Main Divide Road Professional Review and Guide
"Main Divide Road travels along the ridge tops of the Santa Ana Mountains within Cleveland National Forest. The trail leaves Ortega Highway and immediately starts to climb steadily, passing Blue Jay USFS Campground. This is the only campground along the trail. The ridge top trail means there are no suitable campsites along the way, so Blue Jay is the best place for campers. The trail climbs steadily through the low shrub vegetation of manzanita and sugarbush toward the first of the peaks along the way—Trabuco Peak. Although narrow for much of its length, the trail is mainly easygoing. Some of the climbs are rough with a loose, uneven surface, but they are suitable for any stock high-clearance 4WD. The trail follows along a shelf road for most of its length, and there are sufficient passing places. There are many small alternate trails that crisscross the main route. These have not been mentioned in the route directions unless they are likely to confuse the navigator. Special Attractions: Long ridge top trail that makes an easy day trip from Los Angeles and San Diego; Access to many hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding trails; Highest point in Orange County—Santiago Peak (5,687 feet). High-clearance 4WDs are preferred, but any high-clearance vehicle is acceptable. Expect a rough road surface; mud and sand are possible but will be easily passable. You may encounter rocks up to 6 inches in diameter, a loose road surface, and shelf roads, though these will be wide enough for passing or will have adequate pull-offs."