3N03 - Smarts Ranch

4.3/5 (7 reviews)
Big Bear City, California (San Bernardino County)
Last Updated: 03/08/2019
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Trail Information


Smarts Ranch Road or 3NO3 as it is known by locals and off roaders, is a mellow trail leading into the heart of the forest. There is not many side trails off of Smarts Ranch Road but it does paint some beautiful pictures of the lush green forest, as well as beautiful sunsets and sunrises in the early morning and evening hours.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

Trail Reviews

4.3/5 (7 reviews)
Status: Open
Rated 4/5
Visited: 11/07/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Ran this with a stock 2008 Porsche Cayenne with ride height adjustable air suspension on oversized 31" all terrain tires. Trail rating is accurate. There are a few sections rated 2, lots of sections rated 3 and one steeper section at the south end just before it meets up with 2N02 that warrants a 4 rating. I used to drive this road all the time in the late 90s and early 2000's. At that time it was mostly difficulty 2 with maybe a few sections of 3. From my perspective I was AMAZED how torn up this road has become over the past 18 years or so. It used to be a fairly comfortable smooth road that any stock SUV could run. That's no longer the case. Now it's a rough and rocky road. Pretty obvious the Forest Service has done no maintenance on this road even though it's a primary transit route on the east side of Big Bear. I wonder if they just don't have the money for road maintenance or if there subtly trying to minimize public access with worsening road conditions.
Status: Open
Rated 4/5
Visited: 07/09/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Took this road from hwy18 to it’s end at 2N02. Had 10 Jeep’s in our group and didn’t encounter anyone on this trail. The last portion at the end was fun, and the newer folks in our group enjoyed it a lot.
Status: Open
Visited: 05/14/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Easier

started from burns canyon easy trail I would rate this green 2019 tacoma long bed
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 03/14/2021

Fun easy trail that made a nice loop after running Burns canyon. The only “moderate” section of the trail is right where it meets up with Burns 2N02, other than that short section it was fun cruising on soft sand thru beautiful scenery
Status: Open
Visited: 09/01/2018

Traversed through Smarts Ranch road heading north from Burns Canyon and the road was pretty simple except for the Rock shelf that we experienced first and the small rock garden shortly after. With some careful planning we were able to pick a good line and make it down safely through the rock shelf and the rock garden. Definitely need some ground clearance to make it up or down this rock shelf. I was driving a stock Ford Ranger 4x4 with 31" tires and was able make it through without any issues. Looking at the photo's of the guide it does appear this rock shelf has changed a bit to more of a challenge. The road is a good scenic drive with some good views on the north and south side.
Trail Review: 3N03 - Smarts Ranch - Mark Hartsook

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