The trail begins behind the info stand at the north side of the huge San Juan Loop & Bear Canyon Trailhead parking lot. Which is across from Ortega Oaks Candy Store.
It goes up a little and then descends providing views of Decker and Long canyons until it reaches the bottom of Long Canyon. There is a seasonal creek here during spring months that is downstream from Ortega Falls.
After a short stretch in the canyon there is a junction with Chiquito Trail to the right and shortly after that the trail starts ascending between the hill on the left and Highway 74 on the right. The highway cannot be seen behind the trees but it will be heard most of the time on this section.
Upper San Juan campground can be accessed from the trail. The loop trail ends at the south side of the parking lot near a vault toilet.