Explore the most popular off road driving trails in Cleveland National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Pretty long trail with a decent amount of elevation gain. Didn’t make it to the top so plan on taking a few hours to go out and back. Don’t go on a hot day, there’s not a whole lot of shade. Still very pretty.

Great trail. I'm in a crosstrek, no lift, grabbers and had no issues. plenty of places to stop to recharge and take in the view. not just a flat grade, plenty of bumps and rocks

Its a beautiful trail but not easy to follow the signs for the peak are missing so we took a 3 mile detour and ended up taking the fire road up to the summit all in all 21 some odd miles. Ouch. Lots of vehicles on the fire roads and they will drive around you rather than giving you right away so be aware.

Nice little trail to get away from it all for a few hours.. I plan on going back at night my next time around

off road driving
11 days ago

Indian truck trail is one of our favorite close to home trails. Nice, easy trail for beginners. Connects with the main divide, and once you get to the top you can go left to Santiago peak and follow it down into Orange County or go right and head into Silverado Canyon. The view from the top is amazing!

this is a very steep long trail. nice views. Just make sure you go on a cool day. not much shade. But the views are worth it !

off road driving
16 days ago

Took the Subaru up to the top without any problems, any car with a high clearance will make it up easily. Great views from the top of the surrounding forest and lake. Trail had 2 heavy duty gates both of which were open, no signs to say when they may be closed. Likely closed when maintenance is done to the trail since it looked like there was work done near the top. Excellent for dirt bikes and trail running. Took us 2 hours of careful driving (

trail running
24 days ago

The trailhead is in a new residential area. A small amount of trash is present. It looks like people sometimes dump here. A mile in there is a church retreat. It’s a nice quiet area to have one.

The first four miles the trail is dry and dusty. This is where it’s not to fun when the off-road vehicles pass. The day I was on the trail there were not too many. I saw a couple of hikers, a guy on mountain bike, Motorcycle and Jeeps. A little of everything.

Once you get four miles the scenery changes. It gets a lot greener. Many more tall trees. The trail is softer from leafs and pine needles. The temperature is much cooler. The view was amazing. It felt like I was in a different place. I was surprised to find it like this.

I had started my run late and could only put in seven miles to the saddle. From there I could make out the ocean through the haze. On a clear day this would be a cool place to come. From here the trail splits. To the left is Trabuco Peak and Santiago to the right.

I hope to come back and run to Trabuco. It’s 11.5 miles to the peak for a total of 23 miles. I’ll need to bring a pack with more water, food and safety gear.

Nice trail, slow steady incline all the way up.
Didnt do the last “loop” once I hit the dirt road on top: there were too many motorcycles on the road and didn’t wanna be inhaling dirt for 4miles.
70% shaded. Nice wild flowers. Great for endurance training. Blessed with Sunny and 65F today but definitely can see lots of water needed on a hot day.
Will be back on a weekday to finish the top: hopefully less motorcycles.

took my stock 2wd s10 up to the peak and back down had no problems getting up there pretty easy trail has some nice view points.

Gate was finally open to Santiago peak but there was a mountain bike race so we had to pull over a bunch of times to let the bicycle riders go by...

off road driving
1 month ago

pretty fun, some pretty big ruts along the way, but nothing to crazy.

My second time doing this trail. Wasn’t able to complete it the first time. But came back and finished today! Great trail with nice views challenging carry plenty of water it’s a little over 16 miles. Do it really early to avoid the heat! Loved it

off road driving
1 month ago

took my Cherokee (Catalina) and boy I got to tell you it was pretty easy trail nothing out of this world just a nice trail been to hard ones but I liked this one to come back again ...

- Lots of greens and shades in this trail. Well maintained;
- Be careful of bikers and motorcyclists !!! Some of them were really aggressive, who never slowed down because of race.
- Needs lots of water (at least 3.5 L) and energy bar as well
- 4WD recommended and drive slow.

Great trail

hiking
1 month ago

04/13/2018, hiked Los Pinos Peak Fire Lookout Tower from four corner, counterclockwise up to the peak and looped down via spur meadows, way trail, corral canyon trail and wrangler trail for 9.06 RT hiking mileage and 1,537 ft. elevation gains! Great view of Corte Madera Mt from the summit! I was surprised and disappointed to see lots trash of empty plastic water bottles and tuna and/or sardine cans! Good hike and passed mountain bikers and a few motor-cross bikers. Overall great hike!

