Explore the best trails near San Juan Capistrano with detailed reviews, photos, trail maps, and driving directions curated by hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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trail locations for San Juan Capistrano, California
hiking
26 days ago

This trail was a tough and beautiful climb. I would not recommend taking San Juan Creek trail back. San Juan Creek trail is next to the highway, so it is very noisy.

Most of this trail is exposed so go early in the morning or during cooler seasons. Also part of the lower loop is closed due to deadfall.

Really tough climb, but well worth it for the amazing views from the top. The climb once at the Oso trail is pretty steep. Gotta be in good shape to complete this hike.

hiking
6 months ago

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.

hiking
6 months ago

I could not find the Patriot Trail. Instead took the Cerro Rebal Trail to Via Cerro Rebal and back to LA Novia Ave. But this trail is beautiful and presents itself with some awesome ocean views.

cross country skiing
7 months ago

Great

hiking
7 months ago

Initial ascent from Upper Hot Springs Road to Sugarloaf Peak, last part was a hidden bush scramble to the top but well worth it (even in the pouring rain).

mountain biking
8 months ago

shuttled it and started at the top. first five miles is two-thirds uphill, and treacherous at times. Overall not recommended for beginners but superfun all around. mostly all downhill after Cocktail Rock, five mile point. Only 7 miles down to the parking area at the Lazy W Ranch. 12 miles total.

mountain biking
8 months ago

The upper part above cocktail rock is super fun forest riding, below cocktail rock the trail is worn heavily, grooved due to heavy use with lots of switch backs.

on San Juan Trail

hiking
9 months ago

Beautiful view at Cocktail Rock ❤️

hiking
1 year ago

Now I know why there weren't any recent checkins:(. This trail, while it has beautiful views and is a great workout with switchbacks, is primarily used for bikes. They were nice and no issues, but the condition of the trail is so deteriorated by the bikes that it is a chore to get up and down safely. It was like you were hiking a downward sloping river bed at times with a 6 inch wide trail that just sucked in your feet. We had fun and made it to the Cocktail Rocks, but my ankles and tendons are burning and touchy today. Just be careful, bring bug spray, sunscreen and plenty of water.

Love this trail , specially after a rain . So peaceful.

Fun trail that did while camping on a weekend and had some great views with tall grass valleys. When we hit the end of trail my girlfriend asked if I thought we could see out camp site and sure enough we had a direct view of our favorite campsite with all of our gear (and the squires trying to steel our food). Will do this hike next time we camp here as I like camping here a lot

I'm always confused that I can't find "Patriot Trail" anywhere - so I hope this is it. I *love* this hike. It's a butt-kicker (at least for me), but 360 views at the top. It was my first, and you know what they say - you always remember your first. :) Zero shade here, so a morning or early evening is good. Bring water! Most activity levels should be okay - kids and dogs are okay too. We brought our golden and our 3 and 9 year olds. Great hike!

hiking
1 year ago

Not my favorite hike, but it was really pretty. Very narrow trail with gazillions of foxtails. But, it's pretty good for beginners - nice graded trail, great views at the top. I suggest going early as there are very few places to sit and very little shade. Always bring water!

hiking
1 year ago

Not the most exciting trail, but it *is* beautiful. There is a large grass meadow at the beginning of the hike. You'll share the trail with horses. Lots of bees pollinating flowers - didn't get stung, but maybe not the best trail for those allergic. The climb is moderate and short. Lots of patches of dappled light so watch for snakes. Bathrooms, water and good parking at the trail head.

Great workout. Easy, wide, clear trail. 400+ft elevation gain if you go from La Novia up to the flag. Nice coastal breezes, but no shade. Moderate parking; not recommended in wet weather for anything other than 4x4 high clearance unless you park on the blacktop. Watch for Snattlerakes in warmer weather.

on Los Pinos Trail

hiking
2 years ago

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.