16S17 - Los Pinos Road

Pine Valley, California (SanDiego County)

Last Updated: 09/17/2021
3.5 / 5 ( 2 reviews )
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Typically Open: Year Round
Length: 4.69 miles
Highest Elevation: 4800 feet
Duration: About 50 minutes
Shape of Trail: Connector
Best Direction to Travel: N/A
Nearest Town: Pine Valley
Nearest Town w/ Services: Pine Valley
Official Road Name: 16S17
Management Agency: Cleveland National Forest
District: Descanso Ranger District


Highlight: 16S17 - Los Pinos Road
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


Route Information

Technical Rating

( EASY )

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1. Four Corners Trailhead - Air Down (0 mi)
There is a large parking area and two vault toilets at Four Corners trailhead. This is the main staging area for off road enthusiasts visiting Corral Canyon OHV park. The lot is large enough for kids to practice motorcycle riding and most visitors of Corral Canyon leave their vehicles in the lot all day. This is also a great place to air down your tires. Please note that a National Forest Adventure Pass is required in your vehicle at all times if the vehicle is left unattended. A pass is not required while you are driving your vehicle. Forest rangers patrol the staging area frequently and will cite all vehicles without current passes visible in their windows. The start of Los Pinos Road has a sign post with "Los Pinos Road" on it along with another weathered sign denoting the trail number (16S17). While the shelf road is paved up to the top of Los Pinos Mtn., the road is riddled with potholes up to 2' in diameter and up to 6" deep.

Directions to Trailhead

Starting Point: Pine Valley

Exit I-8 at Buckman Springs Road (east of Pine Valley). Proceed south on Buckman Springs Road for 3.2 miles. Then turn west on Corral Canyon Road following the sign for Corral Canyon OHV Area. Remain on this road for 5.6 miles to the Four Corners Trailhead and staging area.



Land Use Issues

There are no access issues although you will need a National Forest Adventure Pass if you stop along any part of the trail and leave your vehicle unattended. A yearly pass is $30 or a daily pass is $5 and available at any local sporting goods store (see link below for participating stores). There are no passes at Corral Canyon's OHV Area, so please plan ahead.

Trail Reviews (6)

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Writer Information

Marc Nitz

Mapping Crew - California

Marc Nitz is a southern California native who loves exploring the outdoors. This is in large part due to his parents' love of summer road trips. Each summer the Nitz clan would venture out for at least one week driving and camping to assorted U.S. destinations west of the Rocky Mountains. Marc bought his first 4x4 at 17 years old and began seeking out more places off the beaten path. Now 30 years later, Marc explores the countryside with a family of his own. Some of Marc's favorite trails include California's Titus Canyon Road and the Pleasant Canyon Loop Trail, Colorado's Alpine Loop, and Utah's White Rim Trail. Most of all, Marc enjoys meeting fellow off-roaders and he is affiliated with a few 4X4 clubs in Southern California that has allowed him to do just that.
For individual use only, not to be shared.