Los Pinos Peak via Bell View Trail

HARD 73 reviews
#34 of 161 trails in

Los Pinos Peak via Bell View Trail is a 13.5 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Trabuco Canyon, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, and mountain biking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 13.5 miles Elevation Gain: 4,274 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

mountain biking

running

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

over grown

rocky

washed out

no shade

This trail goes from Bell View Trail in Rancho Santa Margarita, CA to Los Pinos Peak. It goes along the ridgeline and is a very strenuous 8 miles one way hike to the peak. It is accessible all year round. This trail in pretty unknown to most and is not visible on most maps. It is extremely strenuous and entails going up and down several smaller peaks before ending at Los Pinos Peak. This trail can be either done point to point from Bell View trailhead and end at Blue Jay campground which would be a 12 mile point to point trail or a 17 mile out and back to Los pinos peak and back to the trailhead. The trail is however pretty well maintained and you would not get lost in it as it is pretty overgrown and there is only one way to go. It is recommended to carry a lot of water as it could get pretty hot in the summer months and a large part of the trail is exposed.

hiking
over grown
rocky
scramble
14 hours ago

hiking
6 days ago

We hiked part of this trail, but would like to go back and hike to the peak. Beautiful trail, very steep. I only wish the trails were marked a little better, we had to backtrack a couple Times.

hiking
19 days ago

Did this for the second time in a week. I Hiked exactly 5 miles to the 3640' peak . This is about 1.7 miles from los pinos peak. Turned back due to 50mph winds and snow on the peak. Its still a great trek very steep and narrow.

over grown
26 days ago

Quite the long trail very steep in some sections. Advise at 5.2 miles there is know trail your going to have to make your own . Due to the recent fires everything is dry ,charred, ashy. making it a real tough trek. But the view up top is great.

hiking
1 month ago

Great workout! Make sure to cal Danny Trejo before you do the last third of the hike because you will need a machete

hiking
muddy
over grown
snow
1 month ago

Definitely a hard trail. snow for the last mile and a half. Worth it at the end!

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

Incredibly difficult. I went with 3 bottles of water and a protein shake, long pants and shirt, and boots, and still felt unbelievably unprepared. I had to turn back at mile five because I was worried I was going to run out of water and the song was going to go down. I started this hike at 1 PM. I will redo this hike in the future but starting way earlier in the morning. This is, as many people have described it, a very strenuous hike. I had to get down on my hands and knees for part of it because I did not have poles. In the future I will get hiking poles and hope this helps

hiking
no shade
2 months ago

hiking
bugs
rocky
3 months ago

This is a hard one Serious uphill with loose gravel

hiking
no shade
over grown
rocky
4 months ago

Almost no shade. Lost of loose rocks, rutted and overgrown near top. No parking permit required and there are no restrooms. New flag at Bell Peak Long, hard, hot trail.

running
no shade
off trail
5 months ago

Great trail, very strenuous, hot in summer will need lots of water. Isolated, exposed, fantastic views.

hiking
no shade
over grown
5 months ago

First half was lovely, but then the overgrowth became annoying. I was running with bare legs and no shirt on, so I turned around before reaching the peak, but I met another guy out there who made it to the end. Be mindful of the heat this time of year as it's completely exposed.

This is not something you should try in the full heat of summer. Even on a cloudy day like today, I needed over 2liters of water. Stunning location and challenging hills!

8 months ago

Hiked past the flag, turned it into 5 miles. Very hard, bring poles, water and snacks! My feet hurt.

hiking
closed
no shade
rocky
8 months ago

My wife and I hiked this back in late October 2016 in drizzly cool weather. Due to the poor visibility, we made a navigation error and dropped down the Yaeger Mesa trail. That added another 600 steep vertical feet. As we climbed back up we found the trail split and decided to summit Los Pinos. We knew that would result in us finishing after dark, but we knew the lower section of this trail well. Make sure you take a GPS and download a track. Cell phones generally don't work out here. We also carry Spot for emergency satellite communication. We finished about an hour after sunset in the dark but had good headlamps and trekking poles. It is really unfortunate that the August 2018 Holy Jim Fire affected this trail.

Awesome trail, still had snow along the trail.

hiking
11 months ago

Great hike. Didn’t make it to the peak bc we were competing with sunset. Did about 11 miles and it was a good challenge with great views. Crazy to believes it’s right behind a suburban area. We did see some fresh poop the further we got in that looked similar to a large cat.

Wed Dec 12 2018

Great hike!

hiking
Fri Jun 29 2018

Don't do this in the heat. Wait until cooler weather. Nearly had a heat incident because i also ran out of water (3L). Two rattlesnake encounters. The views at the peak were meh, but I went for the workout anyway. View of the trail is nice towards the peak tho. Edit: This trail and the peak are consumed in the Holy Fire.

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