Clevenger Canyon South West Trail is a 4.3 mile out and back trail located near Escondido, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Easy to follow trail with some great views at the top! The trail is overgrown in some places, so I suggest wearing pants to avoid scratching your legs. There's also a fallen tree across the trail within the first half mile, but it's easily navigable. Really great hike
This was a cool, moderate strenuous hike, especially the pair of lawn chairs on top of a massive boulder at the Southeast Peak and the peak log at the Southwest Peak. Racked up a total of 6.51 RT hiking mileage with a total 1,177 ft. elevation gain. First, we trekked to the Southeast Peak, then did about-face and saddle-backed towards the Southwest Peak to sign the peak log. Disappointed we didn't locate a geological benchmark, but the peak log is as good to make it an official hike after signing it.
The sign at the trailhead says South Trail, so that's what I will call it. I ended up hiking 6.57 miles in 2 hrs 47 min (hiking time) with a total elevation gain of 1819'. I stepped off at about 7am the temp was 64'. I finished my hike at 10am and the temp was now 94'. Bring lots of water and snacks for this moderate hike. You are exposed most of the time. Also, wear long pants and long sleeves, especially if you decide to take the SW trail. About 6/10s of a mile in there is a fork in the trail with a marker that that gives you the option of continuing SE or taking the trail on the right SW. If you are adventurous and want the challenge of busting the brush go SW. From the trailhead to the end of trail sign it is only 1.5 miles. Just before the End Trail sign there is a viewpoint. Hidden between the rocks at the viewpoint is an ammo. Open it up and sign in! From here I headed back down to the fork and took the SE trail. You will be rewarded with some awesome views, a short cruise along the ridge, and a set of chairs that have been concreted on top of a huge boulder. Take the time to circle around the back of the boulder, climb the wooden stairs, take a seat and just take it in. You won't regret it! This was a fun training hike for me.
This trail is NOT the South West Trail, it is the South East Trail, as seen here: http://www.sdrp.org/archive/Trail%20Maps/Map_Clevenger%20Revised%20FINAL.pdf. You'll run into a fork about half a mile into the trail. Staying to the left will keep you on this trail.
We went during the first week of June so there weren't as many wildflowers as we'd thought, because of which (I think) bees weren't a problem. There was poison ivy down by the creek crossings and quite a bit of overgrowth at many parts of the trail, so recommend wearing pants. Very little shade throughout the trail so carry a hat and lots of water. Also, tons of ants all over so make sure you watch out if you're standing in one place, taking photos or such Fantastic views of the San Pasqual Valley and Ramona from the top.
We really liked this trail. It wasn't too long and I didn't think it was easy but definitely not too hard. There is a fork where the sign says so go right for canyon south which we did. The trail was pretty overgrown and there were a lot of bees so wear pants. I thought it was worth it thought. Next time I will go to the left/straight at the fork cause it seems that's the longer hike and where the chairs are, which was our original destination. Went in the early morning and there was a nice breeze and not too hot. But there really is no shade.
Extremely fun! No shade though, (except for maybe a minute) but getting to the top, where the metal chairs were was extremely breath taking and worth it. Carful of the bees though!
great trail for a hiker and his dog. it was cool - total isolation. did it on a Thursday morning and never saw another person.
Loved this hike - beautiful views. App says easy though, and felt more moderate to me...pretty steady incline, but not too steep. Recommend pants.