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This was a great trail: clearly marked, well-maintained, and provided a diversity of landscapes, vegetation, and wildlife.

Great transitional trail from oak woodlands to chaparral. There are some exceptionally old oak which do not fail to impress. Highly recommend this trail when there’s some inclement weather, or just post weather.

Not sure why folks are saying that this road is "paved" -- it is not. Not any part of it. Most of it is well-graded gravel, but it is not paved. The views are stunning. Most of the road is narrow, single lane, with not nearly enough turnouts for passing. I'm glad that the only opposite traffic we encountered was a motorcycle. We started at Pio Pico (brown gate), went up to "Doghouse Junction" (the intersection at the top), then went out to the NE (towards Hwy 94 at Engineer Springs). It was not obvious or easy to figure out which of the many roads at that end led out to 94 and we took several wrong turns. See the attached map with notes. Some roads are in good shape and you get to within feet of where you need to be, but there's a locked gate. Other roads deteriorate badly.

Stock 4Runner TRD Off Road. Didn't air down. Used 4 High for most of the road, but used 4 Low for a steeper downhill section--just so as not to ride my brakes.

East to get to, great views, and more shade than I had expected. However, there were a lot of flies and gnats flying into my face than I preferred. I've done this hike twice and the experience was the same both times.

trail running
3 days ago

I took my dog for a run on this trail because I was looking for something with a little more shade. This is a short loop to run, has really nice sections of shade, and also a few climbs and descents that make for a nice short workout with a rewarding view at the top! It’s a nice alternative to some of the more exposed trails at mission trails park. Good to add in the mix when you want a short sweet hike or run.

walking
8 days ago

Great bike ride or walk/jog

Great hike for our family. Kids are 12, 11 and 8. They had no problem . . . A little candy along the way didn’t hurt. It was 4.7 miles and took 1hr50min. A steep section in the loop was the only difficult portion.

Very pretty and very easy. Perfect for kids.

A scenic nice hike. It has several slopes both upwards and downwards. I also spotted 3 deer along the trail and few other critters. I went on a somewhat rainy day and there was nobody else on the trail. Had a good time in the quiet wilderness.

mountain biking
14 days ago

Pretty good trail..

backpacking
14 days ago

Excellent trail, plenty of parking space on the pine valley trailhead but don’t forget your adventure pass in the general store right as you enter pine valley! Great place for a solitude getaway, with plenty of spots to lay a tent down if an overnighter is your thing, like myself. Not much of a water source in mid October so bring water. And be sure to be mindful of where you leave your food for there were mountain lions all over at night. Just the trail I was looking for.

I loved this hike. The path is great mix of forest and open areas. The first part is with good tree cover and you are passing through a forest, parts of it have a enchanted vibe. Then around mile 2 it opens high bush layout and then changes to open plain with short grass. I saw plenty of birds, rabbits, and squirrels. On this day, I only met other hikers on my way back, just starting for the day. The final prize is awesome. Eagle rock, as you approach it from afar it does look too interesting, but once you circle around the final turn, you understand! Loved it! The hike is little away from things but worth the drive.

took on the trail (entrance between brown gate doors in the parking lot of the country store) in a stock 2018 Tacoma. most of the road is paved except for spurs you can take. the spur inclines are crazy, definitely need appropriate clearance, best suited for a heavily modified truck or standard ATV. the road itself is mostly paved, we took it to the peak and back through town due to time constraint.

views were gorgeous, highly recommend. you can see literally clear into Mexico.

mountain biking
15 days ago

Nice trail

hiking
15 days ago

I will do this hike again. Mostly flat with a couple inclines. One major one as you loop around and head up and back. Lots of big black and red ants. If you take a dog, put shoes on him.

Casi 13 millas realmente retadoras! Me encanto!

This was a great hike through varied ecosystems including oak forests, cacti/chaparral, and meadows. We went in early October, and had great weather. Our seven year old son enjoyed the hike as well.

There was no traffic noise or airplane noise, just birds and frogs. We saw a coyote and some turkeys, and the hikers we passed spotted a mountain lion.

The way out is a gradual uphill climb, making the trip back faster and easier.

