Trabuco Creek Road [CLOSED]

MODERATE 71 reviews
#136 of 161 trails in

Trabuco Creek Road [CLOSED] is a 10.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Trabuco Canyon, California that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 10.7 miles Elevation Gain: 961 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly


mountain biking

nature trips

bird watching

ohv / off road driving






Note: Trail is CLOSED indefinitely due to the Holy Fire. Please check with the park page for more information and updates. You can find more information here:

ohv/off road driving
6 months ago

11 months ago

Just correcting some errors in information about the Holy Fire. First, Trabuco Creek Road starts out as hard pack gravel until the National Forest border. Then it continues as a combination of dirt with paved creek crossings (and a single bridge) that ends at the Holy Jim parking lot. There the canyon splits - with Holy Jim to the left and Trabuco Canyon to the right. The creek road up Trabuco Canyon from the parking lot is for all intents and purposes gone after the recent rains. The combination of fire damage, debris flow and landslide has more or less wiped the canyon clean. There is a low probability of the forest service rebuilding the road since there is no need now that the cabins are all gone. I expect the hiking/bike/equestrian trail will eventually be cleaned up and reopened. Holy Jim Canyon, on the other hand, was not impacted by the Holy Fire. There has been recent flooding due to rain, and the road from the Forest border to the parking lot has been washed out in several places, but Holy Jim, the Holy Jim cabins, and the Holy Jim road and trail remain. The Forest Service has officially announced that they will re-assess access in September, 2019... but much work will need to be done before then.

11 months ago

I haven’t been since it’s been paved as people reported. I have been several times over the past couple years for mudding fun and then tried my skills on some of the offshoots which taught me a lot about 4low and how awesome my lockers are. Sad to hear it’s demise...

Fri Nov 23 2018

One star due to recent fire damage & access issues. The "Holy Fire" burned the entire canyon. USFS has closed Trabuco & Holy Jim canyons for the next 2-3 years.

Thu Nov 08 2018

used to he a great trail where I popped my off-roading cherry in high school. perfect since it was in Orange County, but now its paved and there's warnings about leaving the trail. unless you're hiking, this trail is just about dead.

ohv/off road driving
Thu Oct 04 2018

they recently paved the trail and the end is a fire hazard so the gate is closed. they also added signs stating that you are not allowed to go off course so basically you are forced to drive on the pavement. used to be my favorite trail but now it is just a normal road with a speed limit of 25

ohv/off road driving
Sun Sep 16 2018

I'm new to the off-roading world, and we came here around 6pm on a Saturday... It looked like a great place for a little drive, but the gates were closed and said it was closed due to "fire hazard"

ohv/off road driving
Fri Aug 17 2018

A nice drive, with an emphasis on “drive”. If you’re looking for a nice drive with okay scenery then look no further. If you’re hoping to off-road, there are offshoots (one of which is Holy Jim). Other than that, this is definitely an easy to moderate trail.

Sun Apr 15 2018

Not even a trail. This is a rocky road that no car less than a Jeep should travel down. Don’t waste your time unless your looking for dirt bike trails.

Mon Feb 12 2018

I would not hike this trail from the beginning. I would suggest driving to the end, park and hike where cars cannot go. It was a little busy and dusty today (Sunday).

ohv/off road driving
Tue Feb 06 2018

Very easy, very cool. Traffic was moderate, and everyone very friendly and courteous. Had a blast, and what a rush to drive out and hit the smooth flying on the canyon roads after. Good stuff!

ohv/off road driving
Mon Dec 11 2017

Did a day and night run last weekend (12/3/17) in a stock 1997 Subaru Impreza Outback Sport. Although bumpy as heck, the majority of the trail was quite mild and very accessible to 2wd and factory height cars as we saw a Toyota Prius, Mini Cooper and Infiniti G35 Sedan among the trails as well! There are several "side quests/challenges" that would serve some 4x4 fun along with Holy Jim trail, but not so sure our little Subie could tackle it without a lift and some good rubber! Great trail for beginners and relaxed trail cruising!

