3N10 – John Bull

5/5 (35 reviews)
Big Bear City, California (San Bernardino County)
Last Updated: 09/06/2022
Zoom in to see trails...

Trail Information

Highlights

One of the must do off-road trail in Southern California and maybe even the United States. 3N10 - John Bull is a legend in the off-road community and there is no question why this epic offroad trail is on the Jeep Badge Of Honor App. Often used as the proving grounds when planning for legendary trips the Rubicon or the Dusy-Ershim, this trail will test a vehicle to their breaking point and further. If you are thinking about attempting to conquer this extreme 4x4 trail, you can expect large boulders over 36 inches round, loose rocks that love to do body damage, and big trees that seem to jump out of nowhere and kiss your vehicle and leave a body damage mark that you will get to tell stories about for a long time. But be warned though, this trail will put the driver to the test just as much as the machine. So if you are in Southern California and looking for an amazing yet challenging trail, look no further then this difficult trail, 3N10 - John Bull Trail in Big Bear's Holcomb Valley settling within the San Bernardino's National Forest in Southern California.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

Commonly referred to as the mini Rubicon Trail, John Bull is one of the most difficult trails in the San Bernardino Forest trail system. Large boulders, tight turns, and small squeezes between trees are just some of the obstacles you will encounter. Once you arrive at the infamous "Gate Keeper" you will start crawling your way up boulder fields with rocks the size of small cars. Mixed with loose dirt, traction is minimal and ground clearance is your friend. Short wheelbase vehicles tend to fair better, but a properly armored SUV or pickup truck can make it though without many hang ups. There is no right or wrong way to run the trail, but most run it west to east. There are a few areas where it would be tricky to get by a group of vehicles that are going the opposite way.
Stay the trail, people are leaving the trail which will result in the trail being closed. Also, respect the historic items out there. Make sure the rocks you find or logs laying around are not tools or cabins of the old mining days. Many of the items have been destroyed recently.

Trail Reviews

5/5 (35 reviews)
Josh Noesser
Official Crew
90900
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 09/06/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

A fun weekend on the trail. Did it once in about 3 1/2 hours. Then ran it again in a 1/2 hour.
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 09/03/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Harder

Harder than a 5 and harder than Holcomb if you’re running at a stock height. That said, I made it solo in my JLR. I’ve got skid plates but that’s it. Used my hi lift in one spot; other than that careful driving and picking decent lines got me through.
G. Martin
Official Crew
60500
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 05/29/2022

Some works been done on the gatekeeper.
Trail Review: 3N10 – John Bull - G. Martin
Trail Review: 3N10 – John Bull - G. Martin
Status: Open
Visited: 05/07/2022

Did this with Jeep Jamboree. Fun trail but difficult in places. Good spotting will help. Definitely need rock sliders and some lift would be beneficial.
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 01/30/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

We ran the trail from East to West and didn't really have any issues. Our group consisted of a fully locked Comanche on 35's, a fully locked CJ5 on 33's, and a YJ on 35's with a hard locked front and LSD rear. The East Gate Keeper has significant ice right now, but it looks much worse than it actually is. If you're locked up, you'll be able to make it up no problem. The YJ had to bump up one small section, but otherwise had no issues. After the gate keeper, there was no snow until you jump back into the forest towards the Tipsy Tree. From that point onwards there is significant snow accumulation until the tailing pile. We had no issues with it though. Go with a buddy and have at least one hard locker and you'll be fine on this trail. Only the Comanche had to pull cable due to a bad line.
Trail Review: 3N10 – John Bull - Adam Roenker
Trail Review: 3N10 – John Bull - Adam Roenker
View More Images

From the Community

Start a free trial and get this level of detail on every trail guide
Go All-Access