Summary: Two thousand feet in three miles. Let me say that again. Two thousand feet in three miles. You won't find many more arduous trails than this and though the altitude is only 3900 at trail's end, every step of the way is unshaded. Pick your days carefully and DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS TRAIL IN SUMMER.
The Silverado Motorway runs its narrow course up the north wall of Silverado Canyon. Once they drove cars on it -- slot cars is my guess. The path kicks, twists, and shudders past fascinating strata until it arrives at Bedford Peak. You will enjoy panoramic views extending to Catalina Island and Mount Baldy on clear days. Bring plenty of water, energy food, and a hat. Be prepared for narrow sections and rocky slopes. This trail will wear you out. Respect it and enjoy the views.
A good turnback is Coffin Rock at about half way in. The views are stupendous, even from here.
Trailhead: From Interstate 5: Take the Jamboree Road exit. Go north for 5 1/2 miles to Chapman/Santiago Canyon. Turn right on Santiago Canyon. Go another 5 1/2 miles to the Silverado turnoff. Go left on Silverado, following the road for 5 1/2 miles to the Maple Springs Parking Area.
From California 91. Take the 241 tollway south to Santiago Canyon Road. Turn left on Santiago Canyon. Go another 5 1/2 miles to the Silverado turnoff. Go left on Silverado, following the road for 5 1/2 miles to the Maple Springs Parking Area.
A Forest Adventure Pass is required in this area and can be obtained in the Visitor Center.
The trail head is located about a hundred yards beyond the parking area gate. (Lat:33.74757 Lon:-117.58256)
Trail Guides for Silverado Motorway, Cleveland NF:
Afoot & Afield in Orange County
by Jerry Schad (Wilderness Press)
Best Easy Day Hikes Orange County
by Randy Vogel (Falcon Publishing Company)
Best Seasons: Fall, Spring, Winter,
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs, Bikes, Horses,
Ranger Contact: Trabuco Ranger District, Cleveland NF 909-736-1811
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Joel Sax, who has posted 51 other hikes on this site. To visit this reporters web site, click here.
Trail Reviews Page 1 of 4 Submit your own review
Reviewed by tree on 3/25/2012
Did this trail yesterday. I would hike this again but I would agree to NEVER do this hike in the middle of summer or mid day. Trail was clear, only a few minor rough spots. Watch out for speeding mountain bikers going down. Trail was very strenuous going up, some parts were a bit steep but overall you're practically going uphill the whole way. Also NO SHADE at all so bring your hat & plenty of water.
Reviewed by MD on 1/9/2012
We did this hike this past Saturday. We started around 10 am and we were able to make it back to our car around Noon. We were able to bring our dogs and with the current weather in OC (sunny but not overly warm), it really was a fun hike. My muscles are still sore a few days later.
Reviewed by GW on 4/25/2011
I hiked this trail today. I started after noon so the sun was hot but there was a pleasant breeze that cooled you down. I like to use poles when I take this hike due to sections of loose rock. There are plenty of the blue wildflowers that bloom at some of the shaded turns. The sky was fog/smogged over so views of the surrounds were blurry but still impressive especially with mostly clear views of the adjacent mountainsides, ridges, trails and peaks. After my hike, I stuck my feet in the running stream near where it crosses over the concrete roadbed and let the cool water shrink my feet. Perfect midday hike when work is slow and the hills call.
Reviewed by DW on 1/30/2011
Sorry, but Forest Service Adventure passes are not sold at the Maple Springs Visitor Center.
Reviewed by fitforalife on 9/25/2010
Did this hike last Sunday. Well maintained trail but no shade so start early. Alot of the chaparral is turning red and gorgeous. A bobcat jumped out in front of use early on the trail. Also saw some deer so it was a great wildlife day. Bedford Peak is up the hill on the right past the windsock if you are peak bagging. The view from there is an awesome 360 view.
Reviewed by Jakub on 7/24/2010
Terrific after-work destination! We hit the trailhead on a weekday around 5:30p and finished nice and strong in just over 2 hrs. Late afternoon was perfect, because we were mostly in the shade. Only people we saw were two mountain bikers coming down. The chaparral is truly thriving right now, so take the time to enjoy on your way down.
Reviewed by Nina Phan on 2/18/2010
2 times doing this hike, and hope to have this be our go-to Saturday or Sunday morning hike - it's really that awesome! It's not that far out there and not hard to get to or find. It was a great, quick workout! A perfect weekend morning hike to get the day started. I love how it is more steep in the beginning since it wears you out immediately so it's a better workout for the rest of the way up. I read somewhere else that it was more like 3.35 miles up and then back down. So it would be 6.7 miles total. Which was awesome! And running/ jogging down the trail makes it easy to do in about 2 hours (and maybe some change- if you take some time to breath in the spectacular panoramic view up at the top). Simply: amazing. =)
Reviewed by Bruno on 1/24/2010
I usually hike the Baldy skihut trail for training and decided to give this a try since all mountain roads were pretty much loaded with traffic after the recent storms. The steepest part is in the beginning and then it levels off a bit. I'd have to agree with the poster below that the RT mileage is much closer to 7 miles than 6. I tracked it with my GPS and was still about 0.4 mi away at mile 3. The scenery on the lower portion is soso but the views higher up are very nice. Baldy on one side, the ocean on the other. The only downside to this trail is that the parking lot is really small and you'll end up parking down the road if you come later in the day.
Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
Keys: California Hiking, California Trails, California Hikes, Orange County Hiking, Orange County Trails, Orange County Hikes