16S17 - Los Pinos Road

3.5/5 (6 reviews)
Pine Valley, California (SanDiego County)
Last Updated: 09/17/2021
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Trail Information

Highlights

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

3.5/5 (6 reviews)
Status: Open
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".
Status: 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.
Status: Temporary Closure
Visited: 09/25/2021

Still closed due to fire recovery.
Marc Nitz
Official Crew
4700
Status: Temporary Closure
Visited: 10/09/2020

Note: As of 10/9/2020, this road is currently closed due to the Valley Fire.
Status: Open
Rated 3/5
Visited: 05/30/2020

This trail is very easy when leaving from the staging area up to the intersection that leads to the fire look out. 2wd with decent tires and some ground clearance (I'm looking at you Subaru folks) could make this no problem. Trail to the fire look out is gated as of this review due to COVID. Trail beyond the intersection with the fire look out has been washed out. 4 wheel drive, high ground clearance and body protection are a must to continue beyond this point. Several vehicles, me included (stock 3rd Gen Tacoma TRD OR 4x4 w/locker), had to turn around half way to the Corte Madera trail intersection. Erosion has created a waterfall of boulders close to where the two trails meet. If you do not have great ground clearance and upgraded under body protection, you will get stuck and/or damage your rig.

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