Great work out !

on Trabuco Trail

1 month ago

The drive to the trailhead involves 5.3 miles of dirt road. As of today, if you take it slow, it’s totally doable in a standard sedan type car. But in the past, the road has had some pretty significant ruts after heavy rains, and was even closed last year for quite awhile due to mudslides and washouts, so be sure to check road conditions before heading this way.

I started the hike on a Sunday at about 11:30 a.m. the trailhead only parks about 6 cars (especially when people aren’t considerate in how they angle their vehicles to fit), so I parked a short walk back to where a few cabins are just before the trailhead. The trailhead is where the road ends, so you can’t miss it. Oh, and don’t forget your adventure pass.

Despite a packed parking situation, the trail itself was only lightly trafficked. I saw two other hiking groups briefly, and 4 mountain bikers passed me. Pretty light for a weekend. Otherwise, I was blissfully alone for 95% off my hike.

The lower creek was still dry despite the rainfall a week ago, but the upper part of the creek was flowing. Unfortunately, the trail doesn’t cross that part of the creek, so no extra water for the pup. But you can still hear it and see it from the trail.

The trail is pretty even with both shade and sun, so the temperature was pleasant throughout the entire hike. And there are some fantastic views and scenery in general. As far as incline, there’s barely any at all. I’d say this trail definitely is an easy one.

The trail “ends” at a fork with a clearly marked sign where West Horseshoe Thief splits to the left and the rest of Trabuco Trail continues on. I understand both of the continuing trails are rated as difficult due to a combination of incline and length. Have at it though if you want to lengthen the hike.

I really enjoyed this hike. The only reason I didn’t give it the fifth star is because of the dry creek and generally dry shrubbery (which is mostly due to time of year and not enough rainfall yet this season). I bet after a good rain season I’d love it completely.

trail running
1 month ago

It's an ass kicker of a trail. It's definitely not moderate. 4500 feet of elevation gain and pretty close to 14 miles. Be prepared for the leg burn

4 months ago

First time on the trail today. Beautiful views, great work out. Mostly uphill on way to flag pole and down, obviously on the way back to car. Great local trail. Will be back.

This trail is a butt kicker. This trail should only be attempted in cooler weather like in the winter. Make sure you bring at least 1 gallon of water. Also watch out for poison oak. The trail is not maintained at all. At one point I had to stop hiking break out my Swiss Army knife saw and cut down a big branch to hack my way through the poison oak that had overgrown both sides of the trail with nowhere to go but through it. Once you get to the peak you will be disappointed. No sign, no big peak with a 360 view- just tall bushes. If you make a left at the top you can see Lake Elsinore in the distance which is cool. The risks for this hike are running out of water, poison oak, twisting your ankle, and rattlesnakes. In the 1st mile, there is a shortcut to the flagpole which I highly recommend both ways. I walked on the road on the way home and it was long and boring. The best thing about this trail is that it's not maintained. You can also see a burn area, the Holy Jim parking lot, and 4 wheel drive vehicles rolling down the hill in Trabucco Canyon (jk). It's a long lonely hike. I doubt you will see anyone along the way. Have fun!

What an awesome and challenging hike. The actual trailhead is on Robinson Ranch Road, not at the GPS location on Meander Lane. You can't miss it! It is street parking only. Also, from the trailhead to Los Pinos Peak it is about 14 miles, not the 9.5 listed above. Four of us used a GPS to track the miles and we were all within a few tenths of each other. Except for mine. I had 15 miles, but I did some extra hiking along the way.

The elevation on the Los Pinos Peak sign at read it was 4500'. This was pretty close to our GPS trackers. With that said, the challenge on this hike, aside from the distance, was the total elevation gain and some of the very steep ascents and descents.

My total elevation gain was 5697'. That tells you there are a lot of elevation gains and losses (ups and downs) throughout this hike. Some parts of the climb are very strenuous and require some rock scrambling. Coming down is just as difficult as going up so be aware.

I did this hike with an advanced level group of hikers and I would not recommend anyone do it solo. Mainly, because of the distance and the potential for injury due to the challenging ups and downs.

Early on in the hike we saw lots of hikers. All of them only hiking up about 2 miles to the Flag and then turning back. Seems that is a popular hike and I would consider it moderate. Beyond that, we saw no one hiking on the trail.

At the peak there was a large group that came up the Los Pinos Peak Trail. They were headed to the camp ground for the night and then on to other peaks.

If you want the challenge and you are up for a strenuous hike this it. Just make sure you have others with you and you know what you are getting into. Bring lots of water. I carry 6 litters on most of my hikes. The conditions for us were cool, but I still drank about 3.5 litters. Bring lots of energy snacks and a lunch. This hike will drain your reserves! Happy Trails and Safe Hiking!

Thursday, February 02, 2017

One of my favorite hikes, I love going up to the flag pole in the morning before work. The view is awesome and there's sage growing everywhere. It's a little steep at times and because of the recent rain, it's a little rocky and parts of the trail get narrow, but it's not an issue if you are a regular hiker. Bring sunscreen if you burn easily and plenty of water, especially on hot days. Shade is limited.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

loved it

trail running
Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Challenging and fun.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Great hike with intermittent inclines giving us an overall great workout. Will definitely go again but on a cooler days as there is no shade and temps in high 80's today.

Monday, October 10, 2016

This was a great hike! It's a moderate trail as the inclines can be a bit challenging but there are beautiful views of saddleback mountain and the city. Love it.

Monday, September 05, 2016

Hiking trail

mountain biking
Sunday, August 07, 2016

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.

Saturday, March 05, 2016

Great view up top near the flag. It is a steep climb at times and loose gravel but we did it!

Friday, June 12, 2015


Wednesday, April 01, 2015

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

Thursday, March 13, 2014

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.

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