Exploration Trail starts just pass the start of Keller Peak Road with a signed trailhead. It ascends the northwestern slope of the Keller Peak area. Keller Peak is the major peak overlooking the Running Springs area in the San Bernardino Mountains. Keller actually has two summits with Keller standing at 7881 ft. and Slide Peak at 7841 ft. Keller Peak is a driveup on asphalt and is crowned with a amazing condition fire lookout tower. Keller Peak was also the scene of a tragic World War Two plane crash of B-26 bomber in 1942. The bomber hit just below the summit on the north slope. Exploration Trail can be down as a shuttle downhill route or a steep cross country route.
From the bottom Exploration Trail winds up through cedars and boulders gaining about 1100 feet. After four miles it terminates at the junction 4 miles up Keller Peak Road. From here you can turn around and ride the route as a downhill.
A side option from the top is to continue up the paved road to the right all the way to Keller Peak Lookout for some of the best views in southern California. This side option is about 3-4 miles extra with another +600 feet of gain.
Drive through the San Bernardino area on the I-215 north to SR-30. Take SR-30 to the junction with SR-330. Go north on SR-330 to Running Springs then taking the SR-18. Go a little over a mile until seeing the turnoff on the right for Keller Peak Road 1N96, closed in the winter. A little beyond the gate you'll see a nice sign marking Exploration Trail. If Keller Peak Road is locked just park at the gate and head up to the sign. If you want to do this as a downhill route just continue on this road for 4 miles reaching a junction, go right. Park at the signed Exploration Trail.
When to BikeYou will need a Adventure Pass for parking at the turnout.
For camping information and current conditions go to the San Bernardino National Forest for current conditions website.
External LinksFor more fire lookout information check out the National Forest Association.
For more information on the B-26 crash go to this link.