Lake Elsinore, California

Hike Sitton Peak

10 Miles Total - 2037 ft gain - Out-and-Back Trail

Originally added by Nate Truax

Unexpected Solitude Amazing views of Orange County - sometimes Catalina on a clear day Free Wilderness Entry Post Hike Food at Trailhead Summit Register with Geocache

It's amazing what you can find in your own backyard if you really do you research. In Orange County there are so many awesome hiking options that are often overlooked. The Bear Canyon to Sitton Peak Trail in the San Mateo Wilderness is one of those. Sitton tops out at 3,273 feet and it's a 5 mile hike to the summit from the Bear Canyon Wilderness Trailhead. To locate the trailhead just get to the Ortega Oaks Candy Store (which has amazing post hike sandwiches by the way) and look south off the main drag . The sign will be sticking out is easy to find. Parking is across the street from the candy store. You will need an adventure pass displayed on your vehicle. Out in these parts of the Cleveland National Forest it can get really hot, especially during the summer season, so bring sunscreen and lots of water. Trekking poles can really help at the last stretch of the trail.

Start off at the trailhead and in about 500 feet you will need to sign the San Mateo Wilderness Register. No fees are required ;). Head up the trail until you get to Four Corners. From there you can see beautiful views of the seldom visited San Mateo Wilderness.

Head to the right at the Sitton Peak sign. The trail will turn to fire road. You'll be on this trail or a while and it will seem abandoned but keep following it anyways until you see a post on the right labeled Sitton Peak. It's easy to miss if you're not paying attention so make sure you keep your ways peeled.

From here it's a scramble up the side of the mountain to get to the peak. It can be overgrown so some mild bushwhacking may be in order, but that's all part of the fun! At the top you'll be rewarded with a full 360 degree view of the Cleveland National Forest and on a clear day out to the ocean toward Catalina. There's a Summit Register with some goodies inside as well. Make sure that if you take one you leave one!

This is the 10 mile out-and-back hike. If you are looking for the 6.4 mile loop, head to this adventure

Read More

Tags

Backpacking
Hiking
Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Food Nearby
Scenic

Reviews

Have you done this adventure? Be the first to leave a review!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

Stay Nearby

Fallbrook, California

Bring Your Tent To This Beautiful Fallbrook Farm

Picturesque mountain and valley views from this 44 acre hidden property with small, active, eucalyptus farm. Live the camping lifestyle out in the natural setting or for a change of pace, visit the...

From $55/night

Fallbrook, California

Glamping In A Spacious Fallbrook Rv

Enjoy picturesque mountain and valley views from the spacious RV located in beautiful Fallbrook, California. Nestled on a 44 acre property with a small, active, eucalyptus farm you can get away fro...

From $125/night

Fallbrook, California

Fallbrook Campsite On Eucalyptus Farm

Picturesque mountain and valley views from this 44 acre hidden property with small, active, eucalyptus farm. Live the camping lifestyle out in the natural setting or for a change of pace, visit the...

From $55/night

Fallbrook, California

Glamping In A Tiny House On A Farm In Fallbrook

Enjoy picturesque views and total relaxation on a small, working Eucalyptus Farm in beautiful Fallbrook, California. Enjoy total privacy and breathtaking northern mountain views, while at the same ...

From $145/night

Nearby Adventures

  • Hike Bear Canyon Trail to Sitton Peak

    A MUST hike for any orange country resident! The hike starts of off Ortega HWY 74 at the Bear Canyon Trail head on the same side of the road as the Ortega oaks candy store. Its recommended you park in the lot across the street from the trail head ...

    6.4 miles 2200 ft gain

  • Hike to Chiquito Falls

    Chiquito Falls is a 9.1 mile loop hike to a. 15 ft waterfall in the San Mateo Canyon Wilderness near Lake Elsinore, CA. Be sure to check this waterfall out after a recent rain.

    9.1 miles 1571 ft gain

  • Photograph Ortega Falls

    This is a must-do if you're traveling on the Ortega Highway near Lake Elsinore, CA. The hike to this waterfall is only 0.3 miles roundtrip. If you time it right, you may get the falls all to yourself. On a hot day, this isn't a bad place to stop o...

  • Ride the San Juan Trail

    The San Juan Trail is located off the Ortega Highway (Hwy 74) in Southern Orange County. It is done frequently as a long, 11 mile climb that is rewarded by an almost continuous descent of 3400ft. The out-and-back trail head is back Hot Spring Cany...

    11 miles 3400 ft gain