Big Bear Ride Guide

For a few years I had a cabin in Big Bear called the “Wattage Cottage” that I would rent out to cyclists. I sold it and figured I might as well publish the guide that I included for guests. Find somewhere to stay and follow my advice! What’s to love about Big Bear? Check my youtube playlist.

Phil Gaimon’s Guide to Big Bear:


Train high:


Big Bear Lake easy ride:

Stop for breakfast or lunch at North Shore Café in Fawnskin


Medium Rides:

Jenks Lake loop (nowhere to stop for coffee or water on this one, so be ready. There is a campground on the 38, but it’s not open year-round):


Drive to Arrowbear, ride Green Valley Lake, Keller Peak (one of the best views in California), and Fredalba Road:. Lunch and Rocky’s Roadhouse. For extra credit, try Old City Creek road on the other side of the 330. For a long ride, skip the drive and ride there! Water stop between the two buildings in the Snow Valley Recreation Area parking lot, or the water fountain next to Green Valley Lake


Long Rides:

Lake Arrowhead loop, with Keller Peak for extra credit. Crepe at Coffee and Tea exchange in Arrowhead, or swing down to Blue Jay for a Mac and Cheese Panini at HotShots Coffee (do that).


The big one: down to Redlands, back up over Onyx Pass. Stop at Bricks and Birch and make sure you get a snack, because you’ll need it on the way up. Fill your water bottles at the ranger station at the bottom of highway 38, because the next water stop is at the campground at 6,000 feet, and it’s hot out there.


Apple valley loop:

Stop at Tonyan Coffee in Apple Valley.

Train low:

Drive down to Redlands for the famous Oak Glen climb from Redlands Classic. For extra credit, check out the Forest Falls climb.


Tour of California Palomar Stage: cookie and snack at Mother’s Kitchen on top of Palomar


Tour of California Baldy Stage: start at Rad Coffee in Upland, get chili in Baldy Village on the way down



The 18 is the way weekenders drive, so it’s fine to go down any time, but note that on Fridays, there’s heavy traffic coming UP to Big Bear, and on Sundays, there’s heavy traffic going down.


Bike shop:

Derek Hermon runs Bear Valley Bike shop. He’s a legend. Go there.



Big, greasy breakfast: Grizzly Manor
Poke (trust me go here): Tropicalia

Mexican: Jacalito or Azteca Grill

Salads and nice bar, outdoor seating: 572 Social


Coffee: Copper Q, Moonridge Coffee Company

Casual burger: Get the Burger

Burgers and beer: Big Bear brewing company

Seedy bar: Murray’s


Cookies: there are no decent cookies in Big Bear. Don’t bother. This might be part of why staying there made me fast.