nature trips


wild flowers

dogs on leash


trail running


mountain biking

kid friendly

dog friendly

horseback riding


off road driving


no dogs




Cleveland National Forest is the southernmost National Forest in the state of California. The Forest encompasses 460,000 acres in divided into the Descanso, Palomar and Trabuco Ranger Districts and is in the counties of San Diego, Riverside, and Orange County. The U.S. Forest Service requires National Forest Adventure Pass for parking in many areas of the Cleveland National Forest. Popular activities include enjoying the picnic areas, hitting up the hiking trails up Laguna Mountain and Palomar Mountain, horseback riding, mountain biking. This is also a great place for camping. The Cleveland National Forest has campgrounds in the Descanso, Palomar, and Trabuco Ranger District as well as dispersed camping for a fee. Visitors can also take a drive along the Sunrise Scenic Highway and off roaders will enjoy the Corral Canyon and Wildomar Off-Highway Vehicle Areas. The forest makes a great weekend trip from Los Angeles or other Southern California cities and is a great way to take in the Santa Ana Mountains.

Awesome views throughout the hike! It is a very steep and rocky trail. It gave me a good workout. Look for the trail log in a rusted aluminum can once you are at the end of the trail!

off road driving
11 hours ago

Good off road Trail. The view from the peak is good on a clear day. Some hikers every now and then but mostly desolate. Needed 4wheel drive on the steep uphills because of traction but that was the only places.

Great hike went with a few friends. The trail once you get to the bottom of the waterfall is fun with rocks to climb. Water was flowing on all 3 falls. If you a first timer like myself the hike back up hurts but overall great hike . Definitely go with friends.

The trail is rocky, but worth the effort.

3 days ago

Headed up Garnet Peak from Penny Pines. Beautiful addition and the view from the top was unbeatable. Great view of the Salton Sea. Warning: it’s pretty breezy up top.

on Fred Canyon Road

off road driving
3 days ago

Started from the Kitchen Creek Road side and followed the trail to Morris Ranch and La Posta Truck Trail; I recommend the opposite route for a better challenge. I drive a Stock JKU Sport and had no issues on this trail but there are some fun spots where you can test your 4x4. There are a couple tight switch backs and a few steep rocky hills but most of the drive is relatively smooth and scenic. Definitely a good “get out of San Diego for the day” adventure.

3 days ago

Cañón de Guadalupe ta’ Cañón

3 days ago

Nice & easy

3 days ago

I live in South San Diego, close to San Ysidro area so this was a drive for me. Awesome first hike of 2018! It was chilly, check the weather before driving here. The view is amaaaazing! Easy trail with a bit of incline at the last half mile or so.

This was an amazing hike!! There was water!! The falls were amazing!! Def not suggested for the ill hearted or not fit... there is A LOT of full body esp upper body on the way back!! Bring plenty of water and time your hike!! Don't go to late in the morning because this is a long hike!!

4 days ago

This review is about leading up to Barker Valley Spur.

Google Maps took me through Half Way Rd, but DO NOT go through there, go down HWY 79 a bit further and turn into Palomar Divide Truck Trail.

There will be a gate. I got there on Jan 13, 2018 and the gate was closed. Unless if you're desperate or crazy, DO NOT hike from the gate, to the Barker Valley Spur trail head. Try to find another way (I believe there is another way since I saw a vehicle at the top of the hill). I made the mistake of hiking from the gate...

If you decide to hike from the gate, it's 8 miles of pure uphill. It starts off with some dirt terrain, then turns in concrete and back to dirt. This was brutal as it was literally all uphill for 8 miles (remember you have to hike 8 miles back). I'm relatively in shape but this took me about 4.5 hours to complete with a 30-40lb pack on. Google Maps estimates 4 hours by walking to get to the trail head but I don't think they incorporated breaks from the steep hill.

Once I got to the Barker Valley Spur trail head, the sun was setting so I hiked about 0.5 miles and found a camp spot. The next morning, my legs were pretty sore since I'm not use to hiking 8 miles of strictly uphill. I decided not to go down the trail since I would have to hike back up, and complete the additional 8 miles back to my car.

The 8 miles back was a lot faster since it was downhill, however, my feet took a toll since I was going downhill on mostly concrete.

I would recommend calling the district to find out whether or not the gate will be closed so you do not have to hike that additional unplanned 16 miles (round trip) like me.

Otherwise, the views along the Barker Valley Spur trail was beautiful and plenty of awesome spots to camp. I camped towards the beginning of the trail and woke up to beautiful view.

Lots of interesting history and there is a handout at the trailhead behind the Middle School that showcases a few of the historical sites. Super dry when we went but still enjoyable. Very easy hike, great for kiddos and furry friends!

Nice trail for a winter hike but it was quite warm today, about 78. Left at 7:30 when it was cool, finished by 12:30 and it was quite hot. Brought the dogs and found lots of TICKS on them - maybe from the recent rain? I would not have expected ticks this time of year. No water in the falls but a few puddles down stream from the rain.

Beautiful view of Downtown San Diego on this trail. Came across a bobcat on the trail near the lake. Busy trail as well with the mountain bikers.

Nice variation on this summit if you want to get away from the people and do a cross country route. Steep sections and wash outs galore. Have fun. Better views from the ridgeline as well.

Very green vegetation, beautiful trees and interesting rocks. It rained earlier this week and there were areas that were a bit muddy. Elevation gain at beginning of hike.

It was so beautiful difficult but so worth it

Did this trail about 6 years ago. Did not plan well for it, but made it. Took is about 8.5 hours, we came down in the dark. Parts of the trail are unshaded, so wear a hat and sunscreen on hot days. Otherwise, amazing views of Southern California. We could see Catalina, the San Gabriel Range, down to the hills around Hemet and Temecula.

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