18 days ago

Cool place to spend a few minutes watching sunset. As with other reviews, note it is not a hike. Very tight space with a little very short trail circling around stone amphitheater. Only space for about 15 cars along road and tiny parking lot. Took my Doberman and he enjoy sniffing around a little, oh and brought my boyfriend too and took cool sunset pics. The handful of people there very nice.

Okay, not the prettiest hike but nice views at sunset. Trail is an old washed out road.

Fun hike to a very interesting rock formation. Will do this again in the spring when everything is greener.

hiking
27 days ago

Beautiful trail! It's a slow inclined to the rock so it is much easier going back. The only thing I wish I knew before going is BRING BUG SPRAY. There were so many flies and bugs getting in our eyes while we were near the trees.

Super cute hike!!

mountain biking
1 month ago

Espectacular vista y ambiente por la orilla del lago.
Súper sencillo el recorrido, apto para niños, principiantes, etc. Son 9km totales (ida y vuelta).
Caminata, trote, mascotas, bicicletas.
Área para descansar y convivir, tienda y amplio estacionamiento.

This trail is very well kept and has mirrors for blind curves. Truly an enjoyable drive. This trail is not at all deserving of a hard rating in my opinion (for a summer drive at least) you will have some steep grades and a few narrow spots but not at all a two way trail so keep in mind when you pass a turn out spot as you may have to back up.
We drove a Jeep Compass Trailhawk without issues. We did throw it into 4low to prevent any slipping but could have done it without it. Traffic was minimal for a holiday (Labor day) only saw two other vehicles and a small group of 3 dirt bikes. All in all great trip!

hiking
1 month ago

Easy hike, completed without complaint by 4 kids ages 5-10.
Pros - pretty lake, unique rock formations, wide pathway, flat and kid friendly.
Cons - forks in the trail without indication where each path leads, no glamorous ending and the lake had a lot of trash in it.

What a great hike! I took 5 Oaks up and the road trail back down. I LOVED the views from 5 Oaks, and all the shade. I was super slow on the ascent because I was taking so many pics. It was very windy once I was about a mile from the summit - it felt great!! If you’re not hiking with dogs I would definitely recommend doing the 5 Oaks trail, at least on the way up (dogs aren’t allowed on the 5 Oaks trail). The other path was pretty steep and seemed to never end, but was fine for the descent. Some people I met while on their way up that trail were pretty winded. I would definitely do this one again.

Nice and more shade then you would expect.

This trail is super fun, the scenery is a bonus! I wouldn't rate this trail hard but you must have a vehicle with some ground clearance and good traction. My first time, I took my Wrangler with all-terrain tires without my 4wd and it would slide around a lot, especially going downhill which could be a little scary if you catch too much speed. I previously went again and set my wrangler at 4Hi. It was quite a difference, much better of course.
The "No Off-Road Vehicles" signs made me a little nervous but so far I haven't encountered any problems. it is a 2 way trail and can be very narrow so it is important to keep an eye out for upcoming vehicles. I encountered about 5 and we were considerate on both ends to make it work, at one point I had to back up quite a bit.

I hiked this Hollenbeck Canyon Wildlife Area trail in the early morning while it was still cool (August).

Trail is well established, but caution as other trails cross or intersect. Moderate use by hikers, equestrians and mountain bikers. Some trail sections have lots of rocks. I did use hiking poles because I hike at a fast pace. Lots of oak trees, olive trees, coastal sagebrush and buckwheat. Wildlife is plentiful. I saw three Red Tail hawks, a Downy woodpecker, other birds, rabbits (I posted rabbit photo that wasn’t too shy). The trail is by a creek, but no water in the summer months. I choose to hike the north side of the loop and come back through Hollenbeck Canyon. The sun in my eyes. Next time I would hike the Hollenbeck Canyon side of the loop first before the sun comes over the ridge.

Lots of parking at the trailhead, including a port-a-potty. You now have to hold California Department of Fish and wildlife (CDFW) Land Pass. Sign posted with website (https://wildlife.ca.gov/license/lands-pass), where you can purchase online or you can call (800) 565-1458 pay over the phone and get a temporary authorization number (TAN). Choices are; day use pass ($4.32) or an annual pass ($25.00) Note: Login online as a guest for day pass, but annual pass will require you to sign in as a member. However, if you already have a hunting, fishing or or trapping license, you do not need to pay. Each visitor must have their own pass and keep on their person, not placed in vehicle.

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