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Five minutes from the trailhead an oak woodland grows along Morrell Canyon Creek. Along the banks large boulders and grassy areas are shaded by large old oak trees. The climb from the creek to a low ridge provides vistas of the wilderness towards Sitton Peak and Stewart Ranch (private). Through travelers will need to continue nearly 1 mile (1.6 km) down a portion of the Bear Canyon Trail to reach a lower (San Juan Loop) trailhead on Highway 74 (Ortega Highway). From the trailhead on the South Main Divide, the trail (and traveler) crosses a gentle divide, descends into Morrell Canyon and enters the San Mateo Wilderness. After exiting the canyon and traversing a broad ridge, the trails turns westward to skirt a private land in-holding, crosses Morrell Canyon and traverses along the north side of Round Potrero (i.e., round pasture) before resuming a descent to the junction, go north to the Ortega Highway. The Morrell Canyon portion of this trail is characterized by oak woodlands, large boulders and grassy areas shaded by large oak trees, perfect for wildlife watching or a casual lunch break.
Directions: The lower trailhead is the same as Bear Canyon Loop Trail. The upper trailhead is on the South Main Divide Road/Killen Trail Road 2.8 miles south of the Ortega Highway
- Trail Measurement: 4.3 Miles
- Compass Latitude: 333700N
- Compass Longitude: 1172343W
- Numeric Latitude: 33.6166893
- Numeric Longitude: -117.395319
- Elevation in Meters: 808
- Elevation in Feet: 2651
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