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Welcome to Ortega Mountain Real Estate - that will help you learn all about the Ortega lifestyle and the many opportunities the Mountain offers!

Located just a few miles from San Juan Capistrano up the Ortega Highway you will find the beauty and charm of Southern California’s Santa Ana Coastal Mountain range located in the Cleveland National Forest. The climate is Mediterranean, with warm dry summers and cool winters. Spring brings a variety of flowers and greenery which are truly spectacular.

The Ortega Highway or Route 74 was established in 1934, the western portion of the highway located in Orange County follows San Juan Creek, (as do the ducks that fly the same path) and is named after the Spanish explorer Sgt. Jose Francisco Ortega who led the scouts of the 1769 Portola expedition, first non-natives to ever see the area.

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There are several communities that have sprung up along the highway and the ol’ Mission Viejo Ranch which is located just outside of San Juan Capistrano. This working ranch was once home to some of the finest cattle and horses in the southland. Today as bits of the Ranch are sold off communities like Sendero and The Ranch of Mission Viejo a new development off Cow Camp Road offers new parks and restaurants shopping and community garden make this a great place to live and play.

Further up the Ortega Highway is Casper’s Regional Park which has miles of trails for hikers and equestrians, overnight camping with event center.

A nice little ranchette community is across the highway from Casper’s called Rancho Carrillo developed years ago it is 6 miles out of San Juan and another 6 miles up the private road to this little hamlet. Each parcel is approximately 3 acres and this little horse community is surrounded by National Forest and miles of trails. Truly one of the hidden gems this community holds an annual Hooligan to support the Volunteer Fire Dept. They have horse events and a carnival like atmosphere with the famous Frog Jumping Contest!


Ortega Mountain Horses


Ortega Mountain

As you go higher up the Ortega, you arrive at the San Juan Hot Springs now closed however the trails all around make for wonderful Mountain Biking! There are several cabins that are on leased land the you can buy and live along the creek.

Traveling up to the top you go past Lower San Juan Campgrounds and then to the Candy Store. Lots of people buy day passes and go out on several of the numerous hiking trails in the area and climb Sitton Peak. The next little turn off is Morrill Creek which is home to several properties all with Ortega or Tenaja Truck Trail addresses this rustic road goes 4 miles back to a locked gate. A few homes exist behind the gate all along the way up are various land and homes several for sale which make for great horse properties and most of the land owners here have wells these properties are a variety of sizes and shapes but all country with lots of history and beauty.


The next communities up the highway is Decker Canyon, down in a canyon there is a little slice of heaven, beautiful views and lots of space to do it your way!

Up further still is the little Village of El Cariso here you will find Hell’s Kitchen great food with a casket used for the condiments! Freaky cool! This is one of the local ride to destinations, on any given Sunday you will find the Rolling Rolexes of Orange County parked here and enjoying fun, food and drinks. Across the street is Kristy’s Corner, great little store famous for its Jerky! Some like it Ghost Pepper Hot! They serve great sandwiches and have the necessities for those living on the Mountain! The village itself has several homes of various sizes all have city water and are on septic. They do have mail service and are a short jaunt down the backside of the mountain to Lake Elsinore for convenient shopping and Lake fun! Also, is Upper San Juan Campgrounds fun for camping and hanging out!

Ortega Mountain


Ortega Mountain

Off the South Main Divide is Blue Jay Campground one way and the other is the gated community of Rancho Capistrano another planned equestrian community with a community center and really nice homes and lots that are about 1-3 acres. It is a drive to get home but you are truly living with nature. Lots of sunlight, warm in the summer and beautiful the rest of the year.

The backside of the Mountain as you are driving down has the world famous Look Out Road House. Check the reviews! They serve great food and many come to come take in the outstanding views of the Lake at Elsinore with the backdrop of the mountains across the valley.

The Ortega Mountain offers a variety of choices of places to live and things to do. It is located in two counties depending upon where you are at, some Riverside others in Orange County. There are Forestry and Riverside/Orange County Fire services.


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