Los Pinos Peak - Via Bell View Canyon is a 9.5 mile lightly trafficked point-to-point trail located near Trabuco Canyon, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking and mountain biking and is accessible year-round.
This trail goes from Bell View Trail in Rancho Santa Margarita, CA to Los Pinos Peak. It goes along the ridgeline and is a very strenuous 8 miles one way hike to the peak. It is accessible all year round. This trail in pretty unknown to most and is not visible on most maps. It is extremely strenuous and entails going up and down several smaller peaks before ending at Los Pinos Peak. This trail can be either done point to point from Bell View trailhead and end at Blue Jay campground which would be a 12 mile point to point trail or a 17 mile out and back to Los pinos peak and back to the trailhead. The trail is however pretty well maintained and you would not get lost in it as it is pretty overgrown and there is only one way to go. It is recommended to carry a lot of water as it could get pretty hot in the summer months and a large part of the trail is exposed.
Challenging and fun.
Not a very good trail for MTB. Much better for hiking.
Very challenging in summer, and that's just to the flag! Very nice, though. A suggested time to go is November through April.
Favorite trail in the Santa Ana's. There is a great place to stop for a bite/recharge just under halfway to Los Pinos Peak. Look for large rock outcrop (Large angular bloulders of light grey metamorphosed limestone... fairly rotten rock so I wouldn't try to get too crazy climbing the face of it) to left of trail, it is obscured by some bushes but if you crawl up on on the rocks there is an excellent view of Santiago Peak and upper Trabuco Canyon/ Holy Jim Canyon. Watch for rattlesnakes... I've seen a few on the ridge.
You can also descend to Yeager Mesa from this trail but the trail down is obscured and you have to be looking for it... not even mentioning poison oak and other things that have overgrown the little used trail.
Hard trail at the start. It even out a little after the flag, but expect lots of inclines the whole way. Great views of the ocean, very light traffic. Don't expect to see anyone past the flag
This is a barely used pretty unknown trail. You really feel like you are in the wilderness on this one. The trail is very steep at places. Hiking poles are recommended.