Skyline Trail

 39 votes

15.2 Miles 24.4 Kilometers


1,574' 480 m


-1,617' -493 m


7,971' 2,430 m


7,308' 2,228 m



Avg Grade (2°)


Max Grade (9°)

All Clear

32 days agoUpdate

A standout and must-ride trail in southern California.

Driz Cook



Skyline is a little over 15 miles; we've GPS'd the route and walked a hand wheel over the entire thing, and the GPS actually shortens the real route a good bit because of all the twists and turns. As of 9/27/2014, the trail is complete and 100% usable. However, there are still sections that require some fine tuning and maintenance.

How was Skyline built? Upper and Western Skyline was rough cut by machines with finishing by volunteer hand crews. The 2 1/2 miles of Eastern Skyline was built by a paid hand crew with finishing by volunteers.

What were the design limitations? Unlike a lot of other trails, we have had some very specific limitations as we build the Skyline Trail. We had to build within a firebreak that ranges from 20-300 feet wide. By staying within this firebreak, the Skyline Trail was able to bypass quite a few environmental considerations that new trails normally must overcome. On one side of this firebreak is the road 2N10, and on the other side is virgin forest, untouched by the large masticating machines that created the firebreak.

As such, much of the path of Skyline was chosen before we started. We can't contour along the land as much as we would like in many places, and instead are forced to travel up and down the many short, tough hills of the ridgeline. The "glass half empty" part about this is that there are often turns and switchbacks that can potentially disturb the flow of a mountain biking trail. The "glass half full" tells us that the views from the top of the ridgeline (it is called Skyline...) are incredible, and that because of this firebreak and environmental exclusions, we're actually building this trail instead of waiting for the years of paperwork that a project like this traditionally requires. For hikers, another added bonus is that we've found that this up and down landscape slows down the overall speed of a mountain bike, which greatly reduces the likelihood of user conflict. Skyline is not a fire road climb and singletrack descent; it's a cross country ride on a high mountain ridge with few sustained up or downhill grades.

This low 7%-8% grade will help in overall erosion control and aid in making most of the trail usable for riders of all fitness levels. Skyline is designed to be ridden in both directions, so that twisty turn that seems unnecessary on the downhill may be your saving grace on the return trip as it becomes an uphill climb.


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4.6 from 39 votes

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Jul 14, 2017
Douglas James
epic ride, only did skyline east, the fall line and fern, definitely a skill tester
Jun 25, 2017
Deborah Powers
Jun 22, 2017
Mike Wat
y 5mi
Jun 22, 2017
Aaron Ross
Jun 19, 2017
Ted Germain
Jun 17, 2017
Geoff Davis
Jun 16, 2017
Chris Pickford
Rode up 2N08 to Grand View Point from Big Bear Village then took Skyline west down to Mill Creek Rd. 12mi — 2h 30m
Jun 15, 2017
Rommel Adabbat

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 39 votes


  4.6 from 39 votes
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in California


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31,774 Since Jul 1, 2013
Intermediate Intermediate



All Clear 32 days ago
Mostly Dry
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Rode Skyline on 6/13/2015. This trail is fantastic. We started from the Bear Mountain side and climbed up 2N10, by passing Skyline. There was a race going on, so we stayed off of it for this portion. We hopped on Skyline at the top of the climb near Snow Summit and continued all the way until the end. From Summit to the beginning of Pine Knot, it is one of the most flowy, fun trails I've ever ridden. The next 3-4 miles, you will do some climbing with short descents mixed in. The final segment of the trail, you get some longer, faster descents, with some climbing mixed in. We ended up climbing up 2N17 and hitting Pine Knot (1E01) back down to Mill Creek and completing the loop on the road. In total is was about 27 miles with about 3K feet of climbing. I'm very excited that a trail of this caliber is in Southern California. Hopefully we will see more intelligently designed and well executed trails like this in the area soon. Jun 15, 2015

Will there be to much snow in the area at the start of April to do this trail? Mar 23, 2016

Loved this trail. Climb wasn't bad, and the rest of it more than made up for it. Pine Knot trail at the major trail crossing on Skyline, take down to Village area... super fun. Oct 14, 2016

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