Did you know there are more than 250 different species of birds that can be spotted near Big Bear Lake and in Big Bear Valley? Big Bear Lake and the surrounding mountains is a great place to celebrate National Bird Watching Day. Whether you will be boating on Big Bear Lake or hiking the trails, grab your binoculars and explore the top 5 best bird watching trails of Big Bear.
The Pacific Crest Trail
All you need is a good pair of walking shoes and a few hours to enjoy the Pacific Crest Trail, which is one of the most popular and familiar trails in Big Bear Valley. The trail runs from Washington to the Mexico border and runs right by Big Bear Lake. Around Big Bear Lake, birders will spot nesting Redheads, Ruddy Ducks, Eared Grebes and Common Nighthawks. Remember to come back to Big Bear Lake in the winter too, where you will spot more than 20 bald eagles at a time enjoying the lake and the scenery as much as you do.
The Woodland Trail
The Woodland Trail is a short and flat 1.5-mile hike that’s perfect for beginners and enjoyable for any hiker. On flat trails like this one on lower elevations, you can spot Nuttall’s Woodpeckers, the Plain Titmouse and Band-tailed Pigeons.
Cougar Crest Trail
The Cougar Crest Trail is a longer, six-mile trail that starts just west of the Big Bear Discovery Center, which climbs upward toward the Pacific Crest Trail. As the elevation of the trails begins to climb here, be on the lookout for California Quails, California Towhees, California Thrashers, and Wrentits. Most of these Californian bird species can only be found in this region.
Hike another half mile past the six-mile Cougar Crest Trail and you’ll reach Bertha Peak, where you’ll be met with a breathtaking view of the surrounding Big Bear area. You’re also likely to spot Alders, Sycamores, Cottonwoods and Lesser Goldfinches too in higher elevations.
Sugarloaf National Recreation Trail
Now that you’ve seen a variety of birds while exploring the many trails of Big Bear, it’s time for a pinnacle celebration. The 10-mile Sugarloaf National Recreation Trail starts off as a dirt road and becomes a 10-mile trail. Your reward for hiking the entire trail? When you reach the end of the trail, you’re at the highest point in Big Bear Valley – at 9,952 feet. Take a deep breath of fresh mountain air, relax and enjoy the view and the birds in the area. Repeat often before making your way back down the trail.
Calling All Bird Watching Explorers
Birding at Big Bear is fun any time of year but the seasons of spring and summer at Big Bear are ripe for breeding season and there plenty of opportunities to spot birds.
It’s time to plan your Big Bear vacation. Rent a comfortable cabin or luxury hotel room at Big Bear Frontier. Remember also that Cali4nia Pass Holders get a 15% discount at Big Bear Frontier. Passholders can call for more details at 800-457-6401. Make your reservation today.