Sitton Pretty

Hike to Sitton Peak in the Santa Ana Mountains

Hike Sitton Peak Santa Ana mountains

Sitton Peak is a 3,273-foot summit in the Santa Ana Mountains. All in, a 10-mile (round-trip) hike gets you to a panoramic summit filled with hills galloping toward the Pacific. Start up Bear Canyon Trail from Ortega Highway, just across from San Juan Loop Trail. Views broaden over boulder-strewn ridges and the wide canyon as you hike south at a moderate incline before the final, somewhat punishing 0.33-mile push to the peak.

Sitton Peak Santa Ana Mountains

Grab a seat on one of the boulder outcroppings above the chaparral. As one of the highest summits on the south side of Ortega Highway, Sitton offers towering views of Riverside and Orange counties with an expanding vista across countless green peaks. On clear winter days Catalina Island is visible to the west.

Take I-5 to exit 82 in San Juan Capistrano and drive east on Ortega Hwy. (CA-74) for 19.4 miles to the trailhead parking area on the left for San Juan Loop Trail across from Ortega Oaks Candy Store (34040 Ortega Hwy., Lake Elsinore). Cross to the south side of the highway and begin up Bear Canyon Trail. After 1 mile, turn right to stay on Bear Canyon Trail. After another mile, you can stay right on Bear Canyon Trail or turn left up Bear Ridge Trail, a more scenic but slightly longer alternate route (1.5 miles vs. 1.2 miles) to the next junction called Four Corners (where five trails actually meet). Turn right and hike 1.6 miles to a turnoff for Sitton Peak, which comes in a saddle after a half-mile descent. Turn right up the single track to the summit. All junctions are well-marked. Adventure pass required and can be purchased at the candy store. Dog-friendly!

Trending Stories SoCal

View all Stories
  1. Image that represents the story

    Easiest Best Hike in the World

    Choose the easiest and most view-rewarding hike in Yosemite. Okay, we’ll go first: the combination of hiking to Sentinel Dome and Taft Point. Both of these lookouts are within a couple miles of each other on Glacier Point Road

    View
  2. Image that represents the story
    Sponsored

    All Roads Lead to Rogue

    Idea for your next road trip: Go Rogue! The Rogue Valley in beautiful Southern Oregon has some of the state’s best hiking, swim holes, and wineries, and the charming historic towns of Ashland, Medford, and Jacksonville.

    View
  3. Image that represents the story

    Bouquet of Waterfalls

    Like a good love letter, some of the best hiking trails are short and sweet. Cue the hike to Bouquet Falls in Santa Clarita Valley’s Bouquet Canyon.

    View
  4. Image that represents the story
    Sponsored

    National Parks Road Trip: Circle of Discovery!

    Love national parks? Love road trips? Combine the two on one fabulous Circle of Discovery route in Northern California and Southern Oregon! This itinerary features 7 national parks with wondrous features.

    View

Trending Stories Northern CA

View all Stories
  1. Image that represents the story

    Tam Slam!

    This 8-mile (round-trip) hike is a pure classic, with redwoods, water-flows, and soaring views of the coastline. Oh yeah, and that ladder!

    View
  2. Image that represents the story

    Secret Beach

    A hidden beach and a killer view? Those are hard to come by, but that’s exactly what you’ll get at Perles Beach on Angel Island. This pocket cove is worth the 1.5-mile trek to get there.

    View
  3. Image that represents the story
    Sponsored

    Road Trip Ahead: Oregon Outback

    Remote open spaces, camping under true Dark Skies, hiking and biking trails galore, wildlife refuges, and hot springs! Plan your road trip to the Oregon Outback this summer.

    View
  4. Image that represents the story

    Magical McClures

    McClures Beach is a seductive little spot: small, beautiful, and quiet. It’s easy to while away an afternoon-turned-sunset at this pocket cove in Point Reyes.

    View