Santiago Peak Trail

MODERATE 53 reviews
#3 of 78 trails in

Santiago Peak Trail is a 15.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Trabuco Canyon, CA that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from March until October.

15.9 miles 4500 feet Out & Back

birding

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

off road driving

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

1 day ago

Great hike. There are pretty views out toward Trabuco Canyon, and a lot of steady climbing. This can be a long day, and a hot dry trail - take more water than you think you need.

hiking
6 days ago

Beautiful trails, very peaceful and empty. Top of the mountain is used a telecom site, so noise and antennas ruin the view from the peak a little bit. LONG hike, gets dark early in the canyon, so plan to set out in the morning.

hiking
12 days ago

Great views at the top. Also known as Saddleback Mountain. It's Orange County's highest peak.

12 days ago

hiking
17 days ago

cold after hiking. rain.

hiking
26 days ago

The views are great and the slope is almost constant. The trail is comfortable to walk besides the last mile before getting to the peak, where the trucks dig big stones out of the dust. I recommend going with the option on the right side of the suggested loop, which is a good path delighting you with the scent of the bushes. However, on the way up, I missed the connection which is on the left-hand side, in a right hand curve... hope this is clear. Did it in 4 hours walking time; plan for 5 to 6 hours. Rent a small SUV or use a crappy car as the track to the Holy Jim Parking is awful.

hiking
3 months ago

I was impressed with how nice a trail this is. It was a little warm but there was plenty of shade and a breeze now and then. The bugs in the lower portion of the trail were relentless. We didn't make it to the peak since we were out of shape. I will be back again in the spring to summit. The drive in is not for low profile vehicles. My F150 did fine.

hiking
3 months ago

I went with 3 people, it was a very nice hike, I really enjoyed it :)

hiking
3 months ago

This is a really great trail! If I had only listened to the reviews and trail guides and NOT gone during summer! The heat on the day I went was not bad (80-85), but the bugs! I really look forward to doing this again in the spring when the water is flowing, wildflowers are blooming and no bugs. Road to the trailhead is tough without all wheel drive. The 4000+ elevation gain occurs pretty gradually over the 8 miles up. There is a peak marker among the buildings, you just have to look for it.

hiking
3 months ago

This is a really great trail! If I had only listened to the reviews and trail guides and NOT gone during summer! The heat on the day I went was not bad (80-85), but the bugs! I really look forward to doing this again in the spring when the water is flowing, wildflowers are blooming and no bugs. Road to the trail head is tough without all wheel drive. The 4000+ elevation gain occurs pretty gradually over the 8 miles up. There is a peak marker among the buildings, you just have to look for it. I did not do the loop reflected on the attached map, just the out and back via Holy Jim Trail to Truck Trail to peak.

hiking
3 months ago

This is a really great trail! If I had only listened to the reviews and trail guides and NOT gone during summer! The heat on the day I went was not bad (80-85), but the bugs! I really look forward to doing this again in the spring when the water is flowing, wildflowers are blooming and no bugs. Road to the trailhead is tough without all wheel drive. The 4000+ elevation gain occurs pretty gradually over the 8 miles up. There is a peak marker among the buildings, you just have to look for it. I did not do the loop reflected on the attached map, just the out and back via Holy Jim Trail to Truck Trail to peak.

4 months ago

A long slog with awesome views and botanical specimens along the way!

hiking
5 months ago

A nice climb with great views

5 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

I had done this trail in March of this year. It is a really nice trail that starts out in the back foothills area near Cook's corner. It is a challenging hike, especially when is hot. When I went, it was 70 something degrees outside and it was very hot going up but once I got to the top, it was actually quite cool up there because of a breeze. At the top, there is a beautiful view of all of Orange County.

hiking
5 months ago

Hot! Save this hike for the cooler months.

6 months ago

Great hike...dirt road in can be slow.

7 months ago

9 months ago

9 months ago

A strenuous hike for sure, and I am of less than ideal physical shape. But I have done it twice from very different starting points. May 2015, I did the route from Holy Jim Trail to Main Divide, then to the summit on Main Divide passing through riparian woodland, sage scrub, chaparral, Big Cone Douglas-Firs, live oaks galore, a true botanist's paradise. I love the variety of plant life there along the trail. My friend and I also hiked up Santiago Peak in January 2016 all the way from Main Divide/Long Canyon Road by Blue Jay/Falcon Campgrounds, a 13 mile haul 1-way, all on Main Divide Rd, even crowning Trabuco Peak (4,604') along the way. The way back was Main Divide to Upper Holy Jim Trail, back to Main Divide all the way back to Long Canyon Rd, roughly 24 miles round trip. We started the hike at 7am, ending back at the car at 10pm! I was tired and a little stiff, but mentally , we we were both mentally enriched and proud of our accomplishment! My friend and I are native plant enthusiasts, and for that alone, I recommend this botanically rich hike. It is a great challenge, but worth the effort. I am not bothered by the antennae on the summit, even they do take a little from the natural aesthetic, but the summit is a noble pilgrimage for all hikers who even attempt it.