16S17 - Los Pinos Road

3.6/5 (9 reviews)
Pine Valley, California (SanDiego County)
Last Updated: 09/17/2021

Trail Information


Los Pinos Road is an easy, 4.7 mile road that lies about 50 miles east of San Diego, CA and just 10 miles from Mexico. The road can be used as an out-and-back road or as a connector road forming part of a much larger 18-mile loop trail through the Cleveland National Forest. The highlights of this short road are the magnificent views of the southern California and Mexico wilderness. Driving to the top of Los Pinos Mountain (elevation 4800') one is greeted with 360-degree views of Hauser Wilderness and Mexico to the south, Pine Creek Wilderness to the north, the immense Corte Madera Mountain (4600' tall granite boulder) to the east, and Lake Morena to the west. At the top of Los Pinos Mountain is a working fire lookout tower which, when open, allows the visitor even more breathtaking views. Along with this road, the 18-mile loop consists of the following additional roads and trails: 17S04 - Corral Canyon Road 4E03 - Corte Madera Road 17S06 - Skye Valley Road 4E03 - Espinosa Trail

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

Trail Reviews

3.6/5 (9)
Rated 5/5
Visited: 04/23/2023

The entrance to this road from the staging area in Coral Canyon is locked, and the other gates are locked still in Coral Canyon as well. Sidewinder is your only option in Coral Canyon as of today. I’m not sure why? There did not seem to be excessive erosion, water, or mud.
Temporary Closure
Rated 1/5
Visited: 04/09/2023

Rated 5/5
Visited: 10/09/2022

Scenic fun drop to the tower
Visited: 03/19/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Harder

Gates were open! IMO the ruts and rocks warrant a bit higher rating. The Corral Canyon Campground was closed due to "dangerous tree".
Temporary Closure
Visited: 01/14/2022

Still closed where you get to the lookout road. The lookout was closed, too. A sign at staging area warns you of this situation. There isn't any interesting driving between 4 Corners and the closed gate so the only reason to take it would be if the lookout is open. You can still do a shorter loop in this area by taking this course southwest from 4 Corners on Corral Cyn Rd. then left on Skye Valley Rd, then left again onto Los Pinos Rd past the trailhead to Bronco Peak (not in TrailsOffRoad.com for some reason) and Sidewinder. Takes maybe an hour or so. Perfect for a beginner with just about any stock 4x4.

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