The peak is accessible via the Los Pinos Trail and can be accessed from two points. One being via the Main Divide Rd, which is the easiest route to the peak. The 2nd is from the Los Pinos Trail via The Lazy W. This is the hardest route to reach the summit and is the way we decided to ascend the peak.
We parked one vehicle at the San Juan Trailhead which is in the back of Blue Jay Campground. We then carpooled to the other end of San Juan Trailhead which is located just before The Lazy W Methodist Camp. Before attempting this hike be sure to ask the camp for permission, being as the trailhead is on private property.
This is a tough hike! Only attempt it if you are ok with hiking long distances and are used to inclines as this trail is a combination of both. The hike was a total of 14 miles from one car to another. The elevation change from the base to the the peak is 3,300 ft but the total gain with all the”up and downs” is closer to 7,200 ft so be prepared!
On a clear day the hike along the ridge offers great views of the Pacific ocean, Catalina, San Jacinto, Baldy, San Gorgonio, Lake Elsinore and of course Santiago Peak.
The hike is along the ridge the whole time and it’s not very shaded. Be sure to bring a hat and sun block as you will be exposed to the sun the majority of the time.
• 14 mile one way trail
• 3,300 elevation change
• Lots of “up and downs”
• 7 hours to complete
• Difficulty- Strenuous