Area Status: Open

Los Pinos Trail

Elevation Gain

3300 ft


8.2 miles one way/or 4.5 roundtrip to Los Pinos Peak

Pets Allowed




Hike Time

2.5 to 8 hours



Best Seasons

Winter, Spring (cooler months)


Upper trailhead: off North Main Divide Rd (dirt road) north of Blue Jay Campground. Park at the teal posts. Lower Trailhead: Lazy W. Ranch (private property)Hot Spring Canyon Rd. Lake Elsinore

Ranger District

Trabuco Ranger District - (951) 736-1811

The Los Pinos Trail is one of the more challenging in the Trabuco District, with a 3300 foot elevation gain, this 8-mile one way trek (or 4 miles roundtrip to the peak) provides ample opportunity to sitesee while getting in some great calf-busting exercise. Although it is located a short 6 miles from the main Hwy 74, its rural location and difficult access make this trail less frequented, enhancing the tranquility and providing a truly unique outdoor experience. At the peak, elevation reaches 4200 and provides sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean, Catalina Island to the west, and Mt. San Antonio (Mt. Baldy), Mt. San Gregonio, and Mt. San Jacinto and to the east (the 3 highest peaks in Southern California). Popular with bikers, this trail is also open to adventurous hikers looking to train for the larger mountains, or horses in search of a quiet outing. The trail can be done in its entirety (16.4 miles) or by "schuttling" where one vehicle is parked on both ends and only half the trail is hiked. The best seasons are during the cooler months, as shade is scarce. 

At a Glance

Fees: No Fee
Permit Info: Need Lazy W Ranch property owners' permission to finish/start on Los Piños Trailhead.
Operated By: Forest Service

General Information


The lower trailhead is in Hot Spring Canyon 1.5 miles beyond the San Juan Fire Station off the Ortega Highway (Hwy. 74) on the Lazy W Ranch private property. Please contact them to obtain permission to park on their property. The upper trailhead does not require permission for parking and is located on Forest Service property. To get there from Orange/Riverside County take I-5 to Ortega Highway (Hwy 74) and travel west to Lake Elsinore. Turn left onto Main Divide Road (2.3 miles past the Candy Store) towards Blue Jay Campground and follow for 4 miles. You will reach a junction with a dirt road branching off to the left (see photos below). You may park here and walk up North Main Divide or drive upwards (walking it will add a mile to the journey). The trail is very rocky and 4-wheel drive is reccomended. Once you reach the teal posts park and begin walking. The Los Pinos Trail snakes off to the right a little ways below the posts. There are 2 trail options (not including the continuation of the North Main Divide Truck Trail), taking the trail downwards will lead to the Trabuco Canyon Trail, taking the trail upwards will lead to the Los Pinos.


Related Information

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


  Area/Length : 
9.0 miles

  Elevation :