Sitton Peak Day Hike!
Monday - May 29, 2023 - 8:30 AM
Via Bear Ridge Trail and Bear Canyon Trail
Meeting Place: Trailhead near the Candy Store.
Details: Moderate+ – 10.0 miles – 2100 ft gain/loss –
In Orange County there are so many awesome hiking options that are often overlooked. The Bear Canyon and Bear Ridge Trails (we will take one trail to the peak and return via the other trail) to Sitton Peak Trail in the San Mateo Wilderness is one of those.
Sitton tops out at 3,273 feet and it is a 5 mile hike to the summit from the Bear Canyon Wilderness Trailhead. We will meet in the parking lot across the street from the Ortega Oaks Candy Store (which has amazing post hike sandwiches by the way). You will need an Adventure Pass National Park Pass displayed on your vehicle.
Pictured above: While there are trails labeled 'Bear'; be aware of the dinosaurs as Rob can testify!!!
You will see beautiful views of the seldom visited San Mateo Wilderness.
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.
This is the 10 mile out-and-back hike with a mini-loop via the Bear Canyon Trail and the Bear Ridge Trail.
Getting to the Trailhead:
The trail head is off the Ortega Highway (74):
Parking is in the lot on the other side of
the highway from the Candy Store (Yes, there really is a
candy store on the Ortego Highway, out in the middle of the
From Lake Elsinore Center, the parking lot is
13.8 miles on the right side of the road. From San Juan
Capistrano, it is 19.7 miles. Click here for a map.
A National Forest Adventure PassCllick
Click here for locations that sell this pass.
The America the Beautiful — The National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands Pass covers all:
National Wildlife Refuges
Bureau of Land Management sites
Bureau of Reclamation sites
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers sites
What to Bring:
You should bring your ten essentials (Click here for the list.), a day pack, water (2 to 3 liters), trekking poles, sunscreen, hat, trail snacks, lunch, and plan on wearing hiking boots or shoes (preferably waterproof).
Carpooling is recommended to help reduce gas cost and parking.
There is NO FEE for this trip.
Lance Whitmier will be leading this hike.
He can be reached at: President-OCLB@GreatOutdoors.org
" The first time I went to Sitton Peak, I was on a solo hike. Awesome trail, and for the most part I only saw 4 other hikers during my trek and this was on a Sunday! The trail has rolling hills, but it is the last 1/4 mile that upgrades this hike to a moderate +. It is a minor workout getting to the top, but well worth the effort with spectacular views!"