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Bear Canyon Loop Trail to Pigeon Spring

moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(192)
San Mateo Canyon Wilderness

Bear Canyon Loop Trail to Pigeon Spring is a 6.1 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Lake Elsinore, California that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 6.1 mi Elevation gain 1,112 ft Route type Loop

Dogs on leash

Hiking

Horseback riding

Nature trips

Walking

Bird watching

Running

Forest

River

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Bugs

Muddy

Rocky

Description
Waypoints (0)
Contact
Getting There

California Travel and Tourism Commision, P.O. Box 1499 , Sacramento, CA, 95812-1499, Phone: 800-862-2543

Directions from Lake Elsinore, CA: Travel southwest on Highway 74 venturing into the mountains, then passing the Visitor Center / Fire Station in El Cariso. Proceed another 3.6 miles on Hwy. 74 to reach the trailhead. Parking is available at the San Juan Loop. (Trailhead is half a mile north of Upper San Juan Campground.)

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (192)
Photos (641)
Recordings (141)
Completed (1230)
Anna Disipio
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarWed Jun 10 2020
HikingBugsOver grown

The trailhead is very clearly marked with a big sign right next to the candy store. Wear pants, as the trail is a bit overgrown. Lots of gnats and bees in areas. The trail is also very narrow so wear a mask for when you have to pass people. Ladies, pee before you get on the trail! No good squat spots ;)

Maria E.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Jun 07 2020
HikingOver grown

Nice trail, really great smelling wildflowers all over, sage growing, etc. lots of gnats and bugs, trail is overgrown

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Angelica Salceda
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed May 20 2020
HikingBugsOver grown

Loved this hike! Brought my dog and she had so much fun. The beginning is a gradual uphill. Went 1.2 further to Sitton Peak No mountain lion or rattle snake sightings. The views were awesome. Brought a small lunch up there. There are California Everlastings are blooming from Jan to July and if your dog gets near them, it can make them smell like maple syrup if you let them sniff it! :)

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Oscar Serrato
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon May 04 2020
RunningWashed out

Trail was nice, good elevation climb. Trail was covered and shaded for the most so that was really nice. It is horse friendly and there was a good amount of poop. Wasnt all that bad. Really nice walk:)

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Jacob Cottle
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarTue Apr 21 2020
Hiking

Great trail. Occasional coverage throughout the trail

Amy DeLeeuw
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Apr 19 2020
Hiking

April 19- trail still open and just like the other review says, parking is off Ortega Hwy. Lightly trafficked today and we enjoyed the hike.

Jacqueline Cid
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Apr 11 2020
HikingMuddyNo shade

Great hike. There’s no summit, but if you go 1.5 miles further than this turn point you have access to Sitton Peak. It would have been a 9 mile hike and we hadn’t prepared to do it, so we just followed the guide of this trail path only. It was still great. There were beautiful view points on the loop on the left. When you are at the intersection for the loop, the trail on the left it definitely more strenuous going up, while the one on the right is more gradual. We took the one on the right without realizing this, but still got a good workout. The parking lot was closed due to covid-19 (as a previous commenter said) but there were plenty of spots to park on the road. There were lots of people doing the same with no issue. The trail was quiet, which made social distancing easy! We did cross some people here and there, but everyone was respectful of maintaining 6 ft. Overall, I would come back here, definitely to hit Sitton Peak in the future.

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Anne-Laure Creve
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Apr 04 2020
HikingRocky
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Erika Van Wick
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Mar 30 2020
HikingRocky

Went today with our older kids 12 & 16 they had no problems. It was great we only did about half of it because it was mostly uphill and I’m pregnant haha. Wear good hiking shoes or boots. Beautiful views but definitely moderate level. Right now you can park alongside of the road due to the parking lot being closed bc of Covid-19.

Danielle Ferraro
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Feb 16 2020
Hiking

Lovely hike. Beautiful views (best views at peak elevation just before you get to the four corners)! Quiet, some wildflowers just beginning to peek out.

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Paul Lusignan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Jan 19 2020
HikingOver grown

Nice trail. Not overcrowded. Took about 3 hours.

