Hiking The Pacific Crest Trail Through Big Bear

Ali Sullivan

Hiking The Pacific Crest Trail Through Big Bear

The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) has been enjoying a string of record years for thru hiker permits. The numbers aren’t concrete, but hiking enthusiasts digging into them estimate 4,000 permits were issued in both 2018 and 2019.  Of those 4,000+ annual permits, 1,177 are said to have finished the entire trail in 2018 and 909 in 2019. The movie Wild starring Reese Witherspoon created massive interest in the trail.

While many are enticed by the journey, few make the entire route while hiking the Pacific Crest Trail through Big Bear.

So if you are dedicated to completing the entire 2,650-mile trail, we salute you! This epic journey may not be easy, but it’s one of the most memorable and impressive treks in the United States.


Pacific Crest Trail Through Big Bear Lake: Mile 266

Just south of the PCT trail in the San Bernardino National Forest, sits Big Bear Lake. Many PCT hikers pause for a few nights in Big Bear Village before continuing on their incredible trek. In the village they can pick up bounce/supply boxes, enjoy an evening on a real bed, and soak in a hot shower.

We would like to invite you to consider ITH BIG BEAR HOSTEL for your PTC accommodation of choice.

Shipping Supplies To Big Bear

We gladly hold your supply / bounce boxes, making Big Bear the perfect recovery stop. Here are the two shipping options:

USPS (in the village)
PO Box 4141
Big Bear Lake, CA 92315

FedEx or UPS (directly to the Hostel)
ITH Big Bear Hostel
657 Modoc Drive
Big Bear Lake, CA 92315

Additionally, we also offer PCT hikers a 25% discount on private rooms and a $25 flat fee for dorm style rooms.

Pacific Crest Trail Hike To Big Bear

Coming from the North

Man, what an accomplishment! You’re one of the rare hikers who start near Canada. By the time you reach our humble location, you have over 2,300 miles under your belt. The finish line is just in the distance.

Even though the end is near, take time to relish the myriad of oranges and reds spreading through the trees in Big Bear. Fall is one of our favorite seasons on the mountain. The lake is a perfect temperature for swimming and boating. We still enjoy the fleeting days of summer without enduring the heat.

Before moving on, we recommend paying close attention the temperatures in the desert. Late August and September have been known to bring heat waves throughout the area. If that’s the case, we invite you to spend a few extra days enjoying the Big Bear ambiance.

Pacific Crest Trail To Big Bear

Coming from the South

Welcome to mile marker 263. After making it through the desert, soak in that cool crisp mountain air. May temperatures range from the mid-fifties to the mid-sixties. The greenery and flora will be starting to flower after the mild Big Bear winter. Our lake will be very cool and crisp, which will make for refreshing river water as you head up the mountain.

Take advantage of a hot shower and home cooked meal while you can. It’s going to be a phenomenal journey, but those niceties will be few and far between moving forward.


Top Apps & Guides for Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail

Hikers tackling the Pacific Crest Trail through Big Bear often rely on a combination of apps and guides. After doing our own research and talking with previous hikers at the hostel, here are our top picks and recommendations:

Guthook’s Pacific Crest Trail Guide: This app provides trail maps, elevation profiles, water sources, and user comments. It’s a popular choice among PCT hikers because it is so user-friendly.

Halfmile’s PCT Maps: Halfmile’s printed maps or digital versions are used for planning and navigation. They offer topographic maps with mile markers, water sources, and other information.

The Pacific Crest Trail Data Book: This guidebook has information on trail mileage, water sources, resupply points, and other logistics. It’s a handy reference for on-trail navigation.

Gaia GPS: This GPS and mapping app allow you to download offline maps, track your route, and locate points of interest along the PCT. It also offers map layers and customization options for optimal navigation.

REI Co-op Guide to the Pacific Crest Trail: Produced by REI, this guidebook covers planning, gear, resupply strategies, and trail information. It’s a valuable resource for both new and experienced hikers.

Yogi’s Pacific Crest Trail Handbook: Yogi’s handbook is a popular resource among thru-hikers, offering advice on gear, resupply strategies, trail etiquette, and mental preparation. It’s often referred to as the “hiker’s bible” for the PCT.

For more apps and guides to help prepare you for your hike of the Pacific Crest Trail, check out this article here.

Mountain Hostel Perks

Our philosophy at ITH  Mountain Adventure Hostel centers on being the best hosts possible. That’s why we work every day to raise the bar on services provided, gearing your entire stay around having a meaningful and fun experience.

For starters, when you stay with us you can take advantage of our free WIFI and Laundry. You can check back in with the world, let family know you are still alive, work out any lingering logistics, and catch up on current events.

You’ve been carrying all of your food on your back for the last few months. Let us take over cooking. We serve up delicious home-cooked breakfasts and dinners. No carrying or measuring weight required. Just sit back, smell the sweet aromas coming from the kitchen, and dig in. Added perk, we even do the dishes!

Saving the best for last, our hostel has a full sized hot tub! What’s better after a long journey than soaking and relaxing in a hot tub while surrounded by nature? Exactly, nothing. A hostel with a hot tub is the perfect extra treat to help you get a good nights sleep before hiking more of the Pacific Crest Trail through Big Bear.

When you’re ready, you can venture back out to the Pacific Crest Trail through Big Bear after having enjoyed a comfortable bed, hot shower, and home cooked meals. So if this sounds like the best decision since deciding to hike the PTC, we’d love to be your stop at PCT Mile 266.


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