1N09 - City Creek

Redlands, California (San Bernardino County)

Last Updated: 04/05/2020
4.9 / 5 ( 33 reviews )
Information
Nearby Trails
Status: Open
Typically Open: Year Round
Length: 22.7 miles
Highest Elevation: 4734 feet
Duration: About 4 hours
Shape of Trail: Connector
Best Direction to Travel: East
Nearest Town: Redlands
Nearest Town w/ Services: Redlands
Official Road Name: 1N09 - City Creek
Management Agency: San Bernardino National Forest
District: Front Country Ranger District
Showing 0 trails within 2 miles

Highlights

Highlight: 1N09 - City Creek
Whether you are into overlanding, 4x4'ing, or rock crawling, the mountains of the San Bernardino Nation Forest are a common area for people to seek adventure and memories. On the front side of Big Bear, is an off-road route that is still barely known, even though it is right off Highway 330, which is the main highway up to Big Bear. 1N09, or City Creek Road as it's also known is a magical scenic drive that can easily be made into a day trip or weekend adventure. The path itself is not that hard, but as you travel east among the dense forests, you are pleasantly surprised by the many water crossings the trail has. So the next time you are going up to Big Bear to do a little wheeling, instead of doing a little overlanding on 3N16 again, check out 1N09 City Creek Road for a taste of the mountains lush past and tranquil beauty.

Video

Weather

7 day forecast for 1N09 - City Creek

Route Information

Technical Rating:
( EASY )

Read more about our rating system

Waypoints

1. 1N09 - City Creek West Trailhead at HWY 330 (0 mi)
The trail splits off of Highway 330 heading south then quickly turns east. It is easy to see the area due to the large pull out on the side of the road in the curve. The area is large enough for trailers if you wanted to tow.

Directions to Trailhead

Trailhead Coordinates: 34.176724, -117.154060

Starting Point: Highland, CA

From Highland, California at Highway 330 and Highland Ave intersection. Take Highway 330 north past the fire station continuing up the hill until you come to a turnout on the right side roughly 6.1 miles from Highland Ave. The turn out on the right is 1N09 City Creek Road.

Camping

Dispersed

Land Use Issues

You can find out about trail closures and additional information at: Big Bear Discovery Center 41374 North Shore Drive, Highway 38 Fawnskin, CA 92333 Hours of Operation: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 5 days/week Closed Tuesdays & Wednesdays Located at: 40971 North Shore Drive/ Hwy 38, Fawnskin CA 92333 Phone: (909) 382-2790 Mailing address: PO Box 290 Fawnskin, CA 92333 (909) 382-2790 (voice) (TDD/TTY dial (800) 735-2922)

Trail Reviews (44)

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Haven't been here in a while, love this trail it's super easy all the water passes you go thru is so fun and all the green and views of nature is breath taking.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Came a week after a snow storm. A nice easy trail that was maintained for most of the trail. Once passed the Bear Creek a few miles, road was super slippery and not as maintained. We had 2 Jeeps and a Ford F-150 and all made it through, but it was a little sketch. Definitely needed 4x4.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
This is a fun, casual trail that becomes quite a bit more exciting with the addition of weather. Although none of our group actually got stuck in the mud, it did get pretty slippery at times.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Trail finally open after the closure due to the fires. We took the trail to Clarke’s Grade and into Big Bear. Great views and an easy drive, perfect for a nice day trip.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Fun easy trail though we did not do the entire trail as we turned off onto 1N64-Seven Pines where it meets. Nothing overly challenging great views and several water crossings but they were minimal. We went through with 3 other Jeeps that we ran into at the trail head. The El Dorado Fire was currently going on and there was low hanging smoke. Not sure if this trail will be closed from it but was open.

