Hike the Bedford Peak Trail (Orange County)
|In This Guide|
|Total Distance (?)||7.2 miles (11.6 km)|
|Hike Time||3-4 Hours (Total)|
|Total Ascent (?)||2,050 feet (625m)|
|Highest Elevation||3,800 feet (1158m)|
|Fees & Permits||Parking Fee|
|Alerts & Closures (?)||Trabuco Ranger District, Cleveland National Forest|
|Weather & Forecast||Latest Conditions|
|Stay Safe||Share this webpage link with a friend before you hike and let them know when to expect you back.|
If you’re looking for a hidden gem, the Bedford Peak Trail is for you. You’ll get an excellent workout climbing about 2000 feet in 3 miles, and at the top, you have gorgeous views of the Santa Anas, Angeles National Forest, Catalina, and on a clear day, the higher peaks of SoCal. Overall it’s an underrated gem.
Parking for the Bedford Peak Trail
You’ll want to use the (often closed) Maple Springs Visitor Center as your car’s GPS destination. Use this address for the trailhead: 31330 Silverado Canyon Rd, Silverado, CA, 92676, USA.
If the gate into Silverado Canyon is closed, park here at the paved lot and walk up.
Gear For the Hike
There’s no shade on the trail to Bedford Peak, so bring plenty of water and sunscreen. If you like to climb with trekking poles, they can be helpful. The summit can get breezy, so extra layers will feel nice if you do the hike when it’s cool out. Otherwise, it’s not a technical hike and can be done with workout gear if you like.
Garmin InReach Mini 2
I’m a firm believer in carrying a satellite communications device which works where cell phones don’t. I use a Garmin InReach which lets me send text messages back and forth to my family to let them know that I’m okay or if my plans change when I’m out in the backcountry. It also has an SOS subscription built-in so that you can reach first-responders in an emergency. The devices also offer weather reports, GPS, and navigation functionality (what’s the difference between a GPS and satellite communicator?). For a few hundred bucks they could save your life, so for me it’s a no brainer to have something like a Garmin InReach. If you use a smartphone to navigate and want a more affordable option that integrates with your phone easily, check out the ZOLEO.
Latest Prices: Amazon | REI
Altra Lone Peak 6
For most people, the Altra Lone Peak is a solid choice that will leave your feet feeling great at the end of any hike. The feel is cushy and light, and if it had a car equivalent, this would be a Cadillac or Mercedes Sedan. The grip is great and they’re reasonably durable for this type of trail runner, which I think is better in most conditions than a hiking boot, and here’s why. The downside of this shoe is that it won’t last as long as something like the Terraventure 3 or Moab 2 (see alternate footwear choices at the bottom of my gear page). I’ve been using mine for many miles and my feet always feel great. I have a video on the details of the Altra Lone Peak 6 here.
Women’s Latest Prices: REI | Amazon
Men’s Latest Prices: REI | Amazon
Black Diamond Trail Ergo Cork Trekking Poles
I’ve gone back and forth on trekking poles, but I think for most people they are a good investment. They help you dig in on the uphills, provide stability on loose downhills, act as a brace when crossing streams, and can probably poke away aggressive wildlife in a pinch. The Trail Ergo Cork poles are a good balance of light weight, durability, affordability, and ease of use. If you want something ultralight and a little more pricey, I’ve had great luck with the Black Diamond Z Poles too.
Trail Ergo Poles: REI | Amazon
Z-Poles: REI | Amazon
Gregory Zulu 30 & Jade 28
After testing quite a few backpacks, the Gregory Zulu 30 (and Jade 28 for women) is, for most hikers, the best all-season day-pack. First off, it’s very comfortable, and the mesh “trampoline” back keeps your back dry. Its 30L capacity is enough for all the essentials and plenty of layers for winter hiking. External pockets make it easy to grab gear. It’s hard to find something wrong with the pack; if anything, it could be a bit lighter, but overall, it’s not heavy. And its price-point makes it not only affordable but generally a great value.
Women’s Latest Prices: REI | Amazon
Men’s Latest Prices: REI | Amazon
Here’s my complete gear list that I personally use, have tested, and recommend, updated June 2022.
No company pays me to promote or push a product, all the gear you see here is gear I use and recommend. If you click an a link and buy gear, I get a small commission that helps keep the website ad and promotion free. There is no cost to you.
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.
View Interactive Map
Explore Map on CalTopoView a Printable PDF Hike MapDownload the Hike GPX File
If you try to download the GPX file and your browser adds a “.txt” or “.xml” extension to it, simply rename it as a “.gpx” file.
How Are You Going to Navigate This Hike?
Here’s what I use. If you are a hardcore hiker and/or hike in extreme conditions, I recommend getting a dedicated GPS like a GPSMAP 66sr or 66i, or a wrist-based GPS with maps like the Garmin Fenix 7 or Epix. If you only hike in fair weather and a touchscreen is fine, or just want a solid tool, I highly recommend downloading the smartphone app, Gaia GPS. It’s a piece of cake to use and very powerful, just make sure your phone is in airplane mode so the battery doesn’t drain. You can also check for wildfires, weather, snow, and choose from dozens of map types with a premium membership (HikingGuy readers get a big discount here). Note that I also carry a paper map with me in case the phone dies or gets smashed.
- Keep your eyes open for exposed rock layers along the trail. This area is home to the Bedford Canyon Formation. The formation is unique because it’s one of the only exposed rock layers that show what settled on the seafloor here 180 million years ago. When this rock was on the seafloor, dinosaurs roamed the earth. You may be able to spot fossils of ancient clams and snails in the shale layers.
- The trail you hike up is sometimes called the Silverado Motorway, built years ago for cars to perform fire patrols, and now eroded into a singletrack trail.
- The quaint town of Silverado, where the hike starts, was a booming mining town from 1878-1881. That’s why you’ll see a post office and other facilities in this remote area.
Bedford Peak Trail Directions
It’s easy to say thank you for these free hiking guides!
I depend on your support to keep this website going and free of annoying ads, promoted posts, and sponsorships. Every contribution, big or small, is my lifeline to keep this website going. Thank you!
Turn by Turn Directions
Bedford Peak marks the boundary between Riverside and Orange Counties.
This guide last updated on May 1, 2022. Did something change on this hike? If so, please contact me and let me know. I'll update the guide.