Bear Canyon Loop Trail begins across the highway to the right (south) of the Ortega Oaks Candy Store. This popular trail provides opportunities to view many varieties of birds and flowers, oak woodlands, expansive views, interesting geological formations (granite "soft sculptures"), and seasonal flowing water. The trail accesses three primary areas: Four Corners, which is a 6.5-mile round-trip hike, but a worthwhile hike at one or two miles. Pigeon Springs, a popular landmark, is a round-trip hike of approximately 5.5 miles; and Sitton Peak, a 10-mile round trip, is a great all-day hike. Note: A stone trough at Pigeon Springs provides a seasonal water source for horses.
Directions: From Lake Elsinore, CA, Travel southwest on Highway 74 venturing into the mountains, then passing the Visitor Center / Fire Station in El Cariso. Proceed another 3.6 miles on Hwy. 74 to reach the trailhead. Parking is available at the San Juan Loop. (Trailhead is half a mile north of Upper San Juan Campground.)
Elevation: 3,272 feet
Distance: 6.7 miles
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Cleveland National Forest, California
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