Author:
Status: Temporary Closure
Offroaded on:
Construction equipment were using the turnout and signs were posted both outside and behind the gate saying the trail was closed. We saw a skip loader moving small boulders in or out of an area down the trail a bit as if they're using the area for storage of materials. Do not know about the rest of the trail but we went to Cleghorn.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Great Trail, i had a lot of fun. Some great views. Definitely worth the time. Some nice little streams that flow through. This time of the year i doubt you even need 4wd.

Author:
Status: Temporary Closure
Offroaded on:
Rating:
We visited today but it’s closed due to a fire.

Author:
Status: Partially Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
We took on this trail from the Eastern section and discovered that the gate had been closed at Alderman Creek Rd. due to a fire. We attempted to exit the trail on the southern route of Alderman Creek, but they had crews blocking the trail for what looked like trail maintenance. It was unfortunate that we had to back track 2 hours, but the trail is absolutely filled with vista after vista which made it kind of hard to complain. Even though the trail is easy there are bumps that can come out of nowhere and rock your vehicle. I was in a hurry when back tracking on the way out and hit a bump that caused my rear sway bar link to snap my brake line. Luckily, I was prepared to make a temporary fix and limp home. I will post a video of our trip later once I finish the editing.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Incredibly beautiful day off the pavement. Several unexpected small water crossings that made for pleasant surprises. The views were just flat amazing even though it was quite hazy out. Highlight is Keller Cliffs which if you told me was in Utah or te Sierra's i would have believed it. Stunning for a 2 hr trip from the city. Ran in 4 high but probably didnt need to. We were staying in Big Bear and had always heard you could 4x4 in so we broke out the map, took 1N09 down and split off to 1N54 for a small climb and hit 1N04. Started to climb the mountain which gave off some great views. Then we took 2N06 Radford which was super scenic and narrow at points as you climb, a little rocky and bumpy with 2 or 3 small spot that made you think, but all in all crept up it slowly, and dead ended into 2N10 which we took down into town and wholla we 4x4'd into our place. About 4.5 hrs round trip and would recommend taking a lunch somewhere along the way and breaking up the ride. Would highly recommend!

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Pleasant, easy day trail. The first few miles are filled with spots to pull off for target practice but after that it's pretty quiet and the traffic really thins out. Really well maintained with no significant obstacles. Can be done 2H all the way in a vehicle with decent clearance. 6/28 the creeks were all very low flow. The Keller Cliffs are a highlight, quite stunning in scale and wouldn't be out of place in a national park. Bear creek is a nice place to stop for a lunch break, but you'll be sharing the space with everyone else who had the same idea. Lots of water and good flow.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Pleasant day trip on a well maintained trail that's easy to drive, 2H all the way in any vehicle with decent clearance. As of 6/28 all the creek crossings are easy with low water flow <6 inches. The first few miles from west to east have a lot of pullouts for target practice but it gets quieter after that with a lot fewer cars. Keller cliffs is a highlight. Beautiful and stunning in scale - wouldn't be out of place in any national park. Beaver Creek is an excellent place to stop for lunch with lots of good water flow but you'll be sharing the space with everyone else who had the same idea!

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Good trail. Descent amount of small water crossings. Plenty of room for Full Size truck. I stayed in 2wd the whole time. Connected 1N09 trail with Middle Control Road to get back on the 38. My dog loved all the streams to play in for a break.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Drove today (330 to 38) with the dogs, well maintained route, good markings. Couple of tight turns closer to Bear Creek for a full size Silverado. Water break/fun for dogs was worth the trip.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
We’re beginnings and this one was a lot of fun for us. We stopped a lot to let the littles explore. It is a very scenic, beautiful route. If you have littles, definitely stop for lunch by the river/bridge. It’s a nice place to explore for a bit.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Just did 1N09 on 5/31/2020 from 330 to 38. Very scenic trail in good condition. Water crossings are minor and won't pose an issue for any 4WD vehicle. Still lots of wildflowers in bloom (not seen in photos below, I was having too much fun driving to stop and take pics). I was afraid doing this trail would become tiresome due to the length but it was very fun and engaging throughout. Nothing challenging along the route, but still enough going on to make it interesting. The offshoots look like a blast, especially Keller Ridge. Overall a great way to spend a few hours in the mountains.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Beautiful trail that's very scenic and offer lots of different terrain to enjoy. We ran it as intended from the 330 and continued our way down Middle Control Road to the 38. No major obstacles to be concerned about in any 4x4 high clearance vehicle but there are sections that a low clearance AWD will have a little trouble without a spotter. All in all a great trail to spend the day exploring. Bring water gear during spring/summer months cause the little river under the bridge is a great place to have lunch and enjoy the scenery

