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General Overview:

Sitton Peak stands at 3,273 feet tall and is one of the 7 peaks in the Santa Ana Mountain range. Located just off Ortega Highway 74 near Lake Elsinore, the 10-11 mile round-trip hike is a moderate to challenging experience for regular hikers. On average, the hike to Sitton Peak will take between 3.5-5.5 hours, depending on your athletic experience and amount of time spent enjoying the scenery.

Enjoy a ceiling of trees during the first mile of the hike and copious wildflowers along the way. From the summit of Sitton Peak, savor lofty views of the Santa Ana Mountains.


Sitton Peak Trail offers endless views of the Cleveland National Forest. It is also a lengthy hike that challenges you physically, especially near the very top of the peak! Bring your lunch and enjoy the beautiful scenery near the top of Sitton Peak.


Trail Map:

View Sitton Peak Trail in a larger map

(This Google Map outlines the direct hiking route to reach Sitton’s Peak summit. It takes approximately 2-3 hours to reach the summit at a moderate pace.)



Ortega Oaks Candy Store

34950 Ortega Hwy

Lake Elsinore, CA 92530

(the trail begins right behind the Ortega Oaks Candy Store)


From the East / Riveride Area

  • Merge onto I-15 S toward San Diego
  • Take the Lake Street exit, EXIT 81. – 0.4 mi
  • Turn right onto Lake St. – 2.6 mi (If you reach I-15 S you’ve gone about 0.3 miles too far
  • Lake St becomes Grand Ave. – 2.7 mi
  • Turn right onto Grand Ave/CA-74. – 0.6 mi
  • Turn right onto Ortega Hwy/CA-74. – 8.7 mi (Ortega Hwy is 0.1 miles past Serena Way. If you reach Morro Way you’ve gone a little too far
  • 34950 ORTEGA HWY is on the left.

From the West / Orange County Area

  • Merge onto I-405 S toward San Diego.
  • I-405 S becomes I-5 S.
  • Take the Ortega Hwy/CA-74 exit, EXIT 82, toward San Juan Capistrano.
  • Turn left onto Ortega Hwy/CA-74 N. Continue to follow CA-74 N. – 19.6 mi
Where to Park:
In the parking lot across from the Ortega Oaks Candy Store. You can purchase your $5 parking pass there.
What to Bring:
  • 50-75 oz. of water / camelback
  • Sunscreen SPF 30
  • Lunch / trail snacks
  • First Aid Kit
  • Cell phone

When to go:

Fall/Winter/Spring during cool days. Try and avoid the summer months as it can reach over 100+ degrees Fahrenheit during peak hours. Be watchful for thunder and lightening storms too – they can occur fast.


How the Trail looks:



(Ortega Oaks Candy Store – Purchase Parking Pass Here, Park Across The Street)


(Start of Sitton Peak Trail – San Mateo Canyon Wilderness Bear Canyon Sign – About .25 Miles From Start of Hike)


(Sitton Peak Trail – Approximately 1 Mile From Start)
(Sitton Peak Trail – Approximately 3.0 Miles From Start)


(Abandoned Metal Bin –  Approximately 4 Miles From Start – Look for this metal container to easily find the trail to the summit)
(Sitton Peak Single Track Trail Marker)
(Sitton Peak – Single Track to the Summit)


(Sitton Peak Summit – View From the Top!)


(Sitton Peak Summit – View of Ortega Canyon)


(Sitton Peak – Enjoying the View From the Top!)


(Sitton Peak Marker)


Sitton Peak 360 Degree Panoramic Hiking Trail Photographs: 

(Sitton Peak Trail Head Start – .10 miles into hike)



(Sitton Peak Trail Head – .50 miles into hike)


(Sitton Peak Four Corners Trail – 2.5 miles into hike)


(Sitton Peak Trail – 4 miles into hike, 1/2 mile from peak summit)


(Sitton Peak 360 Degree Summit Photograph – 3,273 feet (998 m))





A Video From The Top: 

Sitton Peak Summit 360 Degree Panoramic View



  • Not sure.
Intensity Levels: 
  • Barry-the-Bear: “This hike was BEARY challenging, especially the last climb to the top of Sitton Peak. It took my over 6 hours to complete, including a long (catch my breath) rest at the summit.”
  • Larry-the-Lion: “This hike was perfect. We enjoyed lots of great scenery and panorama views of the Cleveland National Forest. The views from the top of Sitton Peak were incredible.The hike took us 3.5 hours to complete, including a lunch rest at the top. Tip: bring some sandwiches with you!” 
  • Chris-the-Cheetah: “A great trail for moderate exercise! I love to challenge myself and I found the hike was long enough for a solid workout. The hike took me 3 hours to complete. Now, time to go paddle boarding!”  

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