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Big Bear Lake

Sierra Grandeur: Beautiful Hikes in the Lakes Basin

Hike to crystal-clear alpine lakes and scale towering granite monoliths on the most beautiful hikes in California's Lakes Basin.

Hiking Easy, Moderate, Difficult, Severe

Big Bear Lake
Big Bear Lake Photo: Greg Heil


California's Lakes Basin region offers an unexpected haven filled with incredible recreation opportunities and gorgeous views, hidden deep in the Sierras. The Basin is filled with crystal-clear alpine lakes flanked by towering walls of granite. The exposed rock walls rise up to form towering mountains, with the spine of the Sierras soaring high above the entire milieu.

The Basin offers lakes both big and small, and other natural wonders like waterfalls and towering mountain peaks. Connecting all of these gorgeous attractions together is an interconnected network of multi-use trails that allow you to form hikes and trail runs ranging from short to long and easy to hard. The trails are also shared with mountain bikers and horseback riders, but overall, foot travel reigns supreme in this region.

Foot travel reigns due to the rocky, rugged nature of the trails. While you won’t find any serious scrambling or mountaineering, the trails are filled with roots, boulders, rock steps, and some loose, shifting rock, which can prove challenging at times. But your reward for braving these challenges is reaching idyllic views seemingly isolated from the rest of civilization!

When you reach these untrammeled lakeshores or mountain summits, take a moment to soak in and appreciate the world around you. You might not be in a national park, but you’re currently sitting in one of the country’s most beautiful and peaceful locations. Maybe it's that peaceful exactly because it isn't a park... all the more special for those in the know!

Routes included

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