Main Divide Road
Photo: Two New Jeep JK's Heading Up Main Divide Rd.
|Other Names:||3S04, Main Divide, Indian Truck Trail|
|Part of:||Cleveland National Forest|
|Trail Length:||40 Miles|
|Trail Time:||2.5 Hours (Depending On Starting Position)|
|County:||Orange / Riverside Counties|
|Nearest Cities:||Corona / Silverado Canyon / Lake Elsinore|
|Elevation:||1,000 - 5,300 Feet|
Starting at the Ortega Highway, the road climbs steadily, passing Blue Jay USFS Campground. This is the only campground along the trail. If you need to camp, this is it. As you move further up towards the first peaks namely Trabuco Peak, the only vegetation you find are the low shrubs of manzanita and sugarbush. This is a fairly simple trail, though narrow with some loose, uneven surfaces. Your stock 4WD should do a good job here. For the more adventurous, you can use the numerous alternate trails crisscrossing the main one.
As the trail starts to climb, look down into the Temescal Valley towards the east. Lake Elsinore comes into view 2,000 feet below. Keep moving along and on a clear day you can see Mission Viejo, the Joaquin Hills and even the Santa Catalina Island. To the east is Lake Mathews.
When you reach Santiago Peak, the incline reduces and the trail normalizes as this route is used to access the radio towers located to the north.
While you drive along the trail, you might want to pull out and take in the exhilarating views. You can do this easily when you drive along the high ridge east of the Gulf of Santa Catalina. If you want to fully enjoy this trail make sure you do it on a clear, crisp winter day. The cool air and good sunlight will make it a great experience. Moreover, the sweeping views of coastal Southern California are not to be missed.
Call Cleveland National Forest’s Trabuco District office for information about possible closures.
You can also access Main Divide from the following trails (when open):
- Skyline Drive - Corona entrance
- Bedford Road - Riverside County entrance
- Indian Truck Trail - Riverside County entrance
- Harding Truck Trail - Riverside County entrance
- Maple Springs Road - Orange County/Silverado Canyon entrance
- Blackstar Canyon - Orange County entrance, usually closed to vehicles.
- Long Canyon Road (6S05, off of Ortega) - Alternate Ortega Hwy entrance
If you drive on the many side roads you will get the area closed down.
Maps and GPS Coordinates
Main Divide Road Coordinates: 33.653192° -117.411739°
- Satellite image from Google Maps, Windows Live Local, WikiMapia
- Street map from Google Maps, or Yahoo! Maps, or Windows Live Local
- Topographic map from TopoZone
- Aerial image or topographic map from TerraServer-USA
- Find nearby Geocaching locations
- Find this location with Google Earth
Conditions and Closures
It is always wise to check with the Cleveland National Forest to make sure that your trail is open.
Cleveland National Forest Contact Information
- Cleveland NF Current Conditions and Closures
- Trabuco Ranger District - (951) 736-1811
- Palomar Ranger District - (760) 788-0250
- Descanso Ranger District - (619) 445-6235
- Headquarters - (858) 673-6180
During fire season, the gate between the north end of Main Divide and Skyline Drive is locked. You can get a key from the County of Riverside, but you must visit the cashiers office. There is a $100 deposit for 1 year of use and you must fill out a short request form. The cashiers office is located at 4080 Lemon St., 2nd Floor, Riverside, CA. The phone number is 951-955-1814
- North Main Divide Road
- South Main Divide Road
- Main Divide Truck Trail