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
We drove the entire trail, start to end and back. Stayed two nights along the route and had a great time! We saw a few vehicles traveling the trail, as well as a guy backpacking with his dog. The trail is a fun and very scenic drive, and the variety of ecosystems along the way are incredible - from desert to meadows to forest and all with wild flowers in full bloom. I really enjoyed the many water crossings! Easily accessible, but a little rough in some spots - the last third of the trail might be challenging for 2wd as there are some deep mud holes filled with water (one was up to my axles due to previous tracks). The water crossings are mostly minor, but there was one or two that were a little deep.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Great easy trial. Came here with my family on our 2014 Q7 TDI. Easy but with couple of rutted out spots...but not any SUV, 4x4 stock can't handle. Love the multiple streams/rivers it has. Love it ! Need to be back and do it again !!!

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Took this trail up into Big Bear. Pretty rutted out in a few spots but still a fun drive. Could be done in a stock AWD or 4X4. Did the trail in a 1" lifted forester and had no problems.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Did this trail and camped at Bear Creek. The camping spot was great but the trail itself is rather dull and boring starting from the west.. Next time I'll be entering from the Middle Control Road to avoid 2 to 3 hours of driving to get to bear creek. The trail itself is a bit rotted here and there but nothing a stock SUV cant do. Saw a Subaru Outback out there!!

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
pretty neat little trail found a good back way to big bear since we live in highland would make a nice day trip however me n my lady n the kids hit the trail from seven oaks instead of our usual middle control trail after a day of wheeling it was around 6 pm and boy was the fog rolling in looked at our trail map and saw it let out on 330 decided to push forward there were only two spots that the mud was real thick and churned up I had to drop it in 4 lo but the rest I was pretty much 4 all time and 2nd either way id rate it for a good beginner trail

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Trail is open, but a little worse for wear after this winter. I did drive it in 2wd but a little momentum was needed in a few spot.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Nice fun little trail. It was raining today and the trail got bad very quick after the bridge crossing on waypoint 19. My truck was sliding and fish tailing into the walls but we made it out some how with 0 body damage. Once we got out it started to snow which made for a neat celebration next to the logging equipment at the trail exit. I would definitely put a warning that this may be impassable when wet. It had been raining for awhile and those last few miles were a little stressful when the vehicle isn’t going where you are pointing it to.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Easy beginner trail with little to no serious obstacles. I would highly recommend as a beginner trail if you're new to offroading, most stock vehicles with decent ground clearance and good tires will be able to comfortably clear the trail. Personally, I enjoyed it. A bit bland for my taste, but nonetheless scenic and fun for a family trip or a day out alone.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Received an update that the full trail is open. Enjoy!!!

