The portions of Holcomb Valley Road that I drove through were of generally easy difficulty and would be easier with no mud or snow. I decided to head up to Big Bear and try some snow wheeling and was very pleasantly surprised by the Winter wonderland I saw. There was lots of fresh snow and not to many people on the trails; I guess that not many drivers were interested in taking on some moderate snowfall. I started the trail on the eastern side near the Big Bear Transfer Station (aka Dump) and head up and west from there. I continued along 3N16 until reaching the junction with Coxey Road (3N14) and headed south as the Sun fell. As I passed through the western portions of the road there was a Chevy Volt with some chains on behind me that made it through with little issue along with a diesel-powered F-250 that got out of a hole as soon as he put his transfer case in 4-LO.
There is a trail south of the route I described known as Holcomb Creek Road (3N14) which is much more difficult and would be harder to complete with a full-size truck like mine. There are numerous hiking, highway-legal 4×4 trails, and even a few OHV trails that connect to 3N16 and it’s a great way to enjoy the area and take in a whole lot at once if you only have an afternoon free and aren’t interested in any hardcore trails. I’ve embedded some map and trail information below. Enjoy the photos and videos and look for the rest of them here on the dedicated page!
Eastern starting location:
Western ending location:
USDA Forest Service – Holcomb Creek Information
USDA Forest Service – Holcomb Valley Road Information
During February a large cold front passed through California and brought an unusual amount of snow to the mountains east of San Diego with snow level down to about 2000 feet. I decided to head east on I-8 and up towards Sunrise Highway/Mount Laguna to see what kind of chaos the roads would be in due to a few inches of snow. The freeway was full of people: stuck on the side of the road, in the middle of the road, motorist driving with their hazard lights on continuously, heavy trucks that hit each other, and seemingly confirmed all of the bad driving tropes about Southern California. Sunrise Highway (S-1) offered a far different experience and was almost empty. I passed very few other motorists and only a single stuck vehicle. The snow was coming down harder, the temperature was lower, and I had an amazing time up on Mount Laguna.
I stopped around the peak at Mount Laguna to throw some snowballs and take a few photos. All was quite, all was calm, and all was cold that night on Mount Laguna. There were CHP Officers at the southern end of Sunrise Highway who stopped anyone who either: drove a car without chains installed or had a 4×4 truck without chains with them. Usually when there’s a few inches of snow it’s too crowded to head up to the Laguna Range but the heavy storm kept most away. It was a wonderful time and I hope that you enjoy the videos!
Fox 5 San Diego-Storm brings Mount Laguna heaviest snowfall in years