Clevenger Canyon South West Trail is a 4.3 mile out and back trail located near Escondido, CA 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
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.
Great views, great hike! I like how it wasn't crowded. The geology includes granite boulders with oligoclase veins throughout the trail.
This hike is nice, when you hit the fork, your choice is south or west. I chose to go west, it got narrow & the plants were overgrown. I suggest wearing pants on this trail to avoid scratches & thorns. Eventually pays off with a nice view of the valley.
Trails were not overgrown. Not many people on the trail. Great view of San Pasqual valley towards the wild animal park.
I enjoyed this hike... we expected the day to be hotter than it was. There is not a lot of shade but we had a breeze the whole way up which was nice. Stay STRAIGHT when you come to a fork, with signage that says "Clevenger Canyon South" There is also an arrow to the right but we stayed straight and made it to the chairs this way. The view of the valley at the top where the chairs are is very nice. (our total distance was 4.65) from following the right arrow at the fork and turning around to head the other direction to make it to the chairs.
all uphill. no shade. make sure to bring water
Nice trail which climbs to a peak with beautiful views of the San Pasquel Valley and Ramona to the east. Near the summit someone put 2 chairs on a boulder anchored by a cement base. They then built a small staircase to them. Great views.
Don't get me wrong, this is a cool hike. But while I was hiking, my window was smashed out and the cops won't do anything about it. A $250 lesson. Don't hike here.
This trail is probably much better when it's not hot. There was a little bit of a breeze which made it more bearable, but that didn't help the fact that the trail itself is not well maintained, especially towards the upper half of the trail. Be prepared to get scrapes and scratches on your legs, as well as stickers and thorns in your socks and boots if you wear shorts. It's not all negative in San Pasqual. The wildflowers, though not bountiful, we're very nice amidst the sage brush. And the view of the valley from the top is very rewarding (so is the more consistent breeze)!