Elfin Forest Olivenhain Reserve Loop Trail is a 10.3 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Escondido, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from October until December. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Nice hike, moderate to high traffic on weekend with view of Lake Hodges and Olivenhain reservoir.
Awesome views. Moderate hike but not terribly long. 1.5ish miles to the reservoir from the information center.
Amazing view!!! For me the hike was very easy, but I enjoyed.
Love Elfin Forest.
This is a beautiful area for a day hike. I would recommend taking a trail map with you, which can be found at the trailhead area. Starting from the trailhead, there are about 1 1/2 miles of switchbacks, but when you get to the top, there are lovely views of the Olivenhain Reservoir all the way to the ocean. Surprisingly, also at the top of the trail, there was a drinking fountain, clean pit toilets and a picnic area with benches. We continued on the trail to the Lake Hodges overlook and that was well worth it - I highly recommend it. It is a few more switchbacks to get to this overlook, but we could see Lake Hodges, Laguna Mts and other peaks. A spectacular view! We took some awesome photos from this overlook. All of the trails are maintained well and the signage is superb. We took this hike on a weekday and didn't see very many people. I will definitely return to this area for more hiking adventures.
SoCal Guy E.
Fun trails, well maintained, natural terrain, not crowded, beautiful views
Nice local trail looping around Olivenhain Reservior. Enough trail to get a good workout (10 miles) and variety of trails for families (2 miles to a chair.) Dog friendly with off-leash legal after 1 mile in!
Truth be told when I tried this hike back in the spring, I made it about half way up and gave up. Take note: I am about 140lbs overweight, sadly. So, finally this fall I decided I would tackle it again. I have lost 20lbs (so far) from hiking and cutting calories. I have hiked this trail 4 times now within a three week time frame. As an overweight gal, I burn well over 1500 calories on this trail. My 3 yr old Bichon Frise goes with me every time. I love the friendly people, I like it when the mountain bikers actually do have bells. I do stop about 5-7 times going up but the hike up is worth it.
I had never hiked before and decided to take my daughters on this hike, at the suggestion of my Ironman friend, who will remain nameless. We did the mile straight up and then decided to follow a path that went way out into the hot sunny desert with miles of switchbacks and no end in sight. We kept spotting people on clifflike trails far off in the distance. We would point and say OMG THANK GOD that is not us and then an hour later there we were. Finally, we passed a woman and her dog JOGGING and she said we only had another few switchbacks to get to the top. After stopping in the doggy graveyard we had to go all the way down again. It was a great hike but hot and dry and loooonger than I had thought. Not great trail markers at the time I went.
loved this hike
It was a nice trail with a gradual incline. Nice view throughout the trail
my favorite local hike
I can't wait to tackle this hike again when I'm better equipped. And more knowledgable. I decided, after not looking at the map, to do the way up trail. After not hiking in over a year, my @$$ was handed to me. And I'm in decent shape. But the steepness definitely through me off. Make sure you bring enough water. Like, a lot. One large bottle for my dog and I was not enough. I ended up carrying her the last 15 minutes down the mountain. I found myself stopping frequently on this trail to catch my breath, blaming my dog as people walked by seeing me relaxing in the shade... "Oh she's just a puppy, she needs to catch her breath." Really, it was me. So bring your water. Really beautiful surroundings, can't wait to complete all of the hikes Elfin Forest has to offer!