3N69 – Gold Mountain

4.9/5 (65 reviews)
Big Bear City, California (San Bernardino County)
Last Updated: 09/06/2022
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Trail Information

Highlights

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.
Stay the trail!!! The Forest Office wants to close this trail due to all the illegal bypasses being created.

Trail Reviews

4.9/5 (65 reviews)
Josh Noesser
Official Crew
90950
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 09/06/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Ran the trail over the weekend. It was a good time like always Someone cleaned up all the illegal bypasses. Hopefully, they keep it this way.
Status: Open
Visited: 08/13/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Easier

The trail is a blast. Ran it solo and didn’t have much problem in the rubicon. The gatekeeper is probably the hardest obstacle. Totally fun stuff the whole way through.
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 06/10/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Wow. What a great experience. This was the first difficult trail I’ve done and I’m really glad I did it with a group of experienced off-roaders (thanks SoCal Broncos!). This trail is pretty much all rock and all obstacles - like non-stop. Ran almost everything in 4L with both lockers used frequently (I’m a newb :-). The first shelf was definitely easier than the second one. The rock garden was fun, but not particularly hard. The hard corner was by far the most challenging part of the trail, at least for my ride. Anticipate that while you may be able to avoid the really hard lines (6s), you’re going to be running solid 4/5s the whole outing. There’s also a difference between running this on 35s+ vs. anything smaller. My Bronco on 33s touched way more than the guys with 35s who really didn’t. That being said, our group included a Base model Bronco on 35s (no lockers) and he did just fine.
Trail Review: 3N69 – Gold Mountain - James C
Trail Review: 3N69 – Gold Mountain - James C
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Status: Open
Rated 4/5
Visited: 06/04/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Harder

My first Badge of Honor Trail. Was super crowded on this beautiful Saturday morning, lots of vehicles waiting to go up this busy trail. The trail itself, prior to any obstacles, is rough and rocky. Lots of great views open up pretty quickly as you gain elevation. My Jeep made it up the first waterfall without a problem, but could not get up the ledge of the 2nd waterfall without being winched up. The short wheelbase of my TJ just wouldn't get the traction needed. Next time I go, I will attempt the right line to get my revenge! LOL. The rest of the trail was fun and more rough rocky progress was made. Eventually we ended up at 3N16 and our day was done here on Gold Mtn. I want to come back and make it up the 2nd waterfall.
Trail Review: 3N69 – Gold Mountain - Deadhead Dave
Trail Review: 3N69 – Gold Mountain - Deadhead Dave
Status: Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 05/15/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Great trail, tons of fun. Still challenging and fun for a built rig but also doable in a stock-ish rig. 3” lift and 31s will get you through with the right lines. “Hard corner” is pretty dug out, plan your lines carefully if you don’t have a locker
Trail Review: 3N69 – Gold Mountain - Richard Penaloza
Trail Review: 3N69 – Gold Mountain - Richard Penaloza
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