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Hike the Bedford Peak Trail

Hike the Bedford Peak Trail (Orange County)

The Bedford Peak hike in Orange County is a tough one with big payoffs. The trail to Bedford Peak climbs about 2000 feet in 3 miles, and your reward is great views of Mt Baldy, Saddleback Mountain, and Catalina.

Rating:
4.5 / 5
Distance:
7.2 miles (11.6 km)
Time:
3-4 hours
Difficulty:
Hard
Climbing:
2150 ft (655 m)
Trail Condition:
Unmarked
Challenges:
Climbing
People:
Not Many
Known For:
Views, climbing
Best Time:
Anytime
Dogs:
Yes
Bathrooms:
Yes, in parking lot.
Parking:
Fee

Bedford Peak Hike Trail Maps

Use this address in Google Maps to get to the trailhead:
31330 Silverado Canyon Rd, Silverado, CA, 92676, USA

Hike the Bedford Peak Trail location

The Bedford Peak hike is 30 minutes from Irvine, 80 minutes from downtown LA, and 2 hours from San Diego.

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.

Interactive Map

Bedford Peak Hike Map Downloads

hiking map on garmin fenix 3

If you have GPS device (I use this one by Garmin and I love it) for your hike, load the GPX file below into your device to navigate the hike. For help on loading the GPX file, read this article on converting and transferring to a Garmin GPS.

Also, don’t rely on electronics as your sole means of navigation. There’s a basic printable PDF map below, and I strongly picking up a good topo map too.

View a Printable PDF Hike MapDownload the Hike GPX File

Bedford Peak Hike Video

Bedford Peak Hike Directions

Hike the Bedford Peak Trail

Hike Briefing

Turn By Turn Directions

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.
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.
bench on Bedford Peak
The icing on the cake of this hike is the cool bench where you can chill out and enjoy the views. I usually bring a snack up here for my well-deserved break.
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!

A quick note. These directions are meant as a guide for the hike, and not a definitive source. Conditions change, and the information here can be different based on time of day, weather, season, etc. There can be small side trails that you might see but I missed. I have made every effort to include all the information you need to complete the hike successfully. I recommend using this guide in conjunction with a map, GPX file, common sense, and call to the ranger station or park office. If you do the hike and notice something has changed, please contact me and I will update the guide.

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