Cougar Crest Trail to Bertha Peak in Big Bear Lake


Bertha Peak is a must when you visit Big Bear Lake. The peak is located north of the lake near the center so you get the panoramic view at the top.


Cougar Crest trailhead is located off N Shore Dr. Stop at the Big Bear Discovery Center beforehand if you don’t have an Adventure Pass already. You need it for parking at the trailhead. Soon, you will come to this sign. Stay on the Cougar Crest Trail for 2.25 miles.


The trail is a gradual but steady ascent except for the last mile. The terrain changes from dirt to rocky then back and forth but it’s mostly rocky. I recommend proper hiking shoes for this hike.

This picture was taken when we were on our way back down to show you the rocky terrain.

Bertha Peak

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After 2.25 miles or so, you will come to the sign below. To be accurate, you will see the back of the sign. Follow the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) and take the trail on the right. From here to the peak, the terrain is very rocky. It’s easy to get distracted with the uncovered beautiful lake view on your right so watch your steps.


When you reach the Bertha Peak sign, turn right and go up the fire road. But first, you might want to stretch your legs. The most challenging part of the trail is about to begin. The last mile to the peak is steep. Hang in there. The panoramic view from the top will be worth it.


Hello, Bertha Peak!


Good to Know:

  • Hike date:  10.2.16
  • Distance (RT):  7.3 miles, out and back
  • Elevation gain:  1,289 feet, Peak at 8,201′
  • Difficulty rating:  Moderate
  • Trailhead:  Cougar Crest Trailhead
  • Bathroom available at the trailhead
  • Adventure Pass is required for parking.  You can purchase it at the Big Bear Discovery Center. $5/day.

Get Our Latest Comprehensive Dog-friendly Trail List Here. Enjoy!

Happy Hiking!

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