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.
When you get to the GPS address, use the directions below to get to the actual trail.
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:
If you want hiking gear recommendations, check out my full gear list. I only recommend and review gear that I actually use. No company pays me to push their product. Everything on my gear list is battle tested on the trails, and should work well for you too.
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.
Bedford Peak, at 3800 feet, offers great prominence, so you get great views of Mt Baldy, Santiago Peak, Modjeska Peak, and Catalina. It feels like a big climb, without the superhuman effort. This hike is great training for any of those bigger peaks
Much of the area on the lower slopes was burned in a forest fire. You’ll notice some burned trees and soil as you do the hike.
The trail is shared with mountain bikers, keep your eyes and ears open. Usually I only see a few people on the trail – it’s a nice one when you want to avoid the crowds.
Turn By Turn Directions
You can help other hikers. If you do this hike and something has changed, snap a few photos and email me the details. I’ll update the guide so that others can do the hike safely.