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

Pretty long trail with a decent amount of elevation gain. Didn’t make it to the top so plan on taking a few hours to go out and back. Don’t go on a hot day, there’s not a whole lot of shade. Still very pretty.

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.

Nice partially shaded trail! It took less than 2 hours RT and we stopped at the canyon for about 15 minutes. Only disappointing thing is that Red Rock Canyon is the destination, not really part of the trail, so sadly you don't get to walk through the beautiful formations! Parking is $3 at the lot at Portola/Market next to Arco. Where Borrego Canyon Trail ends, make a right towards Mustard Road and you will soon see the markers for Red Rock Canyon trail.

Nice little trail to get away from it all for a few hours.. I plan on going back at night my next time around

awesome trail. love it

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.

Gate was finally open to Santiago peak but there was a mountain bike race so we had to pull over a bunch of times to let the bicycle riders go by...

Great canyon trail with plenty of shade and a beautiful rock formation as the destination. We went on a weekday before work got out, so it wasn’t crowded. I imagine this trail gets very crowded after work and on the weekends though.

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

- 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.

Great trail

Awesome hike! Went with my 10 yo son and we really enjoyed it. The highlights were seeing a rabbit foot and guts hanging from a tree (and imagining how it got there—probably a hawk, but maybe a mountain lion), a woodpecker pecking on a tree, and of course, the red rock canyon which looked like a scene from Star Wars where Sand People would come out of.

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.

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.

This is a pleasant hike with some gentle ups and downs and some really nice views of rolling, grassy meadows.

backpacking
1 month ago

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!

Trail was confusing only because from the turn off from highway 74 (Ortega) about a quarter mile up the road, it drops to what I assume to be 1 lane. Once you’re off cement, and in the dirt the trail, it’s big enough for just 1 vehicle in 1 direction for the most part. That was the confusing part. Absolutely no way could another truck or Jeep be coming down while you were going up (or visa versa) as the room to backup or pull off is completely not feasible to the average off roader. Not on this trail in my opinion.

Luckily, when I reached the end, it seemed to dead end and T off with the left option having a closed gate and the option to go right looked soooo small and not like a truck trail, I had no choice but to turn around and go the way I came. Luckily I was the only vehicle up there cause meeting face to face would have sucked.

The trail and scenery are cool and I would do it again if I knew for sure wtf was going on or how that trail operates but until then, I won’t be going back and suggest that any amateur driver stay clear. You can roll down the side of the mountain at any given time. So I recommend only 4x4’s go up.

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.

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.

TIME
We (two 40 year old adults) were back to Red Rock Canyon and out in 2 hours and 15 minutes.

PARKING
There's a public parking lot at the trail head. Parking costs a couple bucks but an earlier visitor left their no longer being used parking pass on the machine so we parked for free. Not that many spots so lot could fill up easily. Start to the trail is right next to the parking lot. There is a display map and free map flyers at the start.

CELL/MOBILE SERVICE
I had Verizon service the whole time. Was able to check in and record my path.

GEAR
Shoes that can traverse: dirt, rocks, sand stone hills, and beach like sand.

LOOK OUT FOR
Quick moving bikes. Collisions seem easy between walkers and riders.

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY
Path was well established and easy to walk along Borrego Canyon. Red Rock Canyon was more demanding as there was many rock in the path. Disability friendly-ish along Borrego, not Red Rock.

TRAIL FEATURES
Try for late day lighting - better red rock pictures!

Lots of wildlife and wildflowers. I saw Woodpeckers, deers, ducks, and gophers. $3 parking.

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.

great trail. Red Rock canyon is well worth the hike to see

off road driving
1 month ago

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.

mountain biking
1 month ago

One way bike trail, limited paid parking ($3). Trail is very narrow, steep, rocky and sandy at times.

Hard, but worth the views!

Great hike.. incredible views at the end of the trail.
Moderate-intense elevation gain, a little rocky but overall the hike takes 3hrs round with kids, 4.4 miles.

Great trail! Beautiful views at the top!!

off road driving
1 month ago

Went today 3/28/18 and it was closed to off roading due to weather conditions.

off road driving
1 month ago

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

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