Bear Canyon Loop Trail to Pigeon Spring

MODERATE 112 reviews
#10 of 104 trails in

Bear Canyon Loop Trail to Pigeon Spring is a 6.4 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.

6.4 miles
1095 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.)

3 days 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.

4 days ago

11 days 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.

1 month 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

4 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.

7 months ago

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

8 months ago

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.

8 months ago

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!

9 months ago

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.

9 months ago

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.

9 months ago

Nice because it's close.

trail running
9 months ago

It's good for trail running.

10 months ago

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!

10 months ago

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

11 months ago

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.

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