Holcomb Valley was the premiere sight for gold miners in Southern California. This now desolate and uninhabited high mountain valley was once swarming with miners and their suppliers. During the height of this gold rush, there were enough residents and excitement to put Holcomb Valley in the running for San Bernardino County Seat. This is a 3-hour, twenty-mile historical tour. Markers are set along the way at specific sights and if you pick up a pamphlet coded with the markers you can spend an afternoon in a beautiful, wild setting and learn a little California history along the way. Bring a picnic and explore the woods, meadows and streams along the route.
Any size would be fine for this route. The roads are large and there are lots of pull off areas to park and enjoy the landmarks.
The time of year I ran this trail it had portions that were entirely covered with snow and ice. If you go right after a winter storm expect most of the road to be covered and require 4x4 and good tires or snow chains. During the summer I would expect this to be a pretty standard dirt road, accessible by 2wd and 4wd vehicles.
Just north of Big Bear Lake, entrance just west of the Discovery center. Stop at the discovery center to pick up a park pass (required for stopping) and trail map. The trail map will give you all the landmark locations and associated history. As an added bonus there are a large number of geocaches on this trail. If that's something you enjoy plan on pulling a few off of geocaching.com and have some extra fun on your trip. Many of them are right next to the road.
Aerial of the trail:
Sunset near the start of the trail overlooking the lake
Standard dirt road
If you go in the winter you will most likely see lots of this
Optional fun (had a bypass when we were there)
GPX google earth and gps device track below.