San Bernardino National Forest

Gold Fever Trail Self-Guided Auto Tour

Gold Fever Trail (a self-guided driving tour) takes you through the now peaceful Holcomb Valley where the saga of early miners is still recorded. The 18.2-mile loop starts and finishes at the Big Bear Discovery Center on Highway 38. This scenic drive winds its way around the various historic sites of the mining era in the Big Bear area. You'll see ghost towns, mines, hanging trees, and graves of the bygone era. A printed interpretative guide with directions, mileage and the history of the various sites is available at the Big Bear Discovery Center where your journey back into history begins. Please note that access to some sites will depend on snowmelt. At selected markers you are invited to get out of your vehicle and walk to the sites.

Site No. 1 at 3.2 miles - Holcomb View Trail
Site No. 2 at 4.8 miles - Last Chance Placer
Site No. 3 at 5.8 miles - Two Gun Bill's Saloon
Site No. 4 at 6.3 miles - Jonathan Tibbets' Grasshopper Quartz Mill
Site No. 5 at 6.5 miles - Hangman's Tree
Site No. 6 at 6.8 miles - Original Gold Diggings
Site No. 7 at 7.1 miles - Belleville
Site No. 8 (150 feet west of Belleville cabin) - Arrastres
Site No. 9 at 7.3 miles - Ross' Grave
Site No. 10 at 7.3 miles - Pigmy Cabin
Site No. 11 at 9.0 miles - Metzger Mine
Site No. 12 at 10.8 miles - Gold Mountain


Directions from Fawnskin/Big Bear Lake, CA: Beginning from the Big Bear Discovery Center along Highway 38 head west for 0.8-mile and turn right (north) on Polique Canyon Road (FS 2N09). The tour is 10.9 miles over dirt roads, and 8.6 miles back to the Discovery Center via Highway 38.