Hike the Bedford Peak Trail (Orange County)
|In This Guide|
|Distance||7.2 miles (11.6 km)|
|Time||3-4 Hours (Total Time)|
|Total Climbing||2,150 feet (655m)|
|Highest Elevation||3,804 feet (1159m)|
|Dog Friendly||Off Leash Okay|
|Park Name||Trabuco Ranger District, Cleveland National Forest|
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.
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:
- Daypack with water
- Hiking boots or trail runners
- Trekking poles if you like them on a climb
- An emergency beacon – you’re in the middle of nowhere
My Top Gear Picks
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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
Bedford Peak Trail Hike Directions
Subscribe to HikingGuy on YouTube
- 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
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