drop. Difficult IMO but very rewarding and exciting trail
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