El Cariso Nature Trail

EASY 4 reviews
#44 of 86 trails in

El Cariso Nature Trail is a 1.3 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Lake Elsinore, CA that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and nature trips and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

1.3 miles 150 feet Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly


nature trips




wild flowers


Directions from Lake Elsimore, CA: Travel southwest on Highway 74 venturing into the mountains, then onto the Visitor Center / Fire Station in El Cariso.

6 months ago

Took my kids on this trail while we were camping at Blue Jay campground and they had a good time. They enjoyed reading all the postings throughout the trail.

9 months ago

This was a nice little hike that is great to do with kids. The distance was perfect even for the littlest of hikers and with signs along the way to read and learn about the Flora and Fauna it made it a great educational hike. Do take the time to stop by the Fire Fighters Memorial as it was quite impressive. The Visitor center was closed when we went but it looks like that would add to the experience and information gathering. If you are looking for a short easy hike to get the kiddos into the sunshine and learn about nature, this would be a perfect fit.

10 months ago

Very easy hike from the visitor center along State Highway 74. Trail is clearly marked with lots of descriptive plaques along the way. Half of it is forested with Coulter pines and scrub oak. Easily done in less than an hour.

2 years ago

This was a fun little trail to do with the six year old. It's a loop that crosses a paved road twice. There are interpretive signs, courtesy of an eagle project. We also went the few yards out of our way to visit the wildfire firefighter memorial, a somber spot. There are a few ups and downs, but nothing major. The entire trail is one person wide; a stroller would be impossible, bikes are not permitted. Besides the signs teaching about the local flora and fauna, there is an abandoned mine entrance to add interest. There are three "visitors" spots at the ranger station, where you can park for free. Otherwise, parking at the campground across the street or at the picnic area is going to cost you $5 or an adventure pass. We were there on the Saturday of Memorial day, and there were a few families at the campground, but no one else on the trail, that we saw.