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Santiago Peak via Holy Jim Trail and Main Divide Road [CLOSED]

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Cleveland National Forest

Santiago Peak via Holy Jim Trail and Main Divide Road [CLOSED] is a 15.9 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Trabuco Canyon, California that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and mountain biking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 15.9 miles Elevation Gain: 4,163 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash


mountain biking




wild flowers




As of August 2019, this area continues to be closed. Please visit the following link for up-to-date information: Off-road motorized vehicle driving is only allowed on the Main Divide Road portion of this trail. When hiking watch out for vehicles. Adventure Pass required.

Dove canyon, bell view trail. Really pretty vegetation. Lots of people, can get away from houses.

Fri Feb 08 2019

This mountain has overlooked my home for my entire life. The opportunity to finally hike it was beyond amazing. It’s a long hike with many switchbacks, but the peak is worth it. You can see the ocean and Catalina island and then turn around and see the vast California deserts. 10/10

ohv/off road driving
Sat Jan 05 2019

I can't begin to describe the happiness this place gave me and my family. We celebrated fathers day here, 4th of july, Earth Day, we picked up trash here once a week. This is basically our backyard. The views,peace and serenity were amazing and I will cherish the memories made here. I hope that IF this reopens, people will respect the land. I can't tell you how many trash bags we have filled up in the year we decided to pick up trash. The idiots who blast country music and throw their beer bottles/cans with no care do not deserve to come back. They were the trash. I am specifically speaking of Jeep Hill & the fire trail. I don't see those on here.

Mon Jul 02 2018

If you do this hike in the summer, start early, it gets very hot. Best to start by 6 am. Challenging hike but the view at the top is well worth it. Bring plenty of water, I drank almost 4 liters.

Mon Jul 02 2018

Nice tree cover on the earlier sections of the trail. Saw a decent amount of bikers and other hikers passing us in both directions on the trail. View at the top was very nice. Start early because it gets hot!

Sat Jun 30 2018

This was an awesome, but brutal hike!! Bring plenty of water/electrolytes, food/snacks and a bandana for the dust from trucks and motorcycles! I drank plenty of water on the way up but still ended up cramping pretty bad! We hit the trail head at 6:30am and it took us 9 hours! ✔️one off my bucket list! ✌

Tue Jun 26 2018

6/23/18. Brutal hike for me. Make sure to bring a lot of water. Drank 9 bottles round trip. Pack a bandana to cover your mouth from the dust left behind motorbikes and trucks. Enjoyed the first half. Dirt and very demanding the last half, but I am 67, lol. Went slow and it took 9 hours, 41,000+ steps! Hike on a cool day, no shade near the top. Very inspired when we made it.

Sun Jun 03 2018

I liked this hike, with the exception of the sections along Main Divide Road. The motorcyclists wouldn't even slow down when passing, leaving clouds of dust in their wake. The 4 wheeled vehicle operators were a bit more considerate, however through some sections of the road I was walking faster than the vehicle immediately in front of me and had to slow down for them as they maneuvered the rough terrain. I completed this in just under 6 hours.

ohv/off road driving
Sun May 27 2018

Accessible via Indian truck trail from corona and you need a 4wd to make it to the top by the antennas. Views are wonderful.

Sun May 20 2018

Its a beautiful trail but not easy to follow the signs for the peak are missing so we took a 3 mile detour and ended up taking the fire road up to the summit all in all 21 some odd miles. Ouch. Lots of vehicles on the fire roads and they will drive around you rather than giving you right away so be aware.

Sat Apr 28 2018

Nice trail, slow steady incline all the way up. Didnt do the last “loop” once I hit the dirt road on top: there were too many motorcycles on the road and didn’t wanna be inhaling dirt for 4miles. 70% shaded. Nice wild flowers. Great for endurance training. Blessed with Sunny and 65F today but definitely can see lots of water needed on a hot day. Will be back on a weekday to finish the top: hopefully less motorcycles.

Fri Apr 20 2018

My second time doing this trail. Wasn’t able to complete it the first time. But came back and finished today! Great trail with nice views challenging carry plenty of water it’s a little over 16 miles. Do it really early to avoid the heat! Loved it

Mon Apr 16 2018

- Lots of greens and shades in this trail. Well maintained; - Be careful of bikers and motorcyclists !!! Some of them were really aggressive, who never slowed down because of race. - Needs lots of water (at least 3.5 L) and energy bar as well - 4WD recommended and drive slow.

Mon Apr 16 2018

Great trail

Sun Apr 15 2018

Challenging hike for me but pleasant all the same. Couple pieces of advice, most which are mentioned by others. Bring more water than you think you need. I took 3 1/2 liters and ran out with 3 miles to go. Also, when you think you are getting close to the summit you still have a long way to go. You can see the antennas and feel you are 30 min from the peak for half the hike. The road up to the parking lot is bumpy so if you don't have a four wheel drive allow some extra time. Get your adventure pass for parking prior if you can. This hike takes a long time so be aware and don't assume you can shave a couple hours off. I didn't end up getting done til 6:00 so only had another hour of light. Enjoyed the hike even though a mountain bike event was going on so had to pull over for about 50 bikers. Coming back was very pleasant with the afternoon shade and less traffic.

