3S04 - Main Divide South - Santiago Peak (aka Saddleback Mountain)

full-preview Icon
4.1/5 (33 reviews)
Lake Elsinore, California (Orange County)
Last Updated: 08/15/2023
Trail Types
Scout Route
Full Trail Guide

Preview Trail Icon
Preview Trails
easy
moderate
difficult
severe
extreme

Limited Trail Icon
Upgrade to Unlock
Limited Access/All-Access
Scout Route
Start a 7-day Free Trial

Trail Information

Highlights

Altitude Category Icon Altitude
Desert Category Icon Desert
Forest Category Icon Forest
Mud Category Icon Mud
Rock Category Icon Rock
Sand Category Icon Sand

The trail is currently closed due to the Holy Fire. This can last years, so please plan accordingly. This local overland getaway is a great goto for people that live in Orange County and Riverside area. The trails are not known for a challenge but for the amazing views of all of Orange, Los Angeles, and Riverside County. On top of that, there are many great spots to stop which are perfect to relax and get away from the hectic city life.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

The trail is currently closed due to the Holy Fire. This can last years, so please plan accordingly. When traveling to Santiago Peak (Saddleback Mountain) expect a very bumpy trail with lots of articulation spots. The trail has many small to medium rocks and holes scattered throughout the trail. In some spots these rocks are up to 6 inches sticking out of the ground while the articulation spots may require you to undo your sway bars to make it up the hills. All the play areas have been closed over the last few years leaving only the trail.

Trail Reviews

4.1/5 (33)
Open
Rated 4/5
Visited: 12/09/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Joined this trail from Indian Truck Trail at waypoint #2. It’s a relatively narrow dirt road with a decent amount of loose rock. Most anything with a little bit of clearance and 2wd can do it when conditions are dry. Would get much more difficult with rain or snow (Yes, the peak does get snow occasionally). Plenty of places where people can pass. The areas around the cell and microwave towers on Santiago Peak can be tricky and some may require 4wd and/or clearance for short distances but there’s always a work around.
Open
Visited: 12/01/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Ran this last Friday night. Went up Maple Springs to the top off Saddleback and down Main Divide South. The highway had a closure for road work. We were diverted to the 15 fwy instead of toward south Orange County.
User Avatar
Official Crew
inline-aa Icon
139000
Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 08/15/2023

Getting reports that the trail is fully open now.
Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 08/08/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Took this from the saddle at the top of Indian Truck Trail. There was a small fire at the top because some dumb kids decided it was smart to play with fireworks the night before. So the fire crew was up at the towers with all of there hoses run out. The fire burnt a few acres right below the tower complex. However, with all that I went from Tom’s Farms to the Silverado Canyon trailhead for Maple Springs in just at 2 hours. Just needed a midweek Segway and it was nice to be able to go up and over with no traffic and some nice midday sprinkles at the time.
Trail Review: 3S04 - Main Divide South - Santiago Peak (aka Saddleback Mountain) - Corey Foltz
Trail Review: 3S04 - Main Divide South - Santiago Peak (aka Saddleback Mountain) - Corey Foltz
User Avatar
Official Crew
inline-aa Icon
139000
Partially Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 07/17/2023

The southern part of this trail is open from Indian to Ortega Highway. Just confirmed with the Rangers Office.

From the Community

Start a free trial and get this level of detail on every trail guide
Start Free Trial