Hike the Bedford Peak Trail (Orange County)

Hike the Bedford Peak Trail (Orange County)

In This Guide
  • How to Get to Bedford Peak Trail
  • Bedford Peak Trail Trail Maps
  • Turn by Turn Hike Directions
  • What You Need To Do the Hike
Distance7.2 miles (11.6 km)
Time3-4 Hours (Total Time)
Total Climbing2,150 feet (655m)
Highest Elevation3,804 feet (1159m)
Dog FriendlyOff Leash Okay
Park NameTrabuco Ranger District, Cleveland National Forest
Park Phone951-736-1811

The Bedford Peak hike in Orange County is a tough one with big payoffs. Bedford Peak trail climbs about 2000 feet in 3 miles, and your reward is great views of Mt Baldy, Saddleback Mountain, and Catalina. It’s a fun, under-rated hike that recommend.

Getting to Bedford Peak Trail

Use this address for the trailhead: 31330 Silverado Canyon Rd, Silverado, CA, 92676, USA.

When you get to the GPS address, use the directions below to get to the actual trail.

Bedford Peak trail parking
The trailhead address brings you to the Maple Springs Visitor Center area, the end of the paved road.
Bedford Peak trail bathroom
On the right you’ll see the visitor center. The porta-potty is the only bathroom on the hike.
Bedford Peak trail board
There’s a hiking board here that I check out before heading up the road to the trailhead.
Bedford Peak trail parking
There’s also a parking lot here, but there’s another one closer. Use this parking lot for a quick bathroom stop or to check out the hiking board. If you do park here, it’s a short 10 minute walk to the trailhead. Don’t forget to display your parking pass. Sometimes the gate to the actual trailhead is closed, in which case you have to park here.
Bedford Peak trail road
Drive past the gate and head up the dirt road. It’s acceptable for all types of cars.
OHV roads within Cleveland National Forest
Drive for about 2 minutes up the dirt road. You’ll probably see some 4×4 vehicles. This is popular route for off-road enthusiasts in Cleveland National Forest.
Bedford Peak trail parking
Park at the first parking area on the left.

You need a parking pass for the Cleveland National Forest. I use the affordable National Parks pass, which gets me in every national park, national monument, and national forest. You can also use an (Southern California only) Adventure Pass, or buy a $5 day permit from the ranger’s office or the deli on the road to the trailhead.

Gear For the Hike

There’s no shade on the trail to Bedford Peak, so bring plenty of water and sunscreen. The summit can get breezy, so if you do the hike when it’s cool out, extra layers will feel nice. Otherwise it’s not such a technical hike, and can be done with workout gear if you like. Here’s what I’d bring:

My Top Gear Picks

Garmin inreach review

Do you have the right hiking gear? Will it stand up to the test? I waste lots of money testing hiking gear every year so that you don’t have to. My gear picks are solid choices that will serve you well on the trail. I don’t do sponsored or paid reviews, I just the share actual gear that I use all the time that’s made the cut. Here are my top picks:

  1. Garmin InReach Mini Emergency Beacon – Hiking out of cell phone range? Make sure you have one of these two-way satellite texting devices in case your hike doesn’t go as planned. You can read my full review here.
  2. Injinji Sock Liners With Darn Tough Hiking Socks – This combo is a great way to avoid blisters out on the trail. I have some insider-hiking tips for avoiding blisters here. Pair them with modern, high-tech hiking boots (for women and men) and your feet with thank you.
  3. Garmin Fenix 5x Plus – It’s a little pricey, but man do I love this thing. Not only does it have all the topo maps and navigation tools on my wrist, but it also acts as a long battery life, rugged, outdoors version of an Apple Watch. Track your workouts, sleep, heart rate, all that stuff.

I have lots of other great, sponsor-free, trail tested gear picks on my “best gear” page.

See My Full Gear List

Bedford Peak Hike Trail Maps

Note that the main Bedford Peak trail has two names (for the same trail). Some maps list it as the Maple Springs Trail, others list it as the Silverado Trail. The summit of Bedford Peak is on the border of Orange County and Riverside County.

