Bear Canyon Loop Trail to Pigeon Spring

MODERATE 128 reviews

Bear Canyon Loop Trail to Pigeon Spring is a 6.1 mile moderately 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.

6.1 miles
1,112 feet

dogs on leash



horseback riding

nature trips

trail running





wild flowers



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.)

1 month ago

Nice trail, but do it early.

3 months ago

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".

5 months ago

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

6 months ago

Very green vegetation, beautiful trees and interesting rocks. It rained earlier this week and there were areas that were a bit muddy. Elevation gain at beginning of hike.

6 months ago

6 months ago

Good hike! Trail is a little narrow in places. Dogs should be well leash trained for faster easier hike. My puppy is good, but still a little zigzaggy making it difficult at times! Our actual mileage to 4 Corners and back was 6.5 miles.

7 months ago

The walk back is the best bit. The ridge trail back is generally flat/ downhill and with great views so worth the extra length.

The candy store is nice and sells the parking permits ( cash only)

Nice and green walk ( November when we went) and the trail is well maintained and very easy to follow

Downside is that going out to the 4 corners turnaround is gently uphill all the way without much of a view

10 months ago

From the highway its a steady two mile climb approx - though not strenuous - then an easy walk onto four corners. Not much of interest so far but your reward is the 1.5 mile stroll along the reverse side of the loop with its spectacular views. Duration of 3 hours taking it easy - start early to avoid the midday heat. Met only one trail runner and hiker otherwise deserted.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Wonderful hike... just a lot of horseflies!!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Stay on Bear Ridge!!! You do cross a small stream before coming to Bear Ridge turn-off. Took Bear Ridge out to 4 Corners and came back on Bear Canyon. The views from Bear Ridge are awesome. It was a windy day but the breeze felt really good under the sun. Bear Canyon not so much fun. A very rutted trail, appears to be more of a dry stream bed then an actual trail in spots. No breeze because your down in the canyon. The best I could see is that Pigeon Springs is a cinder block enclosure with a locked top. Did not see any flowing water in the canyon. If I do this hike again I am going to just use the Ridge trail. Got there early enough where there was plenty of parking but be aware that the parking lot will fill up later in the morning.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

This was a great, moderate trail. Mostly uphill for the first half and then a nice downhill going back. It was not a steep incline but was steady and manageable. Nice mix of shade and sun, lots of different terrain and foliage. Lots of rocks, wear appropriate shoes. We arrived at 8am on a Saturday, parking lot was pretty full already and expected to have a lot of company on the trail but it was surprisingly quiet. Bathroom is gross, but at least there is one. Very easy trail to navigate, well marked. Saw a couple horses on the trail, lots of various kinds of animal poop, huge lizards, a couple bunnies and a very small stream. Would be good for dogs although we didn't see any. Lots of bugs in some areas.
Many options to extend the hike when you arrive at 4 corners. Great workout for a casual hiker, I would go back for sure. Candy store at the parking lot too! Yum! Have fun!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

went last week for a picnic. nice trail, not too steep, some people but not terrible. Lots of flowers, which is nice, but with the flowers came LOTS of bees/flies.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

This was an amazing trail!. The incline was definitely manageable. Would say you could finish it in around 2 hours is a going at a nice and relaxed pace. There was pretty much a view at every turn which was great. Not to mention, the drive to get there is fairly nice as well.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Nice because it's close.

trail running
Monday, April 03, 2017

It's good for trail running.

Friday, March 17, 2017

A good quick training hike. Sitton Peak is not too far and worth the extra distance. I saw a baby rattle snake, oh, and bring bug spray...the streams and standing water have the gnats out!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Good ascents, great when its green, dog friendly. Views and wildlife a plus.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

This was a great hike. It was a great incline for the first half and then you get to relax on the second half. There are some nice views at the top. It was nice and green and not too many people on the trail.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

good trail

Saturday, January 07, 2017

this trail is listed as moderate, but I'm gonna say its above moderate. its a beautiful hike with fantastic scenery. trails are clearly marked. you will need a usf parking pass. they do come thru the lot and ticket.

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Great trail, easy path to follow, great and challenging for kids. Would do again.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Nice hike. Extremely well marked trails. Very enjoyable.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Kinda boring. Good walk especially as dog friendly.

Sunday, September 04, 2016

Great hike with scenic views. We only did 3 miles but will be back and maybe make it to the peak

Monday, July 18, 2016

Nice hike. Not difficult. Do the loop to 4 Corners and back to parking and it's about 7 miles total.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Great hike!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

The Bear Canyon Loop was a great trail! We spotted a horney toad on the trail! Definitely rocky so beware. Hiking poles are a good idea. We did the entire loop, I believe it was a little over 6 miles; 3.2 to 4 corners and 3.6 back to Ortega.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Great hike, the view from Sitton Peak is amazing. The trail was pretty moderate until the last park of the hike to Sitton Peak, that park is pretty intense but well worth it.

Monday, May 09, 2016

Good hike. This trail is listed as 6.4 miles, but I recorded it as 7.0 mi. We didn't go to the peak today since it was our first 6+ mi hike with our 13month old. Slight uphill climb pretty much the whole way to four corners. Mostly sand/dirt trail with the occasional patches of rocks. Trail was well maintained and clean. Ran into on party of hikers who reported sighting a rattlesnake in vicinity (within 0.25 mi) of four corners.

And the best part? We hiked at 1:00pm on a Sunday and only ran into three hiking parties the whole time!!! Definitely hitting this trail up again.

2750 mL of water was a good amount spilt between two adults, one toddler, and one German Shepherd.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Great, not so tough hike, with an awesome payoff peak. I have full hike info and turn by turn directions on HikingGuy dot Com.

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