From the North (LA, Orange, San Bernadino Counties) take Hwy 15 south past 91. From the South (San Diego) take 15 North past 74 (Ortega Hwy). From coastal OC, take the Ortega Hwy east to 15 north. Exit 15 at Indian Truck Trail. Turn west. The trailhead is right here, off of the highway. Park off of the road (no permit required). There is always plenty of room to park. You can drive up Indian Truck Trail and park off of the trail but you will need an Adventure Pass since it is in the Cleveland National Forest.
- Trail UpdateExcellent Conditions-The trail is open, and in a very good condition.
The directions have changed a little bit though: when you take the Indian Truck Trail exit on HWY 15 - turn L when going towards Corona or R when going towards Temecula/Murrieta, then R again at the traffic light. You'll get to a new housing development (how many more, eh?), where signs will show you the path to the "Cleveland National Forest". If I remember right there will be three (3) left turns involved on paved roads. You'll also drive past by a construction area (dirt road). So watch for the signs. I attached a sketch on a G**gle map.
The trail itself is in excellent condition, there was only one major rock slide, but rideable.
On another section, the water washed away a part of the road, narrowing the trail, but it was marked with a tape. Be cautious when riding downhill!
When finished the ride I picked up and removed some f*@#$%^ trash. Amazing what people left right at the trailhead. Old water heater, lawn-mower, a computer, copy machine, just to mention the big chunks.
How can we help to clean this up? I volunteer my help!
(Along the trail, the so-called "recreators" leave beer cans, plastic bottles every time. Why on Earth someone needs to drink beer in a park?)
rbagany a 33 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Specialized Enduro from Sun City, CA URL: G**gle Map
- Trail UpdateGood Question-The start of the road up is now closed by order of the National Parks. When I emailed them to ask about it they told me it was open and it should not be closed.Where the street now ends off to the right is a chain link fence,behind that is the start of the trail.If you find a way in please post back here and let us know. I will probably try to hit it this coming week myself.
- Trail UpdateDirections?-taking 15S then get off on Indian truck trail then make a right, after that it ends & make either a left or right? which way? thanks
dzel a 27 year old Weekend Warrior riding a UZZI SLX from CORONA, CA
- Trail UpdateWashed Out-Rode ITT yesterday. The entrance to the trailhead has been moved. Turn right before the Sick o'More Creek sales office and follow the Cleveland National Forest signs through the new housing development.
This almost seems like a totally different ride than the Indian Truck Trail I'm used to.
At about 4 miles from the trailhead, a massive rock slide has completely washed out the trail, making that section unrideable. I threw my bike over my shoulder and walked across it. That was pretty scary. I don't recommend anyone else doing this.
Nothing else on the trail is unrideable. Lots of ruts, downed trees and loose rocks make for some interesting technical riding. The enourmous rut at about the 3-mile mark is back after being groomed over in December, but there's still a rideable line if you stay to the outside of the switchback.
Ride rating: Advanced
Homicide City Rocker a 37 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Trek Fuel from Nearby
- Trail UpdateI went up it on Monday, Jan17, and it was in great shape. There was about 3 or 4 rock slides which completely covered the road and a few downed trees from the recent storms, but worth the ride. Very green in the tree area.
Ride rating: Intermediate
Ride distance: 9.7 miles Elevation change:
a Racer riding a 24 hour blur
- Trail UpdateHey Homicide-My company just located down the street from here about a month ago and now I'm working there.When do you ride?Are you interested in a old slow,but not real slow riding friend?I just can't ride here by myself and the other guys that do ride with me are really slow and want to turn around about the half way mark.I talked with one of the church guys and he told me the church owned the road,but I told him I didn't think so.He was not trying to be mean we were just talking.They did tell us there is a resident mountain lion and they showed us pictures.And it was a mountain lion.They told us it had ate their guard dog and all the cats they use to have.I told them it was probaly a coyote,but they said the caretaker had seen the mountain lion snag two different kitties.So I've decided not to ride the area any longer by myself.Yes,I'm afraid of the big bad kitty.Anyhow my email is below, if you want company.
Pain Freak riding a Surly Turner from The 909
- Trail UpdateI Just Went!-Thanks for the comment. I do go! about 2-3 times a week if I get the chance. I just get a little irritated not only by the signs, but also by the Koreans and construction crews giving me funny looks like I don't belong back there. Had one of the Koreans shaking his finger at me the other day. I just waved my adventure pass back at him...
- Trail UpdateJust Go!!!!-I have rode up there several times. The construction crews put the sign up and not the state or county. Just go ride and have fun!!!
