Cougar Canyon Trail is a 20.6 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Ranchita, CA that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible from March until October.
Fantastic camping once you're away from vehicle access points - plan for as much sand as rock if you take the trail rather than the roads. A great walk in from the Coyote Creek crossing. I've found plenty of water every time I've made it into the canyon. While I haven't seen a cougar there, I've had the hair-raising scream come from what seemed like just beyond the light of the fire (winter), sending everyone scurrying to their tents for a 'good' night's sleep...
Hiked up to the "eye" last year, beautiful Oasis at the top, I would classify the canyon hike as difficult, there's no well marked trail once you start up the canyon, you have to find the easiest path, we used webbing to help each other scramble over/up rocks. Water is super cold up there.
Most amazing Oasis at the end of this hike. Backpacked in and camped at Sheep Canyon. Day hiked both Canyons then hiked back out. Amazing! Can't believe you're in the desert once you get there!