Main Divide - Middle Section to Saddleback - 3S04

Orange, California (Orange County)

Last Updated: 08/15/2020
4.7 / 5 ( 14 reviews )
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Highlight: Main Divide - Middle Section to Saddleback - 3S04
The keyhole to the highest point in Orange County, Main Divide Trail is known for its close proximity to Central Orange County and amazing views. The trail skirts along the side of the mountains, reaching both peaks of the famous Saddleback Mountain that separates Orange County and Riverside County. While heading up to Modjeska Peak, the trail is mostly rocky while the second half going up to Santiago Peak is mostly dirt. Santiago Peak reaches a staggering 5,689 feet above sea level, allowing for cooler weather during the summer and snow in the winter. But the nice weather and the fact that it is only minutes from the metropolitan area of Orange County is not what brings people to this area, it is the great views, the remote location, and the great off-road experience it provides.


Route Information

Technical Rating

( EASY )

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1. Mid Gate (0 mi)
This is the starting point for the trail heading up Saddleback. The trail continues down the Northwest side of the range via Main Divide to either Silverado Canyon or Corona For more information on Maple Springs / Silverado Canyon, Click Here For more information on Bedford Canyon / Corona, Click Here

Directions to Trailhead

Starting Point: Silverado Canyon, CA

From Silverado Canyon, CA, take Maple Springs Road (Trail) to the end. Main Divide splits either North or South. The mid section of Main Divide which heads up Saddleback Mountain is to the South.



Land Use Issues

Please check with Cleveland National Forest for trail conditions. This trail closes for many reasons throughout the year and with no warning. Click Here For Current Trail Closures Trabuco Ranger District - (951) 736-1811

Trail Reviews (17)

Questions & Answers (1)

Q: Is there day parking at Waypoint 1? In the past, I used to drop off my truck at Cook's Corner and ride my dual sport motorcycle to the Maple Springs gate, but now that I read your trail guide, I'm wondering if you're allowed to leave a vehicle at WP 1. If not, is there any place along the trail to leave your vehicle or perhaps a spot along Maple Springs Road? Thanks!
–Marc Nitz (02/17/2021)
–Josh Noesser (02/17/2021)
–Marc Nitz (02/17/2021)

Writer Information

Josh Noesser

Mapping Crew - California

Joshua Noesser grew up in Southern California but has lived in different parts of the country during his young adult life. Josh was first turned to four wheeling when he road with one of his friends dad up Surprise Canyon in the Panamint Valley at age14. After nearly 3 different roll overs later and a half dozen intense waterfalls, Josh was hooked. At 16 he purchased his first Jeep a CJ 7 and by 17 was putting his first locker in it. Currently, Josh is the owner and CEO of Nybble, an IT Solutions Company based in Orange County, California. Nybble isn't your normal IT company where everyone stays in and plays video games. Nybble's average company trip is out on the trails since a good amount of his staff enjoy wheeling too. As Josh likes to say, he offers the only IT Company with the ability to provide services in extreme locations. "If you want a server at the top of The Hammers, we will take care of that for you." Today you can find Josh out on the trail behind the wheel in one of his three different off-road vehicles. See the vehicles below for more information. If you ever run into Josh, please say high, he is a very friendly person and is always happy to have a new person join the group.
For individual use only, not to be shared.