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Raini Sato
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Jan 01 2020
Hiking

New Year’s Day, BEAUTIFUL day. Trail was well maintained. No one was blasting their radios which was nice. I’m a bit out of shape so it was just the right amount of challenge for me. It took me 3 hours from start to finish

Jasmaine Graben
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Nov 23 2019
Hiking

really nice trail. it's clear most places, with great views, and well placed signs. there is an incline but I hardly noticed it, compared to other hikes I've done. would definitely do this one again.

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Claudia Alfaro
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Nov 10 2019
HikingFee

Great hike with lots of shade. Going at 830 am Adventure pass $5 day use

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Hyman Minsky
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Oct 20 2019
Hiking

It was a nice hike. Unfortunately, there’s not much of a view at the top if you just do the loop and turn back at the four corners. I recommend going an extra mile along the path towards Sitton peak. There’s a beautiful view of The Valley behind. Not much more of a climb to get to it but a really beautiful view. You will know it when you see, on your left. If you go on further than that, the climb to sitton peak is pretty strenuous and slippery so I would not advise it if you don’t like clambering. It was pretty hot on all parts so bring plenty of water, especially for four legged friends.

Larry Mermingez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Oct 19 2019
Hiking

Nice trail

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Shawn Toro
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Oct 06 2019
HikingBugsOver grownWashed out

love it

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Alexandra Rocks
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jan 12 2019
Hiking

We hiked this trail on May 6, 2018. Loved it! Easy and beautiful! Wished we got there earlier and could walk to the very end before the sun went down. Next time we will!

Kristina Nikole
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarThu Dec 27 2018
Hiking
VERONICA BARO
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Dec 09 2018
Hiking

Beautiful drive up to trail. Perfect weather for a December hike up Bear Canyon Loop with pleanty of parking at the San Juan Trail across from the candy store you will see trail head. At the beginning of the trail recommend that you sign in & out of the book book. It rained a few days prior I recommend you wait a few days after a rain. Very minimal mudd on the trail. Enjoy this is a good one!  We started about 11am to beat the cold. Mostly up hill and has some nice view nice and greenery. More cooler areas as you get some elevation. I would rate it as slightly above moderate. Incline was manageable at a nice relaxed pace. Some narrow rocky areas, but generally maintained & easy to follow. Some strenuous narrow areas. I would have liked to see more written trail markers.  Take a map & mark you trail up it is easy the vere off recommend trail. Take pleanty of water & snacks.  Some very rutted trails. Amazing workout. Moderately trafficked hike. It actually locked in to 10mile hike down to Tenaja Tuck Trail is generally flat mostly down hill on the way down to Ortega Hwy. Careful on taking this route it will end up, to hwy with minimal trail back to parking area. Wasn't our initial plan. I recommend you stay on trail. With an experienced hiker to navigate your way down. Trail head is best, cause you run into some some private property areas.  This is a hike I will do again. A fun hike with scenic views!

Trent Revic
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Dec 04 2018
Hiking

A great hike with some nice views, it actually clocks in at 7miles round trip. Advice: Hike in the morning to avoid the heat (88F on our hike), Sign into the book at the start of the trail and sign off on coming down, bring 1.5L water per person, be sure to take Bear Ridge trail back, has the best views!

Ryan Klumper
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Aug 05 2018
Hiking

Nice and easy trail. My wife, me, & dog Bernie started at 7am and had the place to ourselves. We did the ridge first and took the canyon back. Not a super exciting trail but if you’re looking to get out into nature this is a good hike. Enjoy.

Ric Chadd
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Jun 02 2018
Hiking

Nice trail, but do it early.

Maria Paz Salas
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Apr 14 2018
Hiking

I would wear more sturdy shoes as the rocks were taxing AND the trail was beautiful. provided for a great work out! sooo quiet for the most part. would have liked more written on trail markers than"stay on trail".

David Wheelock
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Jan 20 2018
Hiking

Nice trail on a cool day. According to Strava, the distance was 7.1 mi, so a bit longer than what AllTrails claims.

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