Fenix 5x Hiking Review

I highly recommend bringing a good paper map with you, and then using it in conjunction with a GPS device. You can see the navigation gear that I use here (I’m currently using the Fenix 5x Plus and love it). Just download the GPX file below and load it onto your GPS.

Many people also print out this web page for the turn-by-turn images. And if you really want to get tricky, YouTube Premium lets you download videos for offline use, so you can download the hike video and save it.

Download the Hike GPX File

View a Printable PDF Hike Map

Hike the Bedford Peak Trail 3d map
The hike starts at the Maple Springs Visitor Center and quickly winds its way up a series of switchbacks. After the initial climb, you ascend along the ridge for the final stretch to the peak.
Hike the Bedford Peak Trail elevation
The bulk of the climbing happens right from the start. It’s tough but manageable, just take your time. The last section levels off, allowing you to catch your breath and enjoy the views.

Bedford Peak Trail Hike Directions

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Hike Briefing

Turn By Turn Directions

Bedford Peak trail start
The Bedford Peak trail is in the corner of the lot and easy to spot.
mountain biker on Bedford Peak trail
The trail is dirt and easy to follow. Keep your eye open for mountain bikers. You can see one up the trail here. Also note the small arrow sign marking the start of the trail.
Bedford Peak trail gate
After a few minutes, climb over the metal gate. It’s here to keep motocross bikes off the trail.
Bedford Peak trail climbs
Okay, so you start climbing. And climbing. Just get into a groove and take your time.
Maple Springs Visitor Center
As you climb, take breaks and admire the view. Here you can see the Maple Springs Visitor Center down below.
cris hazzard on Bedford Peak trail
The climb is intense. I like to use this (shorter) climb to train for the bigger peaks. Bedford Peak is a great hike to do on a weeknight when you have a few hours of sunlight left.
Bedford Peak trail
The trail to Bedford Peak is easy to follow. No junctions or turns for the first part. Just follow it up the switchbacks.
views of the Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island
As the switchbacks climb, you’ll start to get views of the Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island on some stretches.
Bedford Peak trail
On the last stretch of the climb, you cross to the other side of the ridge. Keep your eyes open to the left for views of Mt Baldy as you crest the ridge.
Bedford Peak trail
Flat trail! When you make it to the ridge, the trail evens out and gives you a breather.
open area on Bedford Peak trail
You’ll pass through a big open area. I’ve heard that it’s for landing helicopters, but who knows if it’s true. Stay to the left to continue on the trail.
views of the surrounding mountains
As you approach Main Divide Road, you’ll get incredible views of the surrounding mountains.
main divide road
You reach Main Divide Road, the artery that snakes it’s way through Cleveland National Forest. Hike to the right after you get to the road.
Silverado Trail
You might notice the cool trail marker. The trail you just came up on is referred to as the Silverado Trail here, but on some maps is also known as the Maple Springs Trail.
Bedford Peak trail
At the junction, you’re heading to the right through the white gate.
Main Divide Road
Main Divide Road is much wider. Keep your eyes open for 4×4, mountain bikers, and motocross bikes. They generally don’t go fast, but be aware.
Lake Matthews
As Main Divide Road twists and turns, you’ll get nice views of Lake Matthews, which is actually a man-made reservoir. Opened in the 1940s, and filled with water from the Colorado River, it supplies much of the water to Southern California.
Bedford Peak trail
At around 3.3 miles, you’ll see a small turnoff from Main Divide Road, through a broken fence. Take this trail to the peak.
Bedford Peak
After an initial steep pitch, you’re on the peak. Enjoy the great views, you earned it.
Bedford Peak Sign
The peak has a cool little sign now. If you did this hike in the past, there used to be a bench. Bench is gone. Oh well. Thanks to Marieke M. for the updated picture!
cris hazzard on Bedford Peak
That’s the hike. From here, head back the way you came and call it a day. The views on the way down are great, enjoy it!

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