Challenging hike for me but pleasant all the same. Couple pieces of advice, most which are mentioned by others. Bring more water than you think you need. I took 3 1/2 liters and ran out with 3 miles to go. Also, when you think you are getting close to the summit you still have a long way to go. You can see the antennas and feel you are 30 min from the peak for half the hike. The road up to the parking lot is bumpy so if you don't have a four wheel drive allow some extra time. Get your adventure pass for parking prior if you can. This hike takes a long time so be aware and don't assume you can shave a couple hours off. I didn't end up getting done til 6:00 so only had another hour of light. Enjoyed the hike even though a mountain bike event was going on so had to pull over for about 50 bikers. Coming back was very pleasant with the afternoon shade and less traffic.

Not even a trail. This is a rocky road that no car less than a Jeep should travel down. Don’t waste your time unless your looking for dirt bike trails.

backpacking
1 month ago

Did this as a training hike with a fully loaded backpack. The road is a PITA cuz it takes a long time to get out there and it can be crowded, but the trail overall is quite lovely. Once you start climbing (after the waterfall trail junction) it gets quieter and the views get better and better. April 2018: there is plenty of water in the lower sections of the trail. When you get to main divide road there is no sign indicating where to go, go Right for about .4 miles and look for some piled rocks on the left side of the road pointing to the trail, it takes a sharp Left and keeps climbing. Bring a headlamp in case you end up hiking after dark like me!

Trail was confusing only because from the turn off from highway 74 (Ortega) about a quarter mile up the road, it drops to what I assume to be 1 lane. Once you’re off cement, and in the dirt the trail, it’s big enough for just 1 vehicle in 1 direction for the most part. That was the confusing part. Absolutely no way could another truck or Jeep be coming down while you were going up (or visa versa) as the room to backup or pull off is completely not feasible to the average off roader. Not on this trail in my opinion.

Luckily, when I reached the end, it seemed to dead end and T off with the left option having a closed gate and the option to go right looked soooo small and not like a truck trail, I had no choice but to turn around and go the way I came. Luckily I was the only vehicle up there cause meeting face to face would have sucked.

The trail and scenery are cool and I would do it again if I knew for sure wtf was going on or how that trail operates but until then, I won’t be going back and suggest that any amateur driver stay clear. You can roll down the side of the mountain at any given time. So I recommend only 4x4’s go up.

Bring more water then you think you’ll need. My pack ended up being pretty heavy but 7 bottles of water a Gatorade and 3 apple juice boxes proved to not be near enough almost.
The road up to the trail can be sketchy, that being said I did trek it in my MINI Cooper and it really wasn’t that bad. More just embarrassing because I almost felt like people were looking at me like, look at this bitch trying to take this road in a MINI but if you go slow, let Jeeps pass and watch for rocks & pot holes in the road you’ll be just fine.
General store at the end of the road to the trail had Adventure Passes for sale.
The hike to the summit for me wasn’t too bad physically just more mentally challenging. A lot of the hike is shady but be prepaired for some sun as well. Probably about 1/3 of it you might be in the sun for.

Great training hike for our Grand Canyon. Go early. Parts of trail are pretty expsoed and can get warm. A handful of annoying things about the trail...first are all the bikers on the trail. second are the motorcycles and cars the last mile. last is the last mile of the trail is on the road with lots of rocks and exposed for the first half. however at the end there amazing views of OC and the ocean on clear days.

Fun 4x4 trail.

Great trail. Tough to get to sometimes as the dirt road can be in pretty bad condition getting there. Great views with trails that have a variety of surfaces, rock, dirt, sand. Bring a lot water.

off road driving
1 month ago

Wasn’t really to happy to find that the actual trail doesn’t allow off-roading. But there is some good riding right at the entrance. A lot of rocky ruff terrain, fun though.

off road driving
1 month ago

Gunslinger (11) was a really good intermediate trail. It’s narrow, but I never ran into another truck to try to squeeze around. There are some tricky spots if you don’t know how to find a decent line, but overall it should be enjoyable to most off-roaders. I completed it in a stock 3rd Gen 4Runner (4wd/ rear locker) with decent tires. I only decided to do one section in 4wd Lo, but it probably wasn’t necessary. The only real downside is this trail alone doesn’t really go anywhere, it links to harder trails that I’ll need to try in a group.

The trail was closed on 3/31/17. Right after leaving the long gravel road (la costa truck trail) the trail gate, where things were just starting to get interesting, was locked.

Great trail! Beautiful views at the top!!

off road driving
1 month ago

Went today 3/28/18 and it was closed to off roading due to weather conditions.

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