Main Divide Truck Trail is a 28.3 mile dirt trail traversing the heights of the Santa Ana Mountains within the Cleveland National Forest, in California, USA. Its highest elevation is Santiago Peak, at 5,689 ft (1,734 m) above the sea level.
The road, also known as Forest Road 3S04, starts from the Ortega Highway climbing steadily. The road's winding design, providing stunning panoramic views, is very curvy and fun for a leisurely ride, so it pays to take it slow. This is a fairly simple trail, though narrow with some loose, uneven surfaces. Your stock 4WD should do a good job here. Most SUVs or trucks could drive the trail with no problem. 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. Adverse weather conditions can prompt closure of the road. It’s subject to closure depending on weather and fire danger level. On a clear day, you will have views clear out to the ocean (sometimes even Catalina Island) and all the way out to the San Jacinto mountains at the same time. Stand on top of Santiago (Old Saddleback) Peak and visit Beek Place ruins.
Pic: Joel Sartain