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Los Pinos and San Juan Trails

(1)
Location
From You7782.29 Mi
Local TipsAs part of Cleveland National Forest an Adventure Pass is required. The only opportunity for water is at Blue Jay Campground 10-12 miles from the parking lot.
Created (yyyy-mm-dd)2015-01-15
Created ByBen Bartley
Surfaces
  • Soft
Activities
  • Running
  • Hiking
  • Mountain Biking
Features
  • Parking
  • Hills
  • Loop
  • Out And Back
  • Single-Track
  • Technical
  • Fee
  • Dog Friendly
Street Crossings
  • None
Max Distance15-39
Volume of Use
  • Low
DescriptionFrom this parking lot are two trail options: Los Pinos Trail and San Juan Trail. The small dirt parking lot is located off to the left of Hot Spring Canyon Rd about 3/4 mile after the turn off from Ortega Highway (74). An Adventure Pass is advised for this lot.

Los Pinos Trail: Arguably the most difficult single trail in Southern California - with views equally as rewarding. From the parking lot, continue down Hot Spring Rd for approx. 100 meters coming up to Lazy W Ranch. Look for a dirt road on the left and head up it another quarter mile to the Los Pinos trailhead on the left. And there the fun begins. The next 8 miles will be very rocky, technical, steep up and down, and exposed heavily to the sun with almost 5000ft of vertical gain. The end of the trail comes to a 'T' with the N Main Divide Rd, which a right on goes to Blue Jay Campground for water and down the San Juan Trail back to the parking lot (for approx. 21 miles) or you can turn around and have twice the fun!
*Going left on N Main Divide Rd opens up another 50+ miles of dirt roads and trails in Cleveland National Forest.

San Juan Trail: No slouch of a trail, San Juan is more heavily trafficked because of the less technical and lower grade climb to Blue Jay Campground. It still climbs nearly 3400ft in 9.5 miles. This is a very popular route for mountain biking, so be on the look out for speedy descents. San Juan Trail is more dirt, less rock than Los Pinos and its popularity gives the trail a bit of a rut down the middle that can get tiresome after a while.
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