Author:
Status: Partially Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Made the trip from the east to west and back after spending the night at Bear Creek. The gate is locked on 330 and apparently the short bypass has now been blocked with another gate and other junk piled across to block traffic. Road although closed from 330 side was in really good shape. Beautiful trail to take if you don't mind doubling back. A few nice little area's that could be used for primitive camping with some nice overlooks. Unfortunately a few of these spots were littered with trash and bullet casings.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
The trail was open on the east end. We were surprised after we traveled its entire 23 mile length that the gate was locked on the west end. There is a short bypass to the left of the west gate that is definitely a "gate keeper" with very very deep and short spaced moguls. Challenging enough that I got out to inspect before trying and since were so close to the highway I felt we could get help if needed. My 2.5" lifted Jeep JKU made it no problem but a 4x4 pickup after seeing me make it attempted as well and immediately high centered on his transmission. We waited to watch his attempt and once he was stuck we backed in and towed him out. 2nd time Ive used the tow strap I carry. As far as the trip, the trail appeared to be have been recently graded and some spots repaired. There was water running across the road in most of the creeks. Most of these creeks have cement layed to prevent erosion so no worried on traction. The Forest Service has contracted logging in the national forest to clear dead trees and so nearer the west end there were mountains of logs piled ready for loading. There was no traffic that was obviously due to the locked west gate and also no one was target shooting. We stopped for lunch at the Bear Creek Water Control (19 on the map) but quickly discovered the mosquitos were out for blood and we ate in the jeep. Unfortunate because its very pretty walking along the creek.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Temporary Closure
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Still closed

Author: Official Crew
Status: Temporary Closure
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Talked with the rangers office today. Sounds like the conditions of the road are worse than hoped for. From what they told me, the trail has a hard closure to all traffic including foot traffic. Based on the repair times, the expected reopen date of the trail is 2020.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Even just days after the rain the trail was pretty dry, with puddles here and there. I was able to tackle the entire length of the trail from the 330 to the 38 in my 1994 Suburban 2WD. The only nonstock thing I have is bigger wheels/tires. Street tires, mind you. If I can make it down the trail in that beast anyone with ground clearance and moderate power can make it through no problem

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Fun and easy trail, plenty of water crossings even a little ice towards the backside. The trail was open and we drove all the way through to the 38.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Although we didn’t drive from waypoint 1-12 today, the gates were open from waypoint 1 off the 330 (as of 12/07/208) and where 1N09 and Alder Creek connect (as of 12/08/2018) so it looks like that first few miles is finally open again. Plenty of big puddles and stream crossings to keep things interesting after rain a few days ago, but not too much in the way of mud.

Author:
Status: Temporary Closure
Offroaded on:
Went for a casual Sunday drive. Gate was open but the signs said it was closed for shooting so we went through. The road has been recently graded and they have put cement causeways across the first three Creek crossings (bummer!) There was a closed gate after the water crossing just passed Fredalba Rd. So we had to turn back. Saw a forestry guy on the way out he said the road will be closed longer than the November 7th date in the previous review.

Author:
Status: Partially Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
1N09 is partially closed from October 1 though November 7, 2018 between the west entrance at highway 330 until its intersection with 1N16 Alder Creek Road. The rest of the trail is open. Rain made for quite the drive with slippery conditions and hub-deep mud ruts at times; 4wd was a must. When dry, this trail would certainly be non-eventful but still fun with some small water crossings and good views.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
We drove east to west on this trail today. Flat, wide and well maintained with no obstacles. 1 or 2 steep uphill portions but easily managed in 2WD. Less water crossings then earlier in the year but still about 3 small streams were running across the road. Several deer sightings. The west end shooting sites adhoc and official were a loaded with garbage and debris.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Super cool little trail not much water but easy trail to do in a stock Tacoma only pasted 2 people the hole way which were camping at the base. The direction and pictures made it super easy thanks ....

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Great first timer trail. Being new to offroading, this was a great trail to begin our new adventures with. We found it interesting to find so much water to cross in the dead of summer. Being a SoCal resident for ever, I did not know that we had flowing streams in the summer. Great scenery! Drive took us about 4 hours and the kids loved it!

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
A fun and easy trail! There are plenty of water crossings that aren't deep. A must do for a first time! Please follow "pack it in, pack it out"

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
First time of off road. Made entire route after receiving answer from Josh Noesser. First, being excited followed by comfortable feeling after seeing a couple people at shooting range. Along the way, I think I went too fast compared to trucks front of me that they set aside waving. It was better than hiking view. Crossing over creeks, some small tree tunnel, rocks and over all I (we) are committed to off road now. First timers and starters, recommend this trail.. Just one more thing..... Picking up what is left by you is a must!