- Trail UpdateNo Public Access? WTF?-Does anyone besides me get a little irritated by these signs posted by the Sycamore Creek land developers? Indian Truck Trail is a public road and in the Cleveland National Forest.
There's even a "Parked cars must display forest adventure pass" sign about 1/4 mile down from Sycamore Creek's "Sensitive ecological mitigation area, no public access" sign.
WTF? If this were really an ecologically sensitive area, then why would these @$$holes be allowed back there with bulldozers?
And if the Koreans have access to the road to get to their retreat center, why the hell would National Forest patrons be denied access? This doesn't make sense.
I'm waiting for one of them to say something to me, I'll tell them if they have a beef with me being back there, call the cops.
Anyone else who's familiar with this area care to comment?
Made it to the Main Divide and back in 1:47 today...
Ride rating: Intermediate
Ride distance: 13.6 miles Elevation change: 2520 Ft.
Homicide City Rocker, a 36 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Trek Fuel from Riverside County
- Trail UpdateHorsethief To Ortega Hwy-7-10-04 Great conditions, cooler at top, really green on the OC side. Checked out Falcon Camp, good place to picnic, restrooms etc. Left freeway at 10:00am hit Lake Elsinore at 1:00 p.m. in a 89 Jeep Wrangler, a real blast, never had to use 4x4, but probably if you reversed. One hill east of W. Horsethief Trailhead was pretty steep and rutted. Good Ride.
Ride rating: Novice
Ride distance: 18 miles Elevation change: 3500
Dirt Road=100% Paved Path=1% Truck Trail=100%
S.Walker a 52 year old from Riverside Co, Norco
- Trail UpdateIndian Truck Trail-Rode solo from just before the Korean church up to the Main Divide Truck Trail. Started at 4:00 p.m. About 80 °F at the bottom, had quite a bit of shade on the way up. Quite cool up at the top. Lots of gnats near the top. I inhaled one and quickly coughed it back up. Made the ride in 2:09 up and down.
Ride rating: Intermediate
Ride distance: ~ 7 miles Elevation change: 2520 ft.
Homicide City Rocker a 36 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Trek Fuel from Riverside County
- Trail UpdateIndian Truck Trail--corona-9-16-03.
I have been riding this trail since July after buying a new mt. bike (Haro Extreme). Really like this trail except have to watch out for cars. This trail is right in my back yard because I like in Horsethief Canyon Ranch. I have taken the fork to the right where the orange groves are but did not venture out too far because it's private property and did not want to get chased by dogs. On weekends when have more time will try to hike/bike and see how far can get to end. have been told this ends at Silverado in O.C.
Ride rating: Expert
Ride distance: 5 Elevation change:
Mike a 40 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Haro, Extreme 1.0. from corona, Ca 92883
- Trail UpdateTrail Directins-Just be sure to turn left at the first fork. Otherwise you will be chased by some fairly friendly dogs and be on private property. I talked to a lady up there and she said riders are always taking the wrong turn at the fork. Great ride.
Seahike a 58 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Turner XCE from Highland
- Trail UpdateIndian Truck Trail, Holy Jim-CORONA-MISSION VIEJO HIKE
On Wednesday, 6-25-2002, four guys between 25 and 56 years old, hiked up Indian Truck Trail, to Holy Jim, down to the bottom and continued on Trabuco Canyon Road, through O’Neill Regional Park, then under the 241 freeway and out to the intersection of Alicia Parkway and Santa Margarita Road in Mission Viejo. The end of the journey was two and a half miles further on Santa Margarita Road at the Mission Viejo’s Claim Jumper restaurant. We had a ride back home to Corona waiting for us at the restaurant.
It's an imposing, winding hike up the mountain. The climb on Indian Truck Trail to the Main Divide is not extremely steep, but ascends continuously. Most of the way up you can see the Santiago Peak radio towers on your right side. This trail is in excellent conditions.
We took a right when we reached the Main Divide and after a few minutes found the metal post indicating the beginning of the Holy Jim trail.
We took the Holy Jim trail down to the creek and paused there for a few minutes to rest and take pictures. Holy Jim is a well-kept fun trail to hike on. When we reached the first cabins at the trailhead, we headed towards Trabuco Canyon Road, which we found boring, flat and dusty (better for riders than hikers). The pebble-strewn riverbed along side of the O’Neill Regional Park was not an easy walk, but the last part of the trail to Mission Viejo was pleasant. We consumed fresh bananas, beef jerky, power bars, water and Gatorade. No other hikers or riders were seen along the entire way and only three cars on Trabuco Canyon Road. Thanks to the riders who posted updates on this website. You encouraged us to do this hike.
Hike distance: 24 miles
Departing Time: 04:30 a.m.
