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Willow Creek Road

2 Reviews
Location Big Bear Lake, CA
Rating Easy,
Length 6.5mi
Time 1hr

Vehicle Types


Fun, easy forest drive.

A fun, easy route for just about any 4×4 SUV. Road is open to green-sticker vehicles with many legal side roads to explore. Green-sticker vehicles usually start at Pinnacles Staging Area where we end our description. Stay on paved Highway 173 to go to staging area.


Trail Ratings Defined

Most of this route, when dry, does not require 4-wheel drive; however, you’ll want 4-wheel drive and a little ground clearance for one rocky climb after Waypoint 03. Willow Creek has the potential to be deep after a heavy rainstorm.






High Point


Best Time To Go


Hot in summer.

Current Conditions

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

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Trail Updates

Submitted by David
The middle part of this route is definitely no longer EASY. I traveled it today in my new Bronco Sport Badlands and earned some wear and tear on the underneath. Nothing serious I don’t think. When the difficult part was over (traveling west to east, opposite of how described in your guide). I looked back and saw a sign indicating “MOST DIFFICULT” as in highest difficulty rating given by the San Bernardino National Forest or whoever rates the trail. I was confused thinking I was not on 3N34 all the way since your guidebook (published 2014) makes it sound pretty easy with few places 4WD is needed. I actually drove this route in 2013 and I am almost certain is was nothing like it was today in that middle section. I know when I drove it because I have record of finding 3 geocaches along that difficult part. Back then I was driving a GMC Envoy with 4WD but I was even more a beginner then than I am now and have no memory of todays challenges. I remember it in 2013 as your book describes on 2014. So, as your book states, things can change and I am amazed at how they have here. I also read reviews on All Trails which agreed with my assessment of today. I will also note that I turned right off 3N34 at 2N75 to return to the civilized Lake Arrowhead area (camping at North Shore Campground

Submitted by Steve
Guide book shows start off of Hook Creek Road. Hook Creek Road is closed before you can reach the trail. We went to Pinnacles Staging Area for access to Willow Creek Road.

Submitted by Russ
The trail was closed indefinitely to traffic.

Submitted by Joey
Gate at Hook Creek road now closed to Vehicles. Locals say it’s been closed for a while so this may be a permanent change.


Rate this trail on a scale of 1 to 5.


Kris Little says

This trail has changed. Went last week 3N34X is Black Diamond and the remainder is Blue.

Joey says

Ran this trail in reverse. the entrance off of Hook Creek road has been closed to vehicles (i think permenantly), but you can still enter from Pinacles Staging Area and run the marked trail backwards. as Kris Little mentioned the trail is marked Blue on the in-park markers but it's about the same as anything else listed as green in the funtreks books, and not a "medium trail" as the book describes. I managed everything on the trail and more with a stock 4runner. 3N34X is indeed the hardest part (running it in reverse is easier since its downhill), but you can stay on 3N34 and avoid it.
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