John Bull Trail

Big Bear, California

JOhn Bull Flat

Rocks, rocks and more rocks. John Bull Flat, forest route number 3N10, is one continuous rock garden after another with only a few short, easy sections in between the numerous rock obstacles. This off-road trail in the mountains north of Big Bear Lake, California, in the San Bernardino National Forest is one of Holcomb Valley's best rock crawling trails.

Steep climbs, dense boulder fields, some moderate off-camber obstacles and views of the distant desert down the mountain are just a few of the aspects of John Bull that make it a legendary Big Bear Trail.

John Bull is a short, but sweet moderate to difficult 4x4 trail. At just under 3 miles long, this trail will take about 1 to 2 hours to complete. This is an extremely fun trail for a rock crawling rig.

John Bull Trail can be run in either direction. Each direction presents new and fun off-road challenges.

John Bull Flat Trail Map

The map here shows John Bull Trail from the East Gate Keeper to the West Gate Keeper. 3N10 continues further on both ends, but the rock crawling portion is just what is shown here.

Trail start coordinates

34.318298, -116.904845

Trail end coordinates

34.318554, -116.876973


West Gate Keeper

34.31829, -116.87725

John Bulls West Gate Keeper, also known as, simply, the Gate Keeper is at the intersection of 3N10 and 3N32. This set of obstacles is always changing. The collection of boulders at the base of the gate keeper was once the most difficult part of the overall trail, but the boulders have since been moved away and the path at the base of the Gate Keeper is now pretty clear.

The Wave on John Bull

34.31839, -116.87993

With an easier line on one side,The Wave is an optional obstacle on John Bull Trail. The steepness of the trail here adds some additional challenge. Even the easier line is one of the more technical sections of John Bull Trail.

THe Tree on JOhn Bull

34.32554, -116.89254

The Tree; a tall standing tree, in what would otherwise be the middle of the trail, forces you to the north side of the trail where you have to make your way down ( or up ) the rocky ledge that pushes your vehicle closer to the Tree.

A large spot on the Tree, bare of bark, is evidence of past rigs that were pushed too far.

Step garden on John Bull

34.32797, -116.90109

The Step Garden on John Bull is a rock garden, stair-step section combination. Loose boulders at the top and a fixed stair-step rock formation at the bottom give this obstacle its name. The boulders at the top can be avoided, but the steps at the bottom have no bypass.

West Gate Keeper / End Garden

34.32127, -116.90647

The End Garden, or West Gate Keeper, on John Bull is the final rock obstacle on the trail. Deep ruts around these large boulders make for a fun time as you navigate over them. Straight down the center is the most fun!

John Bull

Big Bear

Holcomb Valley

Off-Road

Ham Radio Repeater Information

147.330+ 131.8 / K6BB covers all of John Bull, all of Holcomb Valley and far beyond. This is a high power, reliable repeater that licensed hams can count on. Thanks, K6BB!

446.320 - 141.3 / KI6HHU on Double Mountain in Tehachapi also reaches John Bull, with the exception of a few low points on the east side of the trail. This repeater is part of the KERN System, linked by RF to Mount Frazier and covers a wide area in southern and central California.

See James' customized, home-built, International / Chevy Scout crawl through John Bull Trail in this video.