Ortega Oaks Candy Store located just off of Ortega Highway. A Forest Adventure Pass is needed to park at the San Juan Loop Trailhead. An Adventure Pass can be purchased across the street at the Ortega Oaks Candy Store.
The San Juan Loop Trail is a 2.2 mile loop with a 350 foot elevation gain. The hiking trail is well maintained and on weekends there are always other hikers out enjoying this hiking trail in the Cleveland National Forest. This trail goes through riparian habitat and is a great place to visit anytime after it rains in Southern California. Portions of the trail are exposed with little shade. However when near the San Juan Creek bed there are plenty of Coastal Oak trees to provide shade for hikers. There are two beautiful waterfalls on this hike between Orange County and Riverside County. The two waterfalls on this hike are about 5 minutes away from the north trailhead. The San Juan Loop Trail is a perfect hike to do with the whole family as it is not to strenuous.
The San Juan Loop Trail is about 2.2 miles long and is a great excursion in the Cleveland National Forest for those who can only get away for a short period of time. You can make this Orange County hike longer if you would like by exploring the Chaquito Trail which intersects the San Juan Loop Trail. The San Juan Loop Trail is perfect hike for beginning hikers and is additionally enjoyable for any seasoned hiker as well. Always be on the look out for wildlife visiting the San Juan Creek for water, you are out hiking the San Juan Loop Trail.
Another benefit of this hike is the close proximity to the Ortega Oaks Candy Store off of Ortega Highway. Ashley and I have always have enjoyed a little snack whenever we do a hike in this area around the Ortega Oaks Candy Store. Normally there are a lot of hikers (particularly families) on the San Juan Loop Trail, especially on the weekends, because of its short distance. The views the trail offers are amazing. You get great views of the Santa Ana Mountains and the valley the San Juan Creek has carved into the mountain. This is a great little hike especially when there is enough water to enjoy the two waterfalls. Bottom-line is the San Juan Loop Trail makes for some great hiking in Orange County and Riverside County.
Rating: Elevation Gain 350 ft. (Easy), Distance: 2.2 Miles Roundtrip (Easy).
Time to Complete Hike: 1 - 2 hours.
MORE TRAIL WRITE-UPS ON THE SAN JUAN LOOP TRAIL
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