Fri Apr 13 2018

Did this as a training hike with a fully loaded backpack. The road is a PITA cuz it takes a long time to get out there and it can be crowded, but the trail overall is quite lovely. Once you start climbing (after the waterfall trail junction) it gets quieter and the views get better and better. April 2018: there is plenty of water in the lower sections of the trail. When you get to main divide road there is no sign indicating where to go, go Right for about .4 miles and look for some piled rocks on the left side of the road pointing to the trail, it takes a sharp Left and keeps climbing. Bring a headlamp in case you end up hiking after dark like me!

Mon Apr 09 2018

Bring more water then you think you’ll need. My pack ended up being pretty heavy but 7 bottles of water a Gatorade and 3 apple juice boxes proved to not be near enough almost. The road up to the trail can be sketchy, that being said I did trek it in my MINI Cooper and it really wasn’t that bad. More just embarrassing because I almost felt like people were looking at me like, look at this bitch trying to take this road in a MINI but if you go slow, let Jeeps pass and watch for rocks & pot holes in the road you’ll be just fine. General store at the end of the road to the trail had Adventure Passes for sale. The hike to the summit for me wasn’t too bad physically just more mentally challenging. A lot of the hike is shady but be prepaired for some sun as well. Probably about 1/3 of it you might be in the sun for.

Mon Apr 09 2018

Great training hike for our Grand Canyon. Go early. Parts of trail are pretty expsoed and can get warm. A handful of annoying things about the trail...first are all the bikers on the trail. second are the motorcycles and cars the last mile. last is the last mile of the trail is on the road with lots of rocks and exposed for the first half. however at the end there amazing views of OC and the ocean on clear days.

Tue Apr 03 2018

Great trail. Tough to get to sometimes as the dirt road can be in pretty bad condition getting there. Great views with trails that have a variety of surfaces, rock, dirt, sand. Bring a lot water.

ohv/off road driving
Sun Apr 01 2018

Wasn’t really to happy to find that the actual trail doesn’t allow off-roading. But there is some good riding right at the entrance. A lot of rocky ruff terrain, fun though.

ohv/off road driving
Tue Mar 27 2018

It’s a beautiful place for diving and Jeeping . A great way to spend an afternoon hiding out

Mon Mar 26 2018

The trail is beautiful, but the trailhead for the upper Holy Jim trail can be tricky to find. Once you come up to the road (North Main Divide) you make a right on to the road and walk another 1/4 mile south. the trailhead to the upper Holy Jim will be on your left side, marked by an arrow made of rocks on the ground. it's easy to miss!

Sun Mar 18 2018

Beautiful trail and scenery. It’s a bit rocky in some areas and some of the trail was washed out. There are parts where you walk on the fire access road.

Fri Jan 12 2018

Did this trail about 6 years ago. Did not plan well for it, but made it. Took is about 8.5 hours, we came down in the dark. Parts of the trail are unshaded, so wear a hat and sunscreen on hot days. Otherwise, amazing views of Southern California. We could see Catalina, the San Gabriel Range, down to the hills around Hemet and Temecula.

Tue Jan 09 2018

This was the first long hike ever. 20 miles to be exact. We started at 6am and ended at 4pm. We climbed to the towers/ summit ate lunch, and headed back. It was an entire day of hiking and we added an extra 5 miles by going a bit off trail but it was fun. I must say it was very busy at the top. There was a motocross race, a hike/ run, and some sort of jeep off road event all on the same day. Made it interesting though. The views looking toward the west (orange county) were amazing. The mountains just went on and on forever! Very cool to see from the summit. Definitely going back soon!

Tue Jan 02 2018

This was a fun hike! It climbs about 4000 feet, but really most of the trail is long switchbacks, so it’s a slow burn. The summit is not spectacular but getting there is.

Sun Dec 31 2017

Tends to be a bit crowded at times, but a nice hike overall with very nice views.

ohv/off road driving
Tue Dec 26 2017

This is a great trail to do with great scenery and views. Start off early in case all of the trail gates are open so that you have enough time to turn back around. You will need a 4x4 vehicle in some areas. Please don’t liter and help keep these trails clean for everyone’s enjoyment.

ohv/off road driving
Sat Dec 23 2017

This trail is not currently open for off-road driving use. It looks like it has been closed to vehicle traffic for sometime. Just an FYI

Mon Nov 06 2017

amazing views, great hike once you get on the trail. dirt road sucks getting there..3 miles of bumpy bump rocks and gravel

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