1N54 - Clarks Grade

4.7/5 (41 reviews)
Big Bear Lake, California (Riverside County)
Last Updated: 12/09/2021
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Trail Information

Highlights

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.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

Trail Reviews

4.7/5 (41 reviews)
Status: Open
Rated 4/5
Visited: 08/10/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Easier

As mentioned , seems like this has been graded. Closer to a 2 or 3 max IMO. No issues or real challenges for my gladiator rubicon on stock 33s. Still fun and Scenic way to get to Snow Summit!
Status: Open
Rated 4/5
Visited: 07/16/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Easier

My wife and I took this trail in the Jeep as a "short cut" to Big Bear for lunch and some sight seeing. I have driven the trail a few times in the past and was a bit disappointed this time. most of the rocks have been pushed to the sides, the rough spot at waypoint 6 has been graded and was done in 4wheel high but could have easily been done in 2wd in the Jeep. The downed tree mentioned in another review is way off the trail now. There are still some narrow spots with massive drop offs, especially for a full size at night. Still great views and cooler weather at the top.
Status: Open
Rated 4/5
Visited: 07/09/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Did this trail as a night run with a group of 6 or 7 Jeep’s. We started at the bottom and churned our way up this “hill”. For several hours. Certainly more of a ‘trail’ than most fire roads. Quite bumpy. Rocky. Some ruts. Lots of, what felt like, serious cliff exposure. Narrow. I had my top and doors off and looking down was a dark abyss. Very few places to turn around and even fewer passing zones. At one spot a tree had fallen down and been cleared, but the road got very narrow…. And that dark abyss was really dark and very abyss like. My kid actually got out and walked, and when he got back in frankly told me he wouldn’t be going down that way! It was narrow. And cold. And abyss. Turns out all the Jeep’s that had passengers had nervous people who gladly took in the news that we were not going home via 1N54…. But all the way around on Hwy 18 -> Hwy 38. No one objected. Coldest ride in my Jeep yet for this so cal boy. 60mph…. 52 degrees. No top or doors. Stupid Dave.
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 06/20/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Clark's Grade has been closed off and on for a couple months... it is now fully open. Always a fun and beautiful trail!
Josh Noesser
Official Crew
96050
Status: Seasonal Closure
Rated 5/5
Visited: 12/09/2021

Closed for the winter

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