Trabuco Creek Road Professional Reviews and Guides
"Trabuco Canyon extends from the Main Divide between Los Piños Peak and Trabuco Peak down the the foothills and flatlands in O’Neill Regional Park. The canyon is a tree-lovers delight with grand old oaks, alders, maple, and even some big-cone Douglas fir. Enjoy a moderate traipse through Trabuco Canyon or opt for a more challenging loop up to Main Divide Road to Horsethief Trail, then a descent back to Trabuco Canyon Trail."
--John McKinney, Orange County: A Day Hiker's Guide (The Trailmaster).
"The 40-mile-long Main Divide Road traverses the crest of the Santa Ana Mountains, from Sierra Peak in the north to the Ortega Highway in the south. From the dirt road are gorgeous vistas of the Santa Ana range, Lake Elsinore, Temecula Valley, and Orange County. This remote loop hike climbs up to the North Main Divide Road between Trabuco Peak and Los Pinos Peak. The hike steadily switchbacks out of the canyon up to the road via the West Horsethief Trail, an early trade route used by the Gabrieleno Indians that connects the inland valleys to the coast. The trail was also used by horse thieves during the Spanish period. After enjoying the far-reaching views from the divide road, the hike returns back into the canyon on the Trabuco Canyon Trail. Trabuco Creek Road—the road to the trailhead—is rough but passable for most vehicles."
--Robert Stone, Day Hikes Around Orange County (Day Hike Books).
"Wide-open views atop the Main Divide (Santa Ana Mountains) and passages through pockets of dense chaparral and timber make this one of the more varied and interesting hikes in this book. Depending on the level of maintenance the trails receive, passages may be overgrown by brush and poison oak. Wear long pants, or at least have them handy in your pack."
--Jerry Schad and David Money Harris, 101 Hikes in Southern California: Exploring Mountains, Seashore and Desert (Wilderness Press).
"Located in the Santa Ana Mountains within the Cleveland National Forest in southern Orange County. Highlights: Technical singletrack that rises from the rocky creekbed to the Los Pinos Saddle. Hazards: Loose shale rock on trail, poison oak, rattlesnakes, and bugs. Forest Adventure Pass required."
--Mark Ross & Brad Fine, Mountain Biking Southern California (Falcon Guides).
"This hike follows the first 1.8 miles of the Trabuco Canyon Trail to the junction with the West Horsethief Trail. The primitive path parallels the north side of Trabuco Creek along the sunny, south canyon slope. Trabuco Creek Road—the road to the trailhead—is rough but passable for most vehicles."
"Unlike Holy Jim Canyon, there is no waterfall on the Trabuco Trail to attract the crowds. But the area is more open and affords better views into the surrounding mountain terrain. The spring wildflower displays along Trabuco Creek are some of the finest in the entire Santa Ana range. Most of the trail is exposed to direct sun, so pick a cooler day for this hike.Although the drive up the dirt Trabuco Creek Road to the trailhead can be bumpy—and is not advisable during a heavy runoff—the hiking in Holy Jim Canyon and the less-traveled Trabuco Canyon exhibits a remoteness and primitive character seldom found on such a short hike."
--Randy Vogel, Best Easy Day Hikes: Orange County (Falcon Guides).
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