I woke up to a beautiful, sunny Saturday morning. The windstorms had passed and left behind gorgeous weather. I look into the distance and see the snow-capped mountains. The snow-covered peaks of Big Bear were calling out to me. I finished up my outdoor chores and head in to let D know that it was time for a road trip to the mountains to do some hiking in the snow.
Once D saw the mountains, he agreed that we needed to do a little hiking in the snowy mountains. We weren’t sure exactly what our destination would be once we got there, but we knew that we needed to go and enjoy the snow. I woke up our sleeping teenager, and she was all for the trip as she’s been wanting to enjoy the snow.
Since both D and college girl are done with classes for the semester, we can just head out and enjoy the beautiful day. It’s hard to take spur-of-the-moment trips when they’re busy with school work, so we have to take advantage of the time now. We even decided that the dogs would enjoy the trip with us as they love hiking.
We headed towards the Big Bear Discovery Center as that makes a good stopping point. The dogs are welcome there – both outside and inside. Once there, we decided to head over to Cougar Crest Trail. The dogs were a little too eager to hike in the snow, so it took a bit of patience to keep them focused. Wyatt soon calmed down, but Wiley never did calm down no matter how much D worked with him. He was in full sled-dog mode. Too bad we didn’t have a sled with us.
The scenery was stunning. The hike was refreshing. Fresh air. Clear skies. Snow on the ground. Snow-covered trees. Calm wind. Perfect temperatures – not too hot and not too cold. Hiking in the snow is an entirely different experience. Last time we hiked the Cougar Crest Trail, we saw a rattlesnake on the trail. We certainly didn’t need to worry about that this time around.
It was hard to leave the winter wonderland, but we knew that we’d be back. More hiking in the snow is in our future, but it was time to head back home after a quick stop at Chick-fil-a.
- The hike on the Cougar Crest Trail is roughly a 6.6 mile loop. (The length varies depending on where you start and where you end.)
- The elevation change is around 1,100 feet.
- The trail has moderate steepness.
- The hike, depending on the trail conditions, is considered a moderate to difficult hike.
- The trail is open year around, but hikers need to be aware of the weather conditions for their own safety.
- Dogs are allowed on the trail, but a leash is required.
- Things to note: This trail meets up with the Pacific Crest Trail. You can continue for an additional .6 miles until you reach the summit of Bertha Peak (8,000+ feet).