Explore the most popular trails near San Juan Capistrano with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.




wild flowers


nature trips

mountain biking

trail running


kid friendly

no dogs

horseback riding


San Juan Capistrano, California Map

Well marked trail and great views! I took my dog and really enjoyed it. My only complaint is the courtesy of the cyclists on this trail. It seemed like every five minutes I have to find a spot to wait off the trail for a herd of bikers to pass. It took away from the overall experience, but I’m sure during the week this trail would be deserted.

Nice trail, easy to navigate. If you are hiking, watch out for the bicyclists.

nice short hike. great signs and well maintained trail. definitely a moderate not a hard hike

2 months ago

Hiked out of Blue Jay campground.

The trail stats by the Trabuco Golf Club which is the only nice part of the trail. Otherwise is boring with no shade.

fav spot to take my dog

Hiked this loop trail in pleasant 85F weather on a Monday afternoon. As a result, I didn't encounter another soul which was a pleasant surprise. The trail is rated by AllTrails as difficult but I think moderate is more accurate. There is a fairly steep climb on Oso Trail but not too difficult. You are rewarded with some nice views over the park from up there, especially back toward Santiago and Modjeska peaks in the distance.

Be sure to bring enough water/sunscreen and wear a hat. You are exposed to the sun for significant portions of this hike. There are a few places with loose rocks and/or sand where footing can be tricky. Hiking boots are recommended. Overall, this was a very pleasant hike where you can work up a sweat and get your heart beating a bit.

It was nice but I prefer my views to not be primarily neighborhoods. There's a nice ocean view at the top of Patriots trail where there's a flagpole and a mailbox with a notebook you can sign so that was fun. But a little too suburban for me.
Also, the map did NOT take us to the trailhead. Instead it took us to a blocked off fenced area that had no access. Instead we had to continue on El Novio (I think that's the name) and then turned left on via cerre rebal and found our way to the trail listed.

Park in the first day use lot you come across on your right side. Cost is $5 to enter the park. The trail map is pretty handy. Plenty of butterflies, grasshoppers, beetles, and lizards on this hike. Right now the yucca blooms are impressive.

9 months ago

Gorgeous setting, smooth paths, great hills! Wildflowers in spring with sprawling ocean views. Really perfect!

9 months ago

Super fun! Did a few of the lookout points, ending with the 2nd of the Patriot Trail loops and the Flagpole point.

Beautiful wildflowers, green hillsides, water in the creek!

10 months ago

Beautiful trail! Our group made it to the flag pole on the Patriot Trail, turned around and backtracked so well could stay in the hills instead of walking through the neighborhoods. Took 2 hours. 6 miles

Saturday, November 12, 2016

This trail was a tough and beautiful climb. I would not recommend taking San Juan Creek trail back. San Juan Creek trail is next to the highway, so it is very noisy.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Most of this trail is exposed so go early in the morning or during cooler seasons. Also part of the lower loop is closed due to deadfall.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Really tough climb, but well worth it for the amazing views from the top. The climb once at the Oso trail is pretty steep. Gotta be in good shape to complete this hike.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

I could not find the Patriot Trail. Instead took the Cerro Rebal Trail to Via Cerro Rebal and back to LA Novia Ave. But this trail is beautiful and presents itself with some awesome ocean views.

cross country skiing
Tuesday, April 12, 2016


Monday, April 11, 2016

Initial ascent from Upper Hot Springs Road to Sugarloaf Peak, last part was a hidden bush scramble to the top but well worth it (even in the pouring rain).

mountain biking
Thursday, April 07, 2016

shuttled it and started at the top. first five miles is two-thirds uphill, and treacherous at times. Overall not recommended for beginners but superfun all around. mostly all downhill after Cocktail Rock, five mile point. Only 7 miles down to the parking area at the Lazy W Ranch. 12 miles total.

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