Explore 2017 - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

2017 Map
VIEW FULL MAP

Well maintained hike. The abundance of fall colors was great along the way. No complaints. It’s a nice hike, especially this time of year.

Beautiful hike, but do it early to beat the heat and the crowds!

great trail. good elevatipn. great views. cant get lost either.

hiking
1 day ago

This was a wonderful hike with some amazing views at the end. You can park on the side of the road, there is enough space for about 5+ cars depending on how close the cars park.

The hike starts off fairly flat, then just goes up at a consistent rate to the top. The trail is easy to follow and well maintained.

Will definitely come back and do this hike again.

a lot of people, met a barefoot hiker who is cool. not too many people would stop and talk though.

This hike is always my go to. Its quick enough to do before work or before errands and always has beautiful views. I occasionally run this trail too so its good for leisure or for a more intense workout! I never get tired of it and it's good for all hiker levels :)

This hike is definitely worth it. It’s also worth paying the $10 to park. They have excellent, well maintained facilities at the lake, and the trail is also very well maintained. If you are a trail runner this is ideal because the path is relatively smooth and even for the first stretch, then when it gets steep there are rock stairs or rock gardens. There was not one place that was sketchy to navigate.

I’d call this a moderate hike because while somewhat long and a bit a steep at places, you never question your life or abilities. Hard hikes, I think, should have you second-guessing your ability to complete them. This hike never required any thought. It was smooth.

Also, I thought I’d be showing up “late” when I started about 7:45am on Sunday, 12/9. It wasn’t crowded at all and I had long stretches to myself. There were a few groups going up but not too many. And while I didn’t take a picture, there was no line do so. Definitely more people on the way down (coming up), but there were a few large groups. Bottom line, don’t stress if you are not there at sunrise, you can still get some alone time in. And there’s a lot of shade in the morning. It took me about 1:20 to get up and 50 minutes to come down, and I ran part of the way down.

If you need a hike to really kick your ass, try El Cajon Mountain. Even if you don’t go the full 11 miles, it is challenging and up hill both ways!

Did this hike for the second time today and it is always fun and a really nice view. The first time we went, it was definitely a lot more difficult since the other trail down was much much steeper, but it is permanently closed now. I assume that was for safety reasons, but now the trail is a lot easier so I was a teensy bit bummed out about that. Not a huge deal though, still a wonderful and beautiful hike!

This was actually 6 miles. No water in the falls, but as everyone else has stated, still worth the hike. It’s just beautiful at the pool!

The owner said that access to the springs via his property is permanently closed. This may change subject to his whims, but steer clear unless you want a serious chewing out. Owner referenced the number of people that come unprepared and the "daily" rescues. The road in and out was dicey after the recent rains. Who knows if it's actually closed or if he just decided to close it for the day, either way, the owner was very rude.

This is actually a 6 mile loop well maintained trail. The water was barely flowing from the top of the waterfall but the bottom reservoir was full. The landscape of the waterfall was simply beautifully and well worth the hike.

This hike was everything everybody said it would be, and more. Perfect weather and trail conditions.

Such a fun and challenging hike/trail run. Great workout and nobody on the mountain!

Creds. AllTrails Pro - amazed people hike with out Pro version. Pro version bulletproof for not getting lost. Extremely easy to get lost on this trail without Pro version. Only $30 annually and no internet required. There is no internet service when you enter the Angeles National Forest. Yes trying to make a point.

10.4 mi, 1,699’ El Gain, 4:45 minutes travel time.

Adventure Pass required. $5 one time or $29 annually (the one I have)

Parked 8:am Saturday 8 Dec 2018. Gorgeous day with significant flowing river %85 of trail from rain 2 days ago. Expect to cross river 3 to 4 times getting wet up to knees (I’m 5’8).

Definitely doing this hike again!

Nice hike, pretty easy/wide trail much of the way. Suggest taking the side Five Oaks trail for the best views and less people (even though a bit harder and narrower).

So much better than just taking the fire road. I'd actually suggest doing an out and back on the recommended start to the route so you only do the paved part at the end. Be prepared for some very narrow trails that get pretty rocky (loose in some areas).

was beautiful can wait till spring hopefully when the water is flowing still so amazing!!

Trail was well maintained and the folks up front checking permits were so helpful and friendly. It heated up on the way back which was close to noon in December, so bring plenty of water as they recommend. It was more or less a hike through the desert. Overall a good work out. I was told snakes were around, I didn’t see any (amen).

Beautiful sights, challenging hike and uplifting experience!

Really fun hike! Has lots of great scenery and it's definitely a place I am going to go back to since we never got to finish it. I recommend for anyone to keep on checking your app/map to make sure you are going on the right path, it can get very confusing at times since a lot of the recent rain has washed away quiet a bit of the trail and the main big trail is blocked off from rock slides.

It was a very fun hike with beautiful views of the river and surrounding mountains. You do have to cross the river a couple of time which might result in you getting wet. The bridge is really nice and you’re allowed to walk on it and underneath, they also offer bungee jumping for $120 if you’re feeling spontaneous

6 days ago

Great views! Unfortunatly for us, we have to avoid last sector by icy.
For me one of the best perspectives.

I went in the morning of Dec 1, 2018 after some good rain. Still no water, but a great time as always. My Garmin watch clocked at 5.09 miles round trip. A bit of bouldering at the falls to get to the top but nothing too hard. The new path around the part where you used to climb down and up the hill made this trail easier in a good way. As always make your own way and be safe.

Several things I love.
1) Typically not crowded
2) Many paths to each peak which offer their own delights
3) tons of thriving vegetation and wildlife
4) Some paths can be a bit of a challenge and leg burner
5) Some pretty cool hangout spots along the way that are peaceful and secluded

Downer: at times south fortuna is crowded at stairs, luckily several paths and theres north fortuna, significantly less crowded.

I once hiked down North Fortuna after dark without a headlamp, by myself, with several paths intersecting. DONT DO THAT scary as heck.

oh, leave a gift of poetry at North Fortuna too

great for learners, or getting back into shape, or just getting better. great view of San Diego, beautiful sunsets. Easily accessible. pleanty of parking, and places the eat nearby. Downfall is it's often crowded, people think theres maintaneance to pick up their already bagged dog poo and bust leave it on the trail (stupid!) theres zero shade (sucks in the summer), and natural vegetation suffers from frequent human activity (comparing to the rest of mission trails, even during the dry season theres still some green, but hardly on Cowels) a pro to that, is less wildlife (snakes in particular)

Most exhilarating hike ever!

Definitely a good hike that wears you out on the way up....as long as you hike the side starting at the lake. Will definitely hike again soon.

It’s an amazing hike is not that hard but take a lot of water with you

Beautiful view from the top! Well worth the effort. My then 7 year old was a little nervous about the narrow top portion of the hike, but she toughed it out and wasn’t scared once we were at the wide and mostly flat top of the peak.

Load More