dogs on leash
off road driving
Cleveland National Forest encompasses 460,000 acres, mostly of chaparral, with a few riparian areas. A warm dry mediterranean climate prevails over the Forest. It is the Southernmost National Forest in California.
I'm a beginner when it comes to hiking. My fiance and a couple friends (one of whom is 7 months pregnant) and I decided to give this hike a shot.
The road in wasn't too bad. My buddy's truck made it down no problem (but he took it real slow since his wife is pregnant). I took my Mazda 3 sedan. I bottomed out once on the way back out, but it was my own fault, I should have picked a slightly different path. No damage to the car though, just an ugly noise when it scraped a little.
The hike itself was great. We got there a little later than we wanted to and parking was tight. There were plenty of people on the trail with us. There was also a crew out there clearing vegetation from the side of the trail.
The stream crossings weren't bad. The pregnant lady wore tom's shoes and just walked through the water, but the rest of us tried our best to keep our feet dry. Towards the end though, we all ended up with wet feet.
There were plenty of places for us to stop and rest on the trail (though we only stopped twice). It got a little more challenging at the very end of the trail, but not too bad. Everyone was able to make it up to the falls with out issue.
The falls were flowing pretty well. So it was very crowded with people. Our group spent about 5 minutes up at the falls and then walked about 40 feet from the falls and sat on a fallen tree and had a snack while dipping our feet in the stream.
After snack time was over we headed back out. We took our time leaving and explored some of the various culverts that were along the stream.
There were also a million lady bugs flying around so we spent some time catching and releasing them.
Overall it was a pretty great hike and I look forward to visiting the falls again at some point. As several people on the trail said "If a pregnant lady can do, anyone can!"
Awesome hike. It's actually not too bad. Once you get to the Great Divide (road), you can go left up to the peak or right to the Holy Jim Trail. If you choose to go right, the Holy Jim trail is a little ways down to the left and kind of hidden (look for a pile of rocks). This way is a bit steeper but manageable. View on top is not 360 degrees so you kind of have to walk around, choose a view, and try to find a shady spot to take a break. Not to mention, there's thousands of nats and ladybugs bugging you. But overall, great views as you're going up and down.
It's not a bad trail. Make sure to follow the trail carefully as it is easy to get lost on the many paths that lead to no where.
There was a lot of trash for a national park, but all of the water falls are very cool and there is still a lot of water. Bring a towel and swim suit if you want to dive into the little pools too.
This was a great, moderate trail. Mostly uphill for the first half and then a nice downhill going back. It was not a steep incline but was steady and manageable. Nice mix of shade and sun, lots of different terrain and foliage. Lots of rocks, wear appropriate shoes. We arrived at 8am on a Saturday, parking lot was pretty full already and expected to have a lot of company on the trail but it was surprisingly quiet. Bathroom is gross, but at least there is one. Very easy trail to navigate, well marked. Saw a couple horses on the trail, lots of various kinds of animal poop, huge lizards, a couple bunnies and a very small stream. Would be good for dogs although we didn't see any. Lots of bugs in some areas.
Many options to extend the hike when you arrive at 4 corners. Great workout for a casual hiker, I would go back for sure. Candy store at the parking lot too! Yum! Have fun!
April was the perfect time to explore this trail. Make sure you say hi to the PCT hikers and ask where they are from. They like to chat. Bring lots of water. No bathroom at trailhead, but .4 miles up the road (at the Community Center) they allow the PCT hikers to camp and you can use the restrooms. If you are geocaching, watch out for snakes among the rocks. We came across a big one. We were a little worried about the 85 degree forecast and the Santa Ana wind but the strong breeze felt refreshing and made Eagle Rock not so hot. The first 2 miles are in shade, the last mile is out in the open. Great views, you can see the Observatory on Palomar Mountain along the way. Eagle Rock is very interesting. One of the better rock croppings I've encountered. Overall this hike gets a 5 thumbs up from me.