Bear Canyon Trail

Cleveland National Forest, California

Elevation Gain1,202ft
Trailhead Elevation1,987ft
Elevation Min/Max1987/2687ft
Elevation Start/End1987/1987ft

Bear Canyon Trail

Bear Canyon Trail is a hiking trail in Riverside County, California. It is within Cleveland National Forest and San Mateo Canyon Wilderness. It is 1.9 miles long and begins at 1,987 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 3.9 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,202 feet. The San Juan Loop and Bear Canyon Trailhead parking is near the trailhead. There are also a scrub, drinking water, a commercial, restrooms, and an information map. Along the trail there are bare rocks and a wood. This trail connects with the following: Bear Ridge Trail, Verdugo Trail and Morgan Trail.

Bear Canyon Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Best Easy Day Hikes: Riverside (Falcon Guides)
Alleen Riedel
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"A spectacular family adventure awaits on this very easy hike to a geologic rarity. The picturesque and idyllic vernal pool teems with life. The Vernal Pool Trail is without a doubt the most visited section of the Santa Rosa Plateau—and with good reason. Not only is it spectacularly beautiful, but it also contains the only example of a basalt-based vernal pool in Southern California. The plateau ridge provides wide-open vistas of the local mountains. The pool itself, when completely full, is stunning surface of the flat plain. These tiny pools of water evntually merged, forming large indentations that would fill up with seasonal rains and then disappear with the dry season— hence the term vernal, from the Latin for “spring.”" Read more
Best Easy Day Hikes: Orange County (Falcon Guides)
Randy Vogel
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"This trail takes you from the busy Ortega Highway corridor into the San Mateo Canyon Wilderness. Incredible vistas of some of the wildest sections of the Santa Ana Mountains are your reward. Despite the relatively short nature of the hike, you very quickly lose all signs of civilization." Read more
"Bear Canyon Trail offers a pleasant introduction to the Santa Ana Mountains. The trail climbs through gentle brush and meadow country, visits Pigeon Springs, and arrives at Four Corners, the intersection of several major hiking trails through the southern Santa Anas. One of these trails takes you to Sitton Peak for splendid, far-reaching views. Along the trail, refreshing Pigeon Springs welcomes hot and dusty hikers to a handsome glen. Bear Ridge Trail offers an alternate return route and a way to make a loop trip out of this jaunt around Bear Canyon." Read more
Day Hikes Around Orange County (Day Hike Books)
Robert Stone
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"This backcountry trail winds through shady stands of ancient oaks and exposed chaparral-covered hillsides at the north end of the wilderness area. The trail passes weather-carved granite, grassy parklands, seasonal streams, and Pigeon Spring, an oak glen with a stone watering trough. Along the way are scenic views of San Juan Canyon, Sitton Peak, Los Pinos Peak, Bear Canyon, and Tenaja Canyon." Read more

Bear Canyon Trail Reviews

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Not the most scenic or most exciting hike, but on a pleasantly cool late Winter or early Spring day, the Bear Canyon-Bear Ridge Loop makes a nice 7 mile hike through an interesting variety of terrain and habitat in the Cleveland National Forest. (Date hiked: March 12, 2011.) Read the full write-up at:

Bear Canyon Trail Photos

Trail Information

Cleveland National Forest
Nearby City
Cleveland National Forest
U.S.G.S. Sitton Peak • Cleveland National Forest map
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Dec 2018