We headed up to Big Bear for a nice weekend away. We came up Friday and drove past the trailhead of Castle Rock on our way to our hotel. We had no plans for the weekend, we just figured we would play it by ear.
We checked into our cute cottage of Cathy’s Cottages on the East side of town. The cottage was comfortable and away from the busy town.
After we checked in we made our way to find some good Pizza. We ended up at Maggio’s Pizza in the Vons shopping center. I have been there once before a few years ago and this place does not disappoint! If you are in town you have to make this at least one of your dining spots for the weekend.
After dinner we started to make plans for the weekend and the next morning we got an early start to the day and was out of the room by 9am.
After that we headed over to the trailhead of Castle Rock trail. A coworker had been telling us that if we are ever in the area we needed to try this hike. Parking is a little tricky during the weekend and can be tricky but we were able to find a spot close to the trailhead along the highway.
The trail starts off with a nice little incline but it is well maintained so if you are in decent shape you shouldn’t have any trouble making your way up. We didn’t look too much into the trail, we really only wanted to take a quick hike before we took a leisurely drive around the lake. There were a lot of people on the trail but everyone was super friendly and it never seemed like they were in our way or we were in theirs.
After a short distance we made it to a group of rocks that overlooked the lake. It was a beautiful area and many people were sitting around in groups. This lead us to believe that we were at the end of the trail. We admired the views, took our pictures and headed back down. Now that I am at my desk and looking at the trail it looks like we only made it half way. Next time we are there we will complete this trail and I will do more research.
A WARNING though and should be a warning for all trails this time a year. Watch out for snakes!!! On our way down, almost to the end of the trail, a very large rattle snake crossed in front of us. He was probably only 4 feet in front of us. The snake was about 5 feet long and 3″ around and it was pissed we were walking through it’s home. After that I pretty much decided I was done hiking for the day. This was the 3rd time I have run across a rattlesnake while hiking and each time I couldn’t get off the trail fast enough.
We made our way to the car and took a drive around the lake. The lake level was low and there was moss around the whole lake long with a ton of people and boats. We decided to put off fishing until the evening when the lake wasn’t as crowded. By now it was about dinner time so we found a spot close to the hotel called Broadway Cafe. It was a cute little place that had good hamburgers and local live music on the patio. The service was a little slow but the place was busy and they seemed a little frazzled.
Later that night we never made it out to go fishing. Between the food and the adventures during the day we were too tired to go out. The next morning we headed out early to miss the traffic jam of people trying to get back to their homes in the valley. It was a relaxing weekend with just enough adventures to feed the soul.
County: San Bernardino County
Miles: 2.4 miles round trip (we only did .9)
Elv Gain: 500 Feet Gained
Trail: via Highway 18