Trail Name: Camp Creek Trail
Forest Service Designation: 2N97
Total Distance: 6 miles round trip
Overview: Steep and scenic trail that takes you down to flowing Bear Creek.
Difficulty: Moderate to Strenuous.
Activities: Hiking, Horses, and Bikes
Trail Type: 100% singletrack.
Description: The Camp Creek trail starts at Forest Road 2N97 directly off of State Highway 18 mile marker 18 SBD 38.00. The Trail starts as a dirt road descending gradually uphill for about .25 mile to the camp creek trailhead. High Clearance vehicles can drive all the way to the trailhead. The trail then becomes a single track over relatively flat terrain for the first half mile through a beautiful grove of young Sequoia trees, White Fir, Sugar and Jeffery pines. From there trail starts to steeply descend into a sunny and exposed canyon offering spectacular views of Snow Valley to the West and the San Bernadino peaks to the southeast. Continue descending amongst coulter pines and canyon live oak until reaching a resting point overlooking Bear Creek. Here the trail becomes rough to travel on as vegetation tends to overgrow on the trail. After your first view of Bear Creek the trail then clears up as you hike down through incense cedar and douglas firs to Siberia Creek where you find alder trees and a few box elders. Anglers, bring a fishing rod as the creek offers good fishing opportunities. After spending an hour or two by the creek begin the steep ascent back up 2,300 feet to Snow Valley.
Possible Loops / Variations:
The Camp Creek trail leads you to a group campsite just on the opposite side of Siberia creek. From there you can continue along an unmaintained trial to Forest Road 1N64. You can also continue up Siberia Creek Trail and end up close to the Champion Lodgepole Pine.
Trailhead and Parking: An entrance gate is located at mile marker 38.00. Park in the dirt space by two picnic tables. Display a forest adventure pass on the dash of your vehicle.

 

Review

The Camp Creek trail from Snow Valley to Siberia Creek is a hidden gem amongst Trails in the San Bernadino Mountains. A rarely used or known trail offers a hiker or biker pure solitude amongst the peaks and trees of the San Bernadino National Forest. More than any trail I have hiked in the area, the Camp Creek Trail offers a rare spectacle of biodiversity among the plants and trees of the San Bernadino’s.

I started my hike of Camp Creek trail early on an April morning. Sequoia trees glistening their wondrous golden greenish hew in the morning sunlight with Sugar Pines towering high above the young giants. A bank of fog rolled in through the valley and up the canyon making the appearance of a sea of cloud 2,000 feet below.

From Forest road 2N97 I gradually hiked uphill about a quarter mile to the trailhead where there is a sign and register for fishermen, from the trailhead the route stays flat for a little ways through a beautiful sequoia grove before beginning its steep descent. As I descended into a sunny and exposed canyon the sequoia, sugar and ponderosa pines gave way to fantastic coulter pines and canyon live oak.

Steep switchbacks took me down an average of just over 500 feet per mile and offered spectacular view of Slide Peak to the West and to the East San Bernadino peak.As I descended below 6,000 feet incense cedars and Douglas-Firs towered overhead and provided a nice aroma in the spring air.

Finally I made my way down to Siberia Creek. Alder and Boxeldar trees were starting to bud out as birds sang throughout the late morning hours. I found a nice place next to a chunk of granite to relax and rest and enjoy the sound of the rushing creek and the chirping of the birds.

After spending about two hours at the creek and enjoying a nice lunch I started my ascent back up the mountain.

Just as I departed a bank of fog engulfed the entire valley creating an eerie but beautiful appearance. The trail climbed very steeply back up and when I got above the fog the sun beating down made for a very hot hike back up. At 1:30pm I arrived back at the trailhead after a wonderful morning enjoying some of the best features the San Bernadino’s have to offer.

I would recommend this trail for any hiker or biker who is willing to try a pretty steep and strenuous trail. Camp Creek Trail is unique in the San Bernadino’s due to its Rare biodiversity of trees and plants from basic mountain conifers to desert shrubs to wonderful broadleaf trees that turn spectacular colors in mid to late October.

This trail also is unique in that it offers rare fishing opportunities to anglers looking for a nice backcountry fishing experience one cannot usually find South of the Sierra.

The final selling point of this hike is the solitude. Rarely on a trail in Southern California can you hike or bike for 6 miles and see nobody. I have hiked this trail 4 times and have only come across one other person. If you are looking for a beautiful hike amongst some beautiful trees with spectacular views or just want to spend a quiet afternoon by a lovely mountain creek catching some trout Camp Creek Trail is the hike for you. – Mike Rosekrans