San Juan Trail Horseback Riding

The 4th most popular equestrian trail in California.

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East of Newport and northeast of San Juan Capistrano, the San Juan Trail is a popular 11 mile one-way horseback ride in the Santa Ana Mountains. Near the trailhead are several hot springs, and the route winds its way up to NFS Blue Jay Campground.

To reach the horseback riding trailhead from US5 in San Juan Capistrano, head northeast on SR74 for 10 miles. Just west behind the NFS San Juan Fire Station, turn left heading north on the unsigned Hot Springs Canyon Road following signs to Lazy-W-Ranch. The marked trailhead parking area is on the left at about 0.7 miles.

Overall, San Juan Trail is the 4th most popular horse trail of all 81 horseback rides in California. Several of the better horse trails are nearby San Juan Trail including West Horse Thief / Trabuco Canyon Trails, North Hills Trail and O'Neill Regional Park.

San Juan Trail in Cleveland NF (CA/US)

San Juan Trail in Cleveland NF (CA/US)

San Juan Trail in Cleveland NF (CA/US)

San Juan Trail in Cleveland NF (CA/US)

San Juan Trail Horseback Riding Map



Local Contact(s):  Cleveland National Forest (909) 736-1811; California Tourism (916) 444-4429.

Best Season:  Sep. - May

Average Difficulty:  Moderate

Base Camp:  NFS Blue Jay Campground

Reference Source:  click here

GPS:  33.60179, -117.51045

Date Published:  5/19/2016

Date Updated:  8/4/2016

ID:  13995

San Juan Trail Horseback Riding Map


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For horseback riding the San Juan Trail in California, our printable trail guides offers trail descriptions, maps, lodging suggestions, driving directions, levels of difficulty and points-of-contact.