San Juan Trail is a hiking, biking, and horse trail in Orange County, California. It is within Cleveland National Forest. It is 13.3 miles long and begins at 817 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 22.7 miles with a total elevation gain of 8,265 feet. Along the trail there are parkings. The trail ends near Sugarloaf Peak.
San Juan Trail Professional Reviews and Guides
"The San Juan Trail truly is one of the finest stretches of singletrack in SoCal. The trail boasts every feature of an ideal two-wheeled romp, including technical rock gardens, steep bomb runs, kickers, and fast-banked turns, with the picturesque panorama of the Santa Ana Mountains in the Cleveland National Forest as an exquisite backdrop. Switchbacks form the defining characteristic of this playground: more are found on this 8.7-mile stretch than in any other locale—I lost count after ten in the first mile of ascent. Although this ride is recommended as a shuttle run, it is probably best enjoyed ridden up and then down. The throbbing pain in your legs and lungs is hard to notice when there is so much to see and so many obstacles to negotiate. If your bike was built for anything other than downhill duty and you’ve got the time, please abort the shuttling mission. Better yet, ride the whole thing and then shuttle it, because afterward you’ll surely want another slice of downhill indulgence."
--Charles Patterson, Mountain Bike! Los Angeles County (Menasha Ridge Press).
"Explore San Juan Creek, Canyon and even a seasonal waterfall for this easy-to-access trail just off Ortega Highway. An excellent leg-stretcher for Highway 74 road warriors, this trail offers a fine introduction to the pleasures of the Santa Ana Mountains and Cleveland National Forest. Spring is a fine time to take this hike. Wildflowers blossom on canyon slopes, the creek bubbles along and the falls cascade at full force. Kids (and adults, too) like to cool off in the creek’s pools. If this hike isn’t long enough for you, head up the Chiquito Trail for a few miles."
--John McKinney, Orange County: A Day Hiker's Guide (The Trailmaster).
"Undoubtedly, Orange County's premier singletrack, the San Juan Trail is pure fun. It is the fastest of all the regional National Forest trails but still packed full of challenging obstacles. Be careful: more than a few people have had to be rescued on this trail. While advanced riders ride up and down the singletrack, intermediate riders may want to arrange a shuttle."
--Delaine Fragnoli & Don Douglass, Mountain Biking Southern California's Best 100 Trails (Fine Edge Productions).
"The directions are simple: follow the San Juan Trail to Cocktail Rock and return. The outbound ride runs almost completely uphill. You won’t reach a trail fork until you reach Cocktail Rock. The return trip is a hoot, an adrenaline rush, a great test of your biking skills, and definitely worth the climb."
--David Womack, Mountain Bike! Orange County (Menasha Ridge Press).
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