Los Pinos Trail is a 6.7 mile out and back trail located near San Juan Capistrano, California that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and mountain biking and is accessible year-round.
Directions from Hot Springs, CA: The lower trailhead is in Hot Spring Canyon 1.5 miles beyond the San Juan Fire Station off the Ortega Highway (Hwy. 74).
Lots of incline and great views. Bring plenty of water and snacks for energy. The start of the trail runs through the Lazy W ranch but they are pretty lenient on hikers going through there. Just be sure to call them and get their permission just to be safe.
This trail is incredibly difficult. There are a few switchbacks at the start but afterward it is nearly straight up to each peak and then straight down. Very rocky surface in numerous locations. We went on an overcast May day and were in the clouds nearly all day but still sweating profusely. It would be a brutal summer hike. Be prepared for a butt kicker.
Great hike , bring lots of water! And go early. Trails can be narrow and rough making you feel being in complete wilderness . Love the remoteness. Once you get to the base of the sugar loaf peak , takes a while to find an open trail through the bushes ( machetes a great help) and a little rock scrambling , a sweet chimney to climb and then the magnificent view on top. so well worth it. Make sure you sign the recorder hidden under the boulder on top. Would do this trail in Cooler weather most definitely .
Very difficult hike. Go early as it takes a long time. Remember that it is not just a summit hike in that you go up and come back down. There is a lot of up and over hills, the elevation gained is from the descent as well as the ascent. Bring enough water! It is hot in the summer months, fun to hike in the rain though.