3N93 - Holcomb Creek Trail

Big Bear City, California (San Bernardino County)
Last Updated: 06/29/2018
5/5 (8 reviews)
Information
Nearby Trails
Status: Open
Difficulty: 6-8
(MODERATE - DIFFICULT)
Length: 5.75 miles
Highest Elevation: 6500 feet
Duration: About 4 hours
Shape of Trail: Straight Through
Best Direction to Travel: East
Nearest Town: Big Bear City
Nearest Town w/ Services: Big Bear City
Official Road Name: 3N93
Management Agency: San Bernardino National Forest
District:
Distance:
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Highlights

Highlight: 3N93 - Holcomb Creek Trail

Comfortably nestled back in the forest of Big Bear, this challenging trail has been attracting visitors for decades. Argued to be the hardest trail on Big Bear Mountain range, this trail provides amazing views along with some of the hardest off-roading in the area. While traveling the trail, expect everything from water crossings and large rock gardens to difficult hill climbs. But be warned...over the years this trail has claimed many vehicles and should not be under-estimated. Holcomb Creek does offer snow wheeling in the winter, but if the conditions are not perfect, the trail may be impassable.

Video

Route Information

Technical Rating: (6-8)
(MODERATE - DIFFICULT)

Heavy rock and/or severe ruts. Rocks exceeding hub height frequent. Shelves to 12". Deep mud or uphill mud sections. Steep grades to 25 degrees and can be loose or rocky. Water crossings may exceed 30" in depth. Side hill to 30 degrees. One vehicle wide. Body damage possible. Experience needed. Vehicle Modifications helpful.

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Description

Holcomb Creek (3N93) is arguably the hardest rock crawling route on the mountain range. It is comprised of 5 rock gardens, several water crossings, a washed-out pass, several steep hill climbs with obstacles on them, and much more. This trail is waiting to cause havoc on your vehicle. 3N93 also provides many splendid views of the area including the Chair of the Jeep Gods, running waterfalls, Holcomb Creek, and dense forest on the west end. Be ready for some of the best wheeling and relaxation you can get in Southern California. In the winter, it does snow on this trail. Since the trail is on the north side of the mountains, snow does stick for long periods of time. If you are up for the challenge, then this trail goes from the easy line being ranked a high 5 to 6 in dry and perfect conditions to the easy line being a mandatory 10+ in less than perfect conditions. The trail is harder going East to West. Side Note: If the middle rock garden is dry which is common in the later summer months. The trails difficulty drops down to a 5.

Waypoints

1. West Trailhead At 3N16 - Holcomb Valley Road

The west trail head is where Holcomb Creek intersects with 3N16 – Holcomb Creek Trail. Going west to east is probably the more popular route, but both directions offer a lot of fun and different challenges.

2. West Rock Garden

Holcomb Creek offers a rock garden with a rocker panel destroying gate keeper. This is the largest of the rock gardens with some of the largest rocks on the trail. The rock garden spans over 300 feet long with rocks bigger than 36 inches. Be ready to use your rocker guards and lockers because it takes a bit of work to get through this. Between waypoint 2 and 3 is an off camber washout corner over a 15 foot cliff. Please note that wide, long, or tall vehicles may have problems in the spot.

3. Large Boulder (2 mi)

A small play area in the middle of the trail, this large bolder makes for some great photos. If you're doing multiple trails in one day, it's also a good lunch spot.

4. Hill Climb (2.8 mi)

Roughly right in the middle of Holcomb Creek Trail is this 100+ foot hill climb. What makes this hill climb so worthy of mention? At the top, the trail is all dug up. Because of the large holes, people have lost control and rolled over. Plan your line, and you will be fine.

5. Large Middle Rock Garden (3.2 mi)

This is the second largest rock garden on the trail and is just over 150 feet long. This rock garden offers the largest ledges on the trail and is considered the hardest point of the trail. In fact, one ledge is over 5 feet tall and will test your rocker panels heavily. There is a side route, but it has roughly a 2 1/2 foot ledge with uneven rocks at the bottom. It is highly recommended that you have rock sliders and lockers for this one rock garden. The second two photos are older pictures of when the forest was still there. The rock garden hasn't changed at all but the forest has since it now has been burned down as you can see in the first photo. It is everyone's responsibility to make sure we don't repeat this in the reaming forest areas.

6. 2N06X Cut-off (3.75 mi)

Cut-off back to 3N16 – Holcomb Creek Trail. 2N06X is a very hard trail that offers some fun obstacles. For more information, please visit the trail write-up at 2N06X

7. 2N06X Rock Garden (3.8 mi)

One of the smaller rock gardens, this rock garden is right at the 2N06X trailhead. Some rock stacking may be required to pass this area. Rock sizes range from 12 inches to 36 inches tall.

8. East Rock Garden (4.5 mi)

Another one of the small rock gardens, this little play area is riddled with rocks 12 inches to 36 inches tall.

9. Hard Corner Rock Garden (4.9 mi)

In the top 3 of hardest obstacles on the trail, this tight corner has very large rocks and water running through it. This one spot will likely cause a headache for many people. Because of the combination of a tight turn, water, and large rocks, this one obstacle is an easy place to get stuck. On top of that, it also has the possibility of doing some serious damage. If you take your time and plan your line, you should make it through.

10. Holcomb Creek Crossing (5 mi)

A popular gathering spot, Holcomb Creek offers plenty of open areas to hang out in. If the creek is damned slightly, water will create giant pools large enough to bust out the pool toys and relax in. Don't forget to bring your gold pans because there be gold in that water.

