Los Pinos Peak Trail is another option. There are a few other places to hike in Ortega. For a great workout on a clear day, you'll want to head up to near the BlueJay Campground. This hike takes you up to Los Pinos Peak (4300FT). On a clear day you can see 100 miles in any direction, except due north where you'll have a side view of Saddleback mountain. This is a hike for Intermediate hikers. This is a 6-mile roundtrip and takes you from about 3000 feet to 4300 FT in about 3 miles. To get to the trail head, you take the 5FWY and exit on Ortega Highway. Take Ortega Higway East for 40 minutes. A couple minutes past the "Beef Jerky Signs" you'll make a left just past the campgrounds on the left. Take this road for about 10 minutes. You'll reach a gravel parking lot on the right side of the road that is also a fire road (4-wheel drive) that leads you up to the top of Saddleback Mountain. You will actually hike on this road for 2 miles before connecting to the trailhead. From here you'll reach a summit where the road meets the trail head. Take a rest and then go left onto the trail head for about 20 feet before making another left going UP HILL. You'll head up hill for the next 1/3 of a mile. You'll reach a peak, but this is not Los Pinos. Follow the trail along the ridge until you reach the top of the peak about a 1/2 mile away. There are several large boulders resting on top of this peak. You should be sure and bring 3-4 bottles of water and lunch. Be careful in the Winter! It often snows here. Be careful in the Summer! It is often near 100 degrees! Have fun! The distant views are more than worth the effort you apply!
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