At 3,273 feet above sea level, Sitton Peak has commanding 360 degree views of the Cleveland National Forest. On clear days, you can see the ocean and even Catalina Island. The elevation gain and distance makes this a good intermediate level hike.
Time: 4 hours
Elevation gain: 2,150 ft
When to go: Fall through Spring
As you get closer to Sitton Peak, keep an eye out for the trail marker (it will be on your right). The “trail” to the top is not maintained and often overgrown. If you’re not paying attention, you could pass it by. The last quarter mile requires a little scrambling and bushwacking to reach the summit. No special equipment required, but you might want long pants to protect your legs from scratches.
The summit makes a great place to break for a snack or lunch and enjoy the views. When it’s clear, you can see the Pacific Ocean. On the return trip, take the ridge trail option. It adds a little extra mileage, but gives you some different scenery to enjoy and takes you back to the same junction with the Morgan Trail.
There is no water along the trail, so bring plenty for the round trip. This area gets pretty hot in the summer months. It’s still do-able, but you’ll enjoy the fall through spring season best. If possible, hike this on a clear day so you can really appreciate the views.
There is ample parking in a lot across Ortega Highway from the Candy Store. You’ll need a National Forest Adventure Pass, which can also be purchased at the Candy Store. If you do more than six hikes in National Forest a year, it’s worth buying the annual pass.
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