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9.36 miles

Elevation Gain

2011 ft

Route Type



Added by Nate Truax

Sitton Peak offers unexpected solitude and amazing views of Orange County - sometimes Catalina on a clear day. For this trail, there is free wilderness entry and post-hike food at the trailhead.

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

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