Hiking Time: 8 hours 14 minutes 7 seconds
Nelson Rodriguez a 56 year old from Corona, California
- Trail UpdateIndian Truck Trail To Holy Jim-Rode this route on Saturday 02Feb02. Parked just off the freeway and began in the middle ring up past the Religous retreat, then it was sit and spin in the granny gear. At around 5 miles I saw the first patches of snow left over from the storm earlier this week. Anywhere there was a little melted snow from the day before there was ice. The patches got bigger, but never anything too significant even as I got closer to the Main Divide. The temperature was cool, but as long as I was grinding uphill, my short sleeve jersey and shorts were fine. I arrived at the Main Divide and headed north towards Santiago and as I came out of the shaded area, the snow disappeared. Saw a couple of hikers as I approached Holy Jim, but nobody else on a bike. Put the jacket on and turned the bike downhill for a cold cruise back to my car.
Ride rating: Intermediate
Ride distance: 18.5miles Elevation change: 3000(Approx)
Dirt Road=10% Truck Trail=90%
Tony Blane a 35 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Intense Tracer from Temecula
- Trail UpdateFirst Time On Indian TT-Rode there Superbowl Sunday, Alot better bet than the Lame Game! Wow! talk about traction from the previous days rain. My descent averaged 27 MPH (tops 39)and it was like riding on fly-paper. Saw another group of (6) riders decending at about the 5 mile mark, (4) horses, (4) motorcycles and alot-a great scenery and views. Snow was at the 5 1/2 mile mark and became pretty thick by the main divide. rode to main divide an turned back. Great climb and a smooth descent.
Ride rating: Intermediate
Ride distance: 12 Elevation change: 2500
Dirt Road=20% Truck Trail=80%
Clancy, Noleen test Dummy a 40 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Many K2's from Norco
- Trail UpdateIndian Truck Trail-Rode the trail today it was great. Went in the early afternoon got lucky it was not too hot. The climb was great. Only went the 6.0 miles to the top and turned around for the descent. Watch the corners there is alot of loose dirt and sand. Went OTB once but it was worth it. Other than the loose stuff the trail is in great condition. You will know what kind of shape you are in by the time you get to the top.Watch for the cars in the corners I came across three while I was up there.
Ride rating: Advanced
Ride distance: 12miles Elevation change: unknown
Dan a 38 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a GT Zaskar from Lake Elsinore
- Trail UpdateIndian Truck Trail And Holy Jim-Great Ride! On Saturday, 5/13, I rode up Indian Truck Trail, which is conveniently right off the I-15 (with its own off-ramp), to Holy Jim, down to the bottom on the Orange County side and returned the same way I came. Thanks to SS for turning me on to this ride through his posts. I only have a few things to add to SS's accurate descriptions below:
Indian TT climbs relentlessly for 6 miles, not terribly steep, but constant. It was granny gear for me the majority of the way. It's a very scenic, curvy ride up the mountain, with the radio towers on Santiago Peak taunting you the entire way up. At mile 6.0, there is a welcome but brief respite from the climbing, which then resumes and takes you to Main Divide. My odometer read 7.48 miles at the intersection with Main Divide.
Hang a right and follow the rolling Main Divide to the Holy Jim trailhead, with its broken wooden post. A group of hikers were hanging out in the shade Odometer was exactly 9.0 miles at this point.
Descending Holy Jim is sheer enjoyment (after the first 50 yards of rock scrambling), with its fast and smooth canopied sections, a few rocky spots and some nice cliff-side exposure. Took it down to the rocky creek, with ever-increasing casual hikers present. They were all cool.
Had a quick snack break at the bottom, then turned around and headed up Holy Jim. Mistake #1: the 100 oz. bladder was not sufficient, as I ran out of Gatorade halfway back up Holy Jim to Main Divide. Mistake #2: I gave my extra bottle of water to a dog which followed me all the way to Holy Jim from the bottom of the truck trail. It was a great dog, I had no idea where it came from, but it kept me company on the grind up. That dog had at least an 18 mile round trip, so I was forced to risk dehydration (and actually suffer a left hamstring cramp at the bottom of Holy Jim) for the sake of the mutt. That dog was fit though!
I managed to chug back up to Main Divide via Holy Jim, hang a right at Main Divide, then a left at the truck trail and cruise blissfully 7.5 miles back to my car. Stats: 4.5 hours total trip (3:50 ride time), with 27 miles logged and somewhere around 5,000 feet climbed. It was great.
I had the pleasure of riding with a guy that could easily pass as Ned Overend, not only in the looks department, but in the incredibly high fitness level. While I was suffering up Holy Jim, he was out of his saddle finessing his way up the loose stuff and actually coming back down the trail to see if I was still alive. He could have easily broken the 3 hour mark on the bike. Man, did I feel old. Let's hook up again.
