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Clarks Grade is a 4x4 off-road trail in the San Bernardino National Forest. Driving this trail is a journey through several ecosystems, starting at the lowest elevation at the Santa Ana River and continuing to the ridgeline south of Big Bear Lake. The lushness of the canyon bottom gives way to the semi-aridness of mesquite, sage, and scrub oak. Finally, towards the end, you reach groves of conifer and an open-air ridgeline. Rumor has it that this trail was cut in one week as an alternate way off the mountain when, in 1949, the storm of the century blocked all access in and out of Big Bear Lake/Snow Summit. A sign at the north end explains that the trail has been in place since well before 1949. Harland Clark always told the story his way; it looks like his brother Hiram made the improvements.
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