11. East End of Trail At 3N14 - Coxey Road (5.75 mi)

Trail intersects with 3N14 – Coxey Road at the Holcomb Creek Bridge. If you are on 3N14 – Coxey Road, Holcomb Creek Trail is west of the bridge.

Directions to Trailhead

Trailhead Coordinates: 34.275322, -117.050809
The trail connects at 3N16 – Holcomb Creek Trail and 3N14 – Coxey Road. Most people take this trail from 3N16 – Holcomb Creek Trail at 34.275322,-117.050809 but you can always take this trail on 3N14 at 34.300351,-116.982341. For more information on getting to the 3N16 – Holcomb Creek Trail entrance, please visit 3N16 – Holcomb Creek Trail To get to the trail on 3N14 – Coxey Road, please take 3N14 – Coxey Road (Rim of the World Road and Coxey Road) from Fawnskin, CA roughly 4.25 miles North.

Camping

The San Bernardino National Forest is a nearby oasis for millions of Southern Californians who want to escape for the weekend and go camping. The higher elevations of the forest mean that the summertime temperatures are cooler than the valleys below. And as an added bonus most campgrounds have shaded sites and some are near streams or lakes. Many campgrounds are adjacent to beautiful natural areas and you can find solitude on quiet wilderness trails. Some campgrounds are reserved campsites, and on weekends or holidays we definitely recommend making a reservation. To do this, visitors can go online to www.recreation.gov or call toll-free 1-877-444-6777. Most campgrounds can accommodate both tent campers and RV's. All campgrounds have picnic tables and restroom facilities, and some even have showers and other amenities. Most campsites accommodate up to 6 people and 2 tents. There may be an additional cost for more than one vehicle. The Forest Service describes camping as either "developed" (usually accessible by road and including facilities like picnic tables, restrooms and fire-rings) or "undeveloped/dispersed" (remote areas accessible only by dirt roads or trails, no facilities). During winter months some locations may be inaccessible due to snow or closed, check with the local Ranger Station for updated conditions. More info can be found at http://www.fs.usda.gov/activity/sbnf/recreation/camping-cabins
Camping: 3N93 - Holcomb Creek Trail

Land Use Issues

For more information, please contact the Big Bear Discovery Center at 41374 North Shore Drive, Highway 38 Fawnskin, CA 92333 Mailing address: PO Box 290 Fawnskin, CA 92333 (909) 382-2790 (voice) (TDD/TTY dial (800) 735-2922)

Writer Information

Josh Noesser

Mapping Crew - California
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Joshua Noesser grew up in Southern California but has lived in different parts of the country during his young adult life. Josh was first turned to four wheeling when he road with one of his friends dad up Surprise Canyon in the Panamint Valley at age14. After nearly 3 different roll overs later and a half dozen intense waterfalls, Josh was hooked. At 16 he purchased his first Jeep a CJ 7 and by 17 was putting his first locker in it. Currently, Josh is the owner and CEO of Nybble, an IT Solutions Company. This isn't your normal IT company where everyone stays in and plays video games. Nybble's average company trip is out on the trails since a good amount of his staff enjoy wheeling too. As Josh likes to say, he offers the only IT Company with the ability to provide services in extreme locations. "If you want a server at the top of The Hammers, we will take care of that for you." But IT isn't Josh's only talent. He also has a very extensive background in Off-Road Marking, Mechanical Engineering, Automotive Tech, and Fabrications. Today you can find Josh out on the trail behind the wheel in one of his three different off-road vehicles. See the vehicles below for more information. If you ever run into Josh, please say high, he is a very friendly person and is always happy to have a new person join the group.

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Trail Reviews (11)

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
The hardest trail i have ever done, but not to bad for a first time. i have a Jeep Cherokee 4.5 inches lift, long arms, and 33 inch tires. the hardest obstacle was the west gate keeper. you will need rock slides and armor to make it safe. is a fun trail since it gives you time to breathe between rock gardens.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Great trail, a lot of fun. Can't wait to do it more.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Great trail, lots of fun #FalkenTires

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
The trail was great, the west gatekeeper is a little torn up but making it slightly harder because of the spacing of the holes. Once these holes are filled in, the west gatekeeper will be easier than normal. A lot of the large rocks have been moved around. Sad. The middle wet rock garden is a mess :) Lots of fun. My New Falken Tires were amazing on the trail. Best decision I have done with the jeep was putting these bad boys on.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Hit the trail today for the first time with a group of three jeeps and a pathfinder. We ran Gold Mountain, John Bull, and capped off the day with Holcomb Creek trail. There is a little water in the creek still and trail is in great shape. The weather was great, no congestion, and only minimal bruising.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Top 5 Hard Trails in Big Bear Holcomb Valley Area

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
A small group of us decided to do a night run at Holcomb Creek. A few people in the group had never wheeled at night. They are now wanting to do more night runs. This is the perfect trail for that. While we were waiting for it to get dark, we did a little rock garden drag racing. Great times!

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Another great trip on a great trail. Still my favorite on the mnt. This time I decided to stop and get a good shot of the "Chair of the Off-Road Gods"

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
There is a small amount of snow on the way to this trail, and a little rain the day we ran it, but it is passible and fun as ever!

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Full Trail Video

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Trip was awesome, the trail has a ton of springs running through it right now making it very slippery. We ran John Bull, Gold Mountain, Dish Pan Springs, and a few others and we had no issues until this trail.