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
We drove City Creek eight crow fly miles westerly from the Seven Pines trail intersection. Easy road with no traffic except for the last mile on the west end. Several creek crossing (hence I guess the name) some with water. Target shooting was open per the rangers sign at the west trail head and there were 3 groups shooting. We visit here often to clean up shooting sites and today we noticed 2 more adhoc sites created (from 10 sites previously ID'd) and unfortunately loads of refuse left behind. Everything from paper targets, demolished tube TVs to perforated 4ft tall gas cylinders. Overall a nice ride

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
I ran a portion of City Creek Road (from 12 to 1) coming from Alder Creek Road entering through Greenspot Rd in Highland. The gate from Alder Creek Rd to City Creek Rd was open but the gate into Government Canyon was closed (it was also closed last summer when I was last there). There was a steady rain and quite few puddles that my little ones insisted I drive fast through. The creek crossings were less than 1 foot, if that.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
We traveled the entire length of City Creek east to west. It was posted as closed to target shooting on the west end. The rain that has occurred since Joshes original report has only slightly changed the route conditions from Joshes original report by adding some 8" wide runoff ruts across the road and encouraging minor slides leaving small rock debris strewn on the road. Rare traffic but I did encounter a small group of dual sport bikes, SoCal Edison vehicles and a few target shooters stopped near the west end.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
We ran the 4 miles at the east end of this trail after running Seven Pines and Slide Lake. Football sized rocks on all the trails today from the last rain.

Questions & Answers (10)

Q: Hello, this trail has dispersed camping. Are there good areas to camp that has not been closed due to COVID?
–Enrico (04/21/2020)
–Josh Noesser (04/21/2020)
Q: Would you recommend this trail the day after it rains.
–Brenan Booth (02/21/2020)
–Josh Noesser (02/22/2020)
Q: we drove to 1N09 on April 14, 2019 and the gate was closed off. Will they be open soon? We are planning a family vacation in June and would like to take this trail, on our way.
–patricia amsbry (04/26/2019)
–Josh Noesser (04/28/2019)
–Josh Noesser (04/28/2019)
Q: Is all trails open now? How cold does it gets in May?
–Sodarith Pay (04/11/2019)
–Josh Noesser (04/11/2019)
Q: Does anyone want to take a drive through this trail soon. None of my buddies have a 4x4 and since I'm a newbie I'd like to start out with someone more experienced. I'm in Jeep GC Overland with 20inch Cooper AT3 tires
–Macho ortega (03/17/2019)
–Josh Noesser (03/19/2019)
–Macho ortega (03/19/2019)
–Josh Noesser (03/19/2019)
Q: I have 2WD FJ. Will I be able to tackle this trail?
–Bryan Runtu (12/05/2018)
–Josh Noesser (12/05/2018)
Q: Is 72 inches wide Can am maverick too wide for big bear lake or you would recommend the normal width? Trying to decide which one to purchase
–Daniel Saieh (11/25/2018)
–Daniel Saieh (11/25/2018)
–Josh Noesser (11/25/2018)
Q: There's mention of a campsite between waypoints 19 and 20. Are there existing fire rings? Assuming it's a non fire danger season/day, can one have a wood campfire at these campsites?
–Archie (11/14/2018)
–Josh Noesser (11/16/2018)
Q: Have purchased Toyota tacoma TRD off road 4.4. Can I take this to this trail?(first timer) . Also where do I purchase off road permit as it requires in some website as preps for off roading? How do I acquire/purchase this road map?
–wook chong kwon (06/21/2018)
–Josh Noesser (06/21/2018)
Q: Can you take UTV’s on this trail if so is there a place I could park my my truck and trailer
–Nick Velasquez (03/03/2018)
–Josh Noesser (03/05/2018)

Writer Information

Josh Noesser

Mapping Crew - California

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 based in Orange County, California. Nybble 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." 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.
For individual use only, not to be shared.