San Mateo Peak is located in the San Mateo Canyon Wilderness of the Cleveland National Forest, in the Santa Ana Mountains. At 3,591 ft it is the highest point in the SMC Wilderness.
Views from the peak to the east are amazing. Lake Elsinore is pictured here.
Also visible are the San Gabriel, San Bernardino and San Jacinto Mountains.
The trailhead for this peak is located off of the S. Main Divide Rd at the MORGAN TRAILHEAD
Take the trail down and make a left at the first junction, about a 1/4 mile in. Follow this trail and keep right at the second junction until you reach a cairn and sign that reads San Mateo Peak. Make a right here.
From here the trail climbs steeply for a good 1/2 miles. It eventually levels off again but still has some steep points.
It’s about 2.3 miles to the summit from the trailhead. Trail starts off easy for the first mile then steeply climbs of the east face of the mountain.
▪Difficulty – Easy/Moderate/Strenuous
▪5 Miles round trip/ out and back
▪Bring a hat and sunscreen
▪Forest adventure pass for parking