I HIGHLY recommend this ride to anyone who wants to check their fitness level and get in a fun ride with great scenery. It was a wake up call to my legs. And watch out for the poison oak, which is quite thick in spots.
Ride rating: Advanced
Ride distance: 27 miles Elevation change: ~5,000
Singletrack=40% Truck Trail=60%
Heckler a Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Silver FSR-XC from San Diego
- Trail UpdateIndian Truck To Holy Jim-I had a great ride on Saturday. I rode from the bottom of Indian Truck Trail up to Main Divide, hung a right and continued another 1.5 miles to Holy Jim. I rode down Holy Jim for about 3.5 miles before turning around and riding back the way I came. I wanted to go further but I didn't have any lights with me and it was getting late.
Overall, it was a wonderful day. The total trip was 25 miles, 5,000 ft of elevation gain/loss, and 4 hrs long. The fireroads (Indian Truck & Main Divide) were in great shape - hard and fast. Holy Jim is one of the great things about mountain biking in SoCal. It is a tight, twisty, and moderately technical singletrack and it has some heart-thumping cliff-side exposure. There is no way a trail like this would be legal in the Bay Area. If you ride Holy Jim, help keep it legal by watching your speed around the blind corners. This is probably the most popular hiking trail in Orange County. (I passed a group of about twenty hikers at the top and, by SoCal weather standards, it wasn't even a great day. All the hikers were very friendly, though.)
A few oddities from the ride: One woman hiker was changing her pants (who knows why?) in the middle of Main Divide in plain view. Yet, she got embarassed when I came cruising around the corner. Next, I passed a man and woman hiking together on the way down Holy Jim but I didn't see them on my way back up (a little off-trail action, perhaps.) I also met another rider on my way back at the intersection of Main Divide and Indian Truck Trail. It was about 4:30pm and he wanted to know if Indian Truck would take him down to Trubuco Cyn. I directed him to take Holy Jim instead (unless he wanted to end up on the wrong side of the mountains). I am still wondering how he got up there in the first place and why he didn't just go back the way he came. Luckily, he did have lights.
Ride rating: Advanced
Ride distance: 25 miles Elevation change: 5000 ft
Singletrack=30% Truck Trail=70%
SS a 32 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Catamount from Orange County
- Trail UpdateIndian Truck Trail-Trail is still in great condition. Fireroad all the way up, so watch for 4x4 weekend warriors. This is a great ride if you are looking for a serious burn. The ascent can become grueling (especially in the heat). I would recommend an early morning or late afternoon start. This trail is easy to get to with plenty of parking.
David a 31 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Giant XTC SE1 from Temecula
- Trail UpdateJust got back from the truck trail and found that the ride is great But if you are a strait Swinger you better watch yourself Found a lot of gay guys trying to get some action out there I will never go back there again
Josh Driver a 24 year old Weekend Warrior riding a Mongoose D40r from Colton CA
- Trail UpdateIndian Truck Trail-Just west of the highway, Indian Truck Trail becomes a dirt road that snakes its way up to Main Divide Trail. The trail is 7.5 miles long with an elevation gain of 2400 feet (1400 feet at the bottom and 3800 feet at the intersection w/ Main Divide). The trail starts off easy for the first mile as it meanders through desert-like shrubs up to a retreat center. At the retreat center, stay to the right. This is the start of the steepest section. The trail gains about 2,000 feet over the next 5 miles over a constant grade. The trail condition is generally very good. It is typically a hard surface with enough loose dirt and ruts to make the descent interesting. At 6.0 miles, the steady climb is over and the vegetation has changed from the desert shrubs to conifers and other medium-sized trees. From here, the trail descends for about 0.5 mile and then rolls up and down until it ends at the Main Divide Trail at 7.5 miles. Rest here and enjoy the beautiful mountain and canyon views to the east and the west. For those who are up to a greater challenge, turn right and climb another 3 miles (and about 2,000 more feet) to the highest point in the Santa Ana's - Santiago Peak). Descending the Indian Truck Trail is a wild affair. Since it has been graded for trucks, mountain bikes can scream downhill. Aggressive tire tread will be helpful since there is typically a thin layer of loose dirt covering the hard pack (a bit like descending over tiny ball bearings). Since motor vehicles are allowed on this trail, be wary of them at all times. You will also need to keep any eye out for other trail users. However, due to its location, I have found this to be a seldom used bike trail. Ride difficulty is based on how far one rides. Enjoy!
SS a 31 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Catamount from Orange County