2N61Y - Heartbreak Ridge

4.7/5 (23 reviews)
Big Bear City, California (San Bernardino County)
Last Updated: 08/02/2022
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Trail Information

Highlights

Hidden on the east side of Big Bear in Southern California is a thrilling off-road trail that has almost been forgotten by the off-road community. 2N61Y, also known as Heartbreak Ridge, is one of the less commonly traveled 4x4 intermediate to difficult trails in San Bernardino Forest near Big Bear, California. Even though this classic offroad trail is on the list of hardest trails in the mountain range, it is not often run since it is far from the more popular trails on the west side near Holcomb Valley. Because of its location on the east side of the mountain range, this trail doesn't see much traffic, meaning it is a great place to get away from the crowds and do a little exploring. But just because there is not much traffic on this trail doesn't mean it is an easy Jeep Trail. With several rock gardens, several spots with high rollover risks, and a difficult narrow canyon, this trail will provide most drivers an enjoyable day of off-roading with some amazing and stunning views and the excitement of the historical mining that once was popular all over the mountain range. Also, the trail offers a lot of dispersed camping, which is unique to this trail, making it an excellent overland route when looking for an overland adventure in the Big Bear area. Thus, the next time you are looking for a new and exciting trip, think no further than 2N61Y - Heartbreak Ridge.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

2N61Y - Heartbreak Ridge is a great trail for everyone from beginners to experienced wheelers. The trail offers plenty of options as far as difficulty, while at the same time offering hours of entertainment with the rich and historic mining areas. The route is hardest going east to west, but don't be fooled; west to east isn't much easier. The hardest obstacle is a rocky hill climb at Waypoint 3, where some of the rocks are rather large, requiring a precise line to be taken. Outside of that spot are several other areas that are noteworthy. The western hill climb has a 2-foot waterfall, while the Heartbreak Ridge Loop has several off-camber areas, steep-ish hill climbs, and technical spots. But note, a new driver can complete this trail in a stock 4x4 with high ground clearance and an experienced spotter. For people with less ground clearance, it is recommended to enter from the west side, turn around at the Heartbreak Ridge Loop, and exit the way you came in. This trail is perfect for first-time offroaders, beginners, novice offroad motorists, intermediate drivers, and experienced trail enthusiasts. But if new to off-roading, make sure you do this trail with a more experienced wheeler that can help you through the more difficult areas. ***And don't forget Rule #1 - Never Off-Road Alone.***

Trail Reviews

4.7/5 (24 reviews)
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 09/24/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

The environment you get to drive through is incredible, but the trail itself is a little bit tedious. There are a few technical spots that are a lot of fun but besides that, there is a lot of slow moving rock-garden type areas. It's definitely a time consuming trail and it feels like a lot of the same terrain the entire trail. Going up waypoint 3 was one of the more fun parts to the trail and actually got some use of the rock sliders. If you are looking for a good trail to spend half the day on, this is the one for you. If you do not plan on going up waypoint 3 this trail is probably a 4. If you got up waypoint 3 I would call this a 5. It is not especially difficult but I would definitely recommend rock sliders and a locker if you are taking this approach.
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 08/13/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Great Intermediate trail. Bypasses are available making anything mandatory about 3-4/10. Stock JKU Sport made it without using a bypass (except for East obstacle) with a few spots along the way. Most difficult obstacle at East end has a new bypass. Most (we did) will run West to East. A little rain at the end of the trail made it interesting. My TJ on 35's did not require engaging lockers or use of spotter. Running East to West would involve going up the East end obstacle (#3 above) which would be pretty challenging and likely require lockers. I believe it's much more dug out than in the pictures/video above. There is a new bypass for this and is now on the North side - note OD Green JKU in video using bypass.
Status: Open
Rated 4/5
Visited: 06/25/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Wow. What a difference a month makes. Last time I was here in May, it was my first Moderate rated trail and my Jeep was stock. Now with my humble mods, it was a whole different experience going up this trail. We started at 2N01 and went to the top, and then took the northern trail down to 2N02. Last time I did not take that stretch of trail... pretty interesting going down that way. For those of you considering putting some money into mods for your Jeep should do so... it was awesome and a whole different experience going on this trail with a more capable jeep.
Status: Open
Rated 4/5
Visited: 05/14/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Went to this trail as my first "real" trail as a driver. I was with a group of much more capable machines and extensively more capable drivers... and this was a good thing because they provided expert spotting. We came up from the end of the trail that appears to be the end on your chart, and never went to the other end where the more difficult obstacle seems to reside. My stock Jeep TJ made it up and back down with no damage, no winching/strapping, and only a few scrapes on the belly... as I said, expert spotting helps. This was a fairly demanding trail for my skill level, but was a super confidence builder. Hopefully... not too much. lol.
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 12/08/2021
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Did this trail after Rattlesnake Canyon; stock 5th Gen TRD Off-Road 4Runner (with AT's and skids/sliders) did pretty well but definitely bumped/scraped my skids and sliders a few times (that's what it's there for, right?). Would discourage a stock 4x4 with no protection from doing this trail. I don't think we followed this route exactly, there are a lot of different off-shoots, but this is a really fun trail with some fun technical parts and we didn't see anyone else out there

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