Xerox Mountaineering & Backpacking Club

Day Hike, Chiquito Basin Trail

Saturday April 8,1995

BRIEF: An easy to moderate day hike in Orange and Riverside Counties. A pleasant tree-shaded creek, a waterfall, and wildflowers are the attractions of this hike.

DESCRIPTION (edited from John McKinney's "Day Hiker's Guide to Southern California"): From the signed trailhead, we embark on the San Juan Loop Trail in a counterclockwise direction. The loop trail circles the base of a small peak, following a creek much of the way. In a quarter mile or less the trail passes along and above San Juan Falls. The trail then drops down into a narrow, oak-lined canyon. There's a bit of up and down here, but nothing severe. About a mile from the trailhead, near the junction of two creeks, there's a pleasant flat area and the signed intersection with the Chiquito Trail. We cross San Juan Creek then follow another creek. Just before the trail leaves this peaceful creek there is a shaded area for resting prior to beginning the switchbacking up the west side of the canyon. Our hike will turn around here. If there is interest then the stronger hikers may wish to continue on to Lion Canyon at the leader's discretion.

RATING: Easy to moderate. Our planned trip is about 5 miles round trip with a 300 ft. elevation loss. Distance to Lion Canyon is 11.6 miles round trip with 1100 ft. elevation gain.

WHEN: April 8, 1995 Saturday. Meet at 10 a.m. The hike should be completed by mid-afternoon.

WHERE: Take the Ortega Highway, Rte. 74, from the San Diego Freeway (Interstate Highway 5) at San Juan Capistrano and drive east 19 1/2 miles to the trailhead parking area across from the Ortega Oaks store. The trailhead is at the east end of the parking area and is signed as the San Juan Loop Trail. The parking area can also be reached by taking Rte. 74 west from Lake Elsinore. Driving time from El Segundo Xerox is 1 1/2 hours.

WEATHER: Rain or threat of rain cancels. Temperatures in April can vary widely from 50s and fog to 90s and hot sun so be prepared for either.

BRING: The ten essentials with special emphasis on sun gear (shades, hat, sun screen, 2 liters of water). I recommend light hiking boots with lug soles such as Hi-Tec or Nike--running shoes may not be adequate especially if it has rained recently. Optional items include a camera for those wildflower shots, and money for a post-hike meal.

TOPO MAP: Sitton Peak, Alberhill (both 7.5 minute quads).

GENERAL CONDITIONS: Trail is very well maintained and adequately signed. The trail surface is mostly sandy with some rocks and occasional small amounts of gravel.

OTHER DETAILS: This is tick and poison oak country, so be aware. Be prepared for dust and sun. Rattlesnakes exist in the area so we have to watch our step. Dogs and well-behaved children are welcome.

LEADER: Bruce Corning. Phone (310)333-3568 work, (310)325-8735 home. E-mail BCorn:LAX1B within Xerox, BCorn.LAX1B@Xerox.COM outside Xerox.