3N69 – Gold Mountain

4.9/5 (69 reviews)
Big Bear City, California (San Bernardino County)
Last Updated: 10/21/2022
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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 (69 reviews)
Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 01/02/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

This is such a fun trail to run in the winter. There was a snow storm in Big Bear the night before so the top of the mountain was covered in 6-7 inches of snow. The snow adds another level of difficulty especially on the two waterfalls and the switchback right before the top of the mountain, I ran the trail in about 2.5 hours in my JK Sahara without lockers. I have a 3” lift with 35” ridge grapplers at 18psi and never scraped the bottom. Still had to break out the winch a couple times but such a fun trail! The scenery in the winter is beautiful.
Trail Review: 3N69 – Gold Mountain - Joseph Thomas
Trail Review: 3N69 – Gold Mountain - Joseph Thomas
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Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 12/10/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Harder

I just went on this trail again after doing it the first time back on July 2022. When I did it with a group for my first time, the waterfall and the V-notch were much smaller and easier to conquer but DAMN that has definitely changed and it's WAY more rutted out now in December 2022 than in July 2022. I would rate the trail a 6-7 difficulty back in July 2022 but for December 2022 I would now rate this trail a solid 7-8 difficulty just because the size increase on all the obstacles and boulders. My rig is a 2002 Chevy Silverado 1500 4WD extended cab and I'm running the below 6" RCD suspension 3" body lift 35" Mickey Thompson Baja Claw TTC Dual Fox 2.0 Factory Racing Shocks (front) Single Fox 2.0 Performance Shocks (rear) Eaton E-locker (rear) Yukon 4.88 gears and I still manage to break a rear lower shock mount, LOL
Trail Review: 3N69 – Gold Mountain - Michael Chang
Trail Review: 3N69 – Gold Mountain - Michael Chang
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Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 10/24/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

This was the first difficult trail i did in my 18 Tacoma and i had a blast it this by far is my favorite trail to do when I'm in Big Bear area.
Official Crew
99850
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.
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.

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