One of Big Bear’s toughest trails, “Big” John Bull (to differentiate it from “Little” John Bull, which is included in the Medium Trails section), traverses Forest Service Road 3N10 from it’s junction with Union Flat Rd (3N32) on the east end, to 3N43 on the west. Beginning with the famous “Gatekeeper” at the east end, the trail continues with steep, boulder-strewn climbs up to and past the historic mining area of John Bull Flat. The trail is slightly easier in the west-to-east direction, as most of the rocky sections are downhill. In either direction expect scraped up rims and dented rocker panels if not properly protected.
Trail Rating: DIFFICULT
Difficult trails are best tackled in a lifted 4X4 with at least 35″ tires and two lockers, at least one of which is a “hard” locker. Sturdy bumpers and body armor are recommended to prevent sheet metal damage, especially in the rocker panel area. Airing down will be necessary. Recovery operations should be expected, so it is recommended to have at least one winch in the group as well as recovery straps and suitable attachment points on all vehicles. Fuel, brakes, steering and cooling systems should all be in top shape. Travel in groups and be prepared for emergencies. Carry extra food, water, warm clothes and lighting, and be prepared for a long day on the trail, possibly stretching into night.