dogs on leash
off road driving
Cleveland National Forest encompasses 460,000 acres, mostly of chaparral, with a few riparian areas. A warm dry mediterranean climate prevails over the Forest. It is the Southernmost National Forest in California.
I loved this trail! I did it for the first time yesterday. The uphill climb was enough to get your heart pumping and the views were gorgeous! We went after it rained and got a bit muddy but it was worth it. The trial is extremely uneven.
Also an edit to a he directions, you need to turn left on Lyons Valley, not right. All that's to the right is a gated neighborhood.
You can definitely skip leg-day after this trek. Once you hit the trail, it's 3 miles of straight up. Single track trail (lots of gravel). Gorgeous views the entire way, especially at the top. Watch out for mountain bikers coming down... There's a reason it's called the "Motorway." Water crossing at the trail head. Absolutely No tree cover!!! If you're thinking of doing this in the Summer, start early!
Trail head parking is extremely sparse (5-6 designated spots) with a sign posted "No parking unless within designated spot." Adventure pass required.
Nice little trail up in Cleveland Forest. Trail is not steep or particularly tiring, but I could imagine it being a bit unpleasant during the summer due to how exposed one is in the low chapparal. Beautiful views of Temecula/Elsinore, and Laguna Hills on the other side. Well worth doing, and not particularly difficult. It escapes me how this is rated difficult and Santiago Peak is rated moderate.
I did this hike in May while there was still some water in the creek, and have also made bike runs through here in the summer coming from Honey Springs Truck Trail looking for geocaches. There's always cool shade so a relaxing experience is possible in summer, but I would say this area is best experienced while it's still green after the rains.