John Bull Gate Keeper

Big Bear City, California (SanBernardino County)
Last Updated: 06/22/2016
5/5 (1 review)
Nearby Trails
Status: Open
Difficulty: 4-6
Length: 0.1 miles
Highest Elevation: 7200 feet
Duration: About 30 minutes
Shape of Trail: Out & Back
Best Direction to Travel: West
Nearest Town: Big Bear City
Nearest Town w/ Services: Big Bear City
Official Road Name: 3N10
Management Agency: BLM
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Highlight: John Bull Gate Keeper

A popular gathering spot, John Bull Gate Keeper can provide hours of entertainment. This single rock garden isn't hard to get to, but it is hard to traverse. Around the area is plenty of space for people to gather and watch the victims try and make it through, thus making this a popular spot on the mountain range.


Route Information

Technical Rating: (4-6)

Quite rocky or deep ruts. Rocks to 12" and frequent. Water crossings may exceed hub depth with strong currents. Shelves to 6". Mud may require checking before proceeding. Moderate grades to 20 degrees. Sidehill may approach 30 degrees. 4WD necessary and second attempts may be required with stock vehicles. Caution may be required with wider vehicles.

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John Bull Gate Keeper is a one of the more difficult rock gardens on the mountain. The trail is constantly changing making it fun for most because you can't plan to expect the trail to be the same. This little area has rocks as large as 5 feet tall and holes just as big.


1. Trail Head

Trail Head to John Bull Gate Keeper

2. End (0.1 mi)

Turn around spot.

Directions to Trailhead

Trailhead Coordinates: 34.318540, -116.876984
Take 3N16 to 3N32. Take 3N32 all the way to the end.


The San Bernardino National Forest is a nearby oasis for millions of Southern Californians who want to escape for the weekend and go camping. The higher elevations of the forest mean that the summertime temperatures are cooler than the valleys below. And as an added bonus most campgrounds have shaded sites and some are near streams or lakes. Many campgrounds are adjacent to beautiful natural areas and you can find solitude on quiet wilderness trails. Some campgrounds are reserved campsites, and on weekends or holidays we definitely recommend making a reservation. To do this, visitors can go online to or call toll-free 1-877-444-6777. Most campgrounds can accommodate both tent campers and RV's. All campgrounds have picnic tables and restroom facilities, and some even have showers and other amenities. Most campsites accommodate up to 6 people and 2 tents. There may be an additional cost for more than one vehicle. The Forest Service describes camping as either "developed" (usually accessible by road and including facilities like picnic tables, restrooms and fire-rings) or "undeveloped/dispersed" (remote areas accessible only by dirt roads or trails, no facilities). During winter months some locations may be inaccessible due to snow or closed, check with the local Ranger Station for updated conditions. More info can be found at
Camping: John Bull Gate Keeper

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)

Writer Information

Josh Noesser

Mapping Crew - California
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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.


Questions & Answers (0)

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Trail Reviews (2)

Status: Open
Offroaded on:
I played around in the rock garden on thanksgiving night which was on my bucket list but I still need to hit the entire trail which I felt like my rig wasn’t ready for yet and I was fully loaded with my camping gear but I had a lot of fun regardless. Will return once a few more mods have been acquired

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
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