Tenaja Falls Trail

MODERATE 38 reviews
#1 of 2 trails in

Tenaja Falls Trail is a 4.5 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Lake Elsinore, CA that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and walking and is accessible year-round.

4.5 miles 416 feet Out & Back

kid friendly

hiking

walking

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

Directions from Temecula, CA: Travel Interstate 15 to the Clinton Keith Road exit and go west, then south on Tenaja Road for a total of 9.9 miles. Turn right at sign that points to Cleveland Forest Rd. Continue 5 miles to trailhead. Then continue 4.3 miles to the falls.


1 month ago

Great trail. No water fall on 6-10-16. We will be back.


2 months ago

Cool place to hang just be sure to watch out for mountain lions. Also not a whole lot of water but during the rain is amazing


2 months ago


3 months ago

hiking

Great hike, lots of ups and downs, half shade and half sun. Not any water except for a trickle at the falls. Some good camping spots a Fishermans or farther near the falls.

If you want to make this a longer trip (9 miles) you can start from the Fishermans trail and take that all the way to the falls.


3 months ago


4 months ago

There is a incline so be prepared sometimes the trail can be washed out so make sure you cross water and go up side of mountain. Great spot!


4 months ago

hiking

Trail was fun liked the long single car road to get there very cool views. Dogs loved playing in the water the hike wasn't bad not very long either spent more time playing in the water good trail though will definitely be back. The directions though took me to the complete opposite side


5 months ago

hiking


5 months ago

hiking

Fun! Hiked in from Fishermans camp. Very pretty in the spring. A little rocky at times, and sometimes the trail appears to disappear, but overall very well taken care of trails & well marked.


6 months ago

hiking

Pretty nice hike up to Tenaja Falls...which is just a bit more than a trickle most of the time. Did the hike with 3 dogs without any problem. Kids had fun exploring at the top of the falls.


7 months ago

hiking

First time up Tenaja Trailhead and I had a great time. The hike to the waterfull is very short and an easy hike there. the trail to the waterfall is a little under a mile and only took about an hour to get there. I did not get to see a huge waterfall but it was still a beauty. since it was a short hike we kept walking off a smaller beaten path and went on for about 3-4 miles. Didn't see much but some fresh Mountain lion claw prints. only for the adventurous after that.


7 months ago

Beautiful views however the falls are dried up :(


7 months ago

hiking


8 months ago

trail running

Beautiful, towering hills circle the trail giving it a mysterious vibe. Watch out for ticks!


1 year ago

hiking

As you would expect at this time of year, the trail is drier with less tree coverage than some of the photos depict, but its a great hike. The creek and fall are also both totally dried up right now, but the underlying rocks are still a lot of fun to climb on. Some of the other reviewers note that the road out is a bit treacherous, I would add that it is also very long! Be prepared for another 30 minutes of driving on a narrow, pot-holed, winding road once you enter Cleveland Forest. It is a beautiful drive with several scenic turnouts for photos and such, but you begin to wonder if you'll ever get to the trailhead!


1 year ago

hiking

Once you make a right on Cleveland forest road, you will arrive at the Tenaja Trail head. If you decide to make your way to the 2nd Tenaja Falls trail head which is approximately another 4 miles on this one lane road, make sure you take your time and remember there is only enough room for one vehicle for most the way. The road is paved and just a few pot holes to watch out for but mainly watch out for traffic on those blind turns, use those pull outs and you will be ok.
About a 1/4 mile in, you reach a fork in the trail. Left will take you to the top of the falls. Right of the fork, you will see a landing area with two ropes swings that is adjacent to the riverbed. Just rock hop your way up the riverbed and you will reach the base of the falls. Great hike, little water flowing but will definitely go back just after the next storm.


2 years ago

hiking

Hiked this trail with the hubby. It was an awesome experience, we hiked about two miles past the falls and then turned around and stopped there on the way back. There was a small amount of water at the top but the falls were not flowing because of the drought. The trail itself is very easy with beautiful views. We climbed all over the rocks by the falls and took some awesome pictures. On our way back we stumbled upon a trail that didn't seem to be on the map. The only landmark I remember is an old rusty car. This trail was a lot more difficult. We hiked through small rocks at first, but they became bigger and more difficult as we approached the bottom of the falls. The walk back to the original trail was the most fun since we had to slide down the big rocks to get back to the smaller rocks. Overall an awesome hike! It took us about 3 hours. The only downside I see is the drive there. The road is too small for two cars so drive slowly and carefully!!!


2 years ago

The walk required a fair amount of rock jumping and was not well-marked, causing us extra time to get to the falls area, which were not flowing due to the drought conditions. There was a little water in the pool below but the area was crowded and not really worth the hike.


2 years ago

Good for families and beginners. Cool view but very little water right now (darn drought) short hike about 2 miles to the top of the falls and back. Far drive for such a short hike


2 years ago

hiking

Went here yesterday (3/11/14). If you like cool, scenic drives then you will love going here. Once you go past the Santa Rosa Ecological Reserve (which is full of Mountain Bike trails) you drive for about 15 or so miles through beautiful countryside. There are huge ranches full of horses (I even spotted a Texas Longhorn). Once you turn onto Cleveland Forest Road the main trailhead will be in a mile or so. This is the trailhead for the longer 5 mile hike. To get to the closer trailhead continue on past it for about 4 1/2 miles. From here it is less than a mile to the falls. Not too much incline. You can spot the falls from the trail up. The water was only at a trickle when I was there. There was broken glass all over the top of the falls and graffiti too. Some dumb kid even spray-painted a big "PROM?" proposal on one of the rocks... basically spoiling most pictures of the upper falls. The views through the whole canyon are awesome. Try to plan a trip here when its wet. You can also get here from certain trailheads off of Ortega HWY and other places, but this makes it for a longer - more awesome hike. If you come here can you please pick up a little bit of trash? THANKS!!!