Thu Oct 05 2017

Long, relatively boring hike to the trailhead for the Holy Jim trail. Be prepared that people in vehicles will be blowing by, driving to the trailhead.

ohv/off road driving
Tue Oct 03 2017

This is a road that a prius could easily travel down. There are very short side trails covered in trash weaving back and forth from the main road to the other side of the river bed. But they are all 2wd accessible..

ohv/off road driving
Mon Aug 28 2017

simple dirt road, good for an outing if you live close by. watch out for enduro riders and vehicles going way way too fast. Before the Cleveland forest part there is an area of short trails that are more challenging good place to practice.

ohv/off road driving
Mon Jul 31 2017

Drove in my BMW and I never seen so many jeep drivers turn their head all in one direction...

ohv/off road driving
Fri May 26 2017

Is this trail only for street legal vehicles or OHV (Green or Red sticker) are also allowed?

Fri Feb 17 2017

this trail is bad ass the first mile is all dirt there's some cool bumps of dirt and little hills for off road cars and trucks after that one mile you enter a Forest so beautiful you park your car and start walking alone the creek till the trail stops !!! awesome

Thu Feb 02 2017

can someone tell me if this place lets you off road now

Sat Dec 24 2016

Just an FYI for anyone who doesn't follow the Trabuco Ranger District closure page. This road is now limited to residents only due to several severe mud slides yesterday that took the road out and buried several cars. According to the TRS (Trabuco ranger station) this road will be closed until further notice and access to Holy Jim/ Horsethief Canyon will be limited to North Main Divide road (which is also closed for the winter) so as of now, Holy Jim is inaccessible from either direction.

Mon Dec 12 2016

The ACTUAL Trabuco Canyon Trail is gorgeous. The track that is depicted here is for Trabuco Creek Road, the horrible road to the trail head. Literally. The end of this road/track is the trail head. Then take the trail 1.7 miles where it splits. Trabuco Canyon Trail is to the right, Horsethief trail to your left. if doing the loop, go UP Horsetheif and down Trabuco. Horsethief has a lot of sun exposure, no shade, steep and lots of loose rock (sketchy on way down). Trabuco Canyon trail is primarily under the gorgeous trees, although some exposure. Seriously, this track should be removed. it is not helpful to anyone.

Sat Dec 10 2016

I wouldn't consider this a hiking trail by any means. There is nothing natural about this trail. You hike along inaccessible private property, share a dusty road with off road vehicles, not forgetting to mention trash on the side of the road. Pictures are deceptive because they don't represent what the hike actually is. This trail should be closed to hikers because it's somewhat dangerous, off-road vehicles to watch for as well as the sheer amount of dust you will inhale.

Sat Oct 22 2016

I cant believe people call this a trail. its a gravel dirt rd with people flying past you. your eating dust the whole time. I dont even want to give it 1 star. they took the photo from CO or something because this is not what it looks like.

Fri Sep 09 2016

Couldn't go all the way since it was closed due to recently fire.

Sat Jul 09 2016

The biggest problem with this hike was the constant dirt, dust, and debris we had to breath in due to sharing the dirt path with vehicles. Also, we went during the first weekend of July and were caught by a storm of mosquitos and gnats from the dried up river. Although we couldn't find restrooms, I rated this hike four stars because parking was free and there was a flying school you could watch as you hike down the road. Furthermore, the scenery was very picturesque and beautiful.

Fri May 13 2016

Beautiful trail, hiked it to Trabuco Peak. Definitely not an "easy" trail as marked in this app.

Sat Feb 20 2016

This is a nice local hike. When hiking, you share a dirt/unpaved road with mountain bikers and cars. It's beautiful since there's a stream that leads to a waterfall towards the end of the trail to make it worthwhile. The hike has minimal shading so make sure you bring a good hat to block the sun from your face. The only downside of this trail is that you share the road with cars... There were a lot of pre-runners and vehicles that kicked up a lot of dust. In my case, I had a truck passed me at high speeds next to me, kicking up rocks and dust towards me--not pleasant in my opinion. All in all, I will definitely do this again soon... From my experience, I just recommend bringing a handkerchief or mask to cover your face from dust/douchebags.

Sun Jan 31 2016

It was moderate. My dogs were all over the smells a few bikes today it definitely wanted to poor rain but thank hid it didn't. The drive up n back takes for ever and why oh God why are Saturday drivers on the 5&405 so sloowwww

mountain biking
Sun Nov 22 2015

Great, many Access very long and hard to get lost even at night

Wed Aug 26 2015

A very moderate trail. A good workout for your legs and cardio. I recommend it.

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