3N69 – Gold Mountain

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4.9/5 (93 reviews)
Big Bear City, California (San Bernardino County)
Last Updated: 06/15/2023

Trail Information


Altitude Category Icon Altitude
Desert Category Icon Desert
Forest Category Icon Forest
Iconic Category Icon Iconic
Mine Category Icon Mine
Mud Category Icon Mud
Rock Category Icon Rock
Scenic Category Icon Scenic
Snow Wheeling Category Icon Snow Wheeling
3N69 - Gold Mountain is one of the more challenging offroad / 4x4 trails on the Big Bear Mountain Range. The trail starts by immediately winding its way up to just over 8,000 feet. Due to the technical challenges of this rock crawling trail and its unique location overlooking the resort city of Big Bear Lake, this trail is a popular destination for many off-roaders. Besides the simplicity of the location, Gold Mountain offers drivers two different technical ledge/waterfalls, the most significant rock garden on the mountain - the best spot for group photos, and the best views of the resort town. But be ready; the trail can easily deceive most drivers resulting in body damage to your rocker panels or something worse.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

Make sure you stay on the trail. Several illegal side paths are being created, which will result in this trail being closed. If you see it happening, let the drivers know they may be the person to ruin it for everyone and to get back on the trail. Gold Mountain is a great way to make your way over to John Bull or Jacoby Canyon. The majority of the trail is easy to moderate at best, but a few sharp rock ledges without any bypasses give this trail the more difficult rating. Open for the full year, but winter snow can make this trail very exciting, if not impassable, without a winch. The trail twists and turns as it weaves itself up and over the mountain, making it difficult for full-size trucks to maneuver through it; although not recommended, it could be done. You will come up to a large opening about halfway through the trail with nothing but rocks to drive on; this section is not difficult but makes for a great picture opportunity. When traveling north on 3N69, you will reach 3N16 – Holcomb Valley Road at the end of the trail. Go left to follow to 3N10 - John Bull or Holcomb Valley. Turn right to head towards 3N61 - Jacoby Canyon or end your trip by following 3N16 – Holcomb Valley Road back to HWY 18, just before reaching pavement you will drive past the Big Bear landfill. The rating for the trail is for the common direction of travel, which is heading north. If you choose to head south, the rating would be roughly a four on the easier routes.

Trail Reviews

4.9/5 (93)
Rated 5/5
Visited: 11/05/2023

Ive ran this trail over 6 times and this trail past yr has gotten harder. I would say its 5.
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Rated 5/5
Visited: 10/15/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Been four years since I reviewed this trail. I’ve since made changes to the Jeep, but it looks like the trail has caught up with my upgrades haha. This trail is tons of fun. Much more rutted and some new waterfalls. I also enjoyed being forced to do the gatekeeper. I went solo, but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it. There was only two people I came across on the trail. High clearance is a must and I used lockers on the second waterfall.
Trail Review: 3N69 – Gold Mountain - Justin B.
Visited: 09/09/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Harder

Super fun trail. Lived up to its reputation and then some. The first half of the trail deserves the four rating, but past the boneyard, there are two spots that are very rutted with large boulders that I would rate a 5, the hard corner being the first and a very rutted and rocky section near the top of the mountain. It was definitely a challenge for me, and I only barely made it in my Cherokee Trailhawk on 32s. There were five other rigs, four built Wranglers and a Bronco Wildtrak Sasquatch. Those rigs obviously had an easier time, but the open diff Wranglers struggled in the same spots I did, and one lost a side step. Overall, the recent tropical storm has done a number on the top half of the trail, but some people might say that's a good thing!
Rated 5/5
Visited: 08/30/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Harder

Adopt A Trail asked our club to survey our trails after TS Hillary. We looked at Gold Mountain today and it was fine. However, we discovered someone had unblocked an illegal bypass just before the summit of the trail, Waypoint 8 "Hard Corner". It was being used to the extent that it started to look like the main trail. We spent a few hours winching trees to once again block the illegal bypass. There is absolutely no reason to unblock these. The obstacle bypassed here is no harder than the GateKeeper. Additionally, we picked up a full bag of trash along the way. Pack out what you pack in. Please respect our trails if you want them to stay open. I would add that I would rate the Second Waterfall as a minimum of 5 now.
Trail Review: 3N69 – Gold Mountain - Paul Crawford
Trail Review: 3N69 – Gold Mountain - Paul Crawford
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Rated 4/5
Visited: 08/06/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

This is my 2nd time running this trail. The first time, I had to be tugged up the Second Waterfall, and bypassed 'hard corner'. Well, this time the gatekeeper was the only way onto the trail (I found it easy...), I climbed right up and over the 2nd waterfall (I have installed a locker in the front of Goldy). The hard corner obstacle bypass has been removed, and you must now go over this somewhat difficult section... its doable. This was a lot of fun today, not crowded at all. "Goldy got her revenge on Gold Mountain!!!"

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