nature trips


wild flowers

dogs on leash


trail running


mountain biking

kid friendly

dog friendly

horseback riding


no dogs

off road driving





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.

on Eagle Rock via the PCT

5 hours ago

Did this trail today, a beautiful clear Sunday. What an awesome hike! Arrived around 11am and there were about 20-30 cars already parked along the sides of the road. It definitely wasn't crowded though. We've been wanting to hike on the PCT "someday" and this is a great hike to accomplish that on. Well marked & maintained trail. Beautiful scenery that changes from a tree-canopied creekside path for the first mile and half or so, to rolling grass fields until you arrive at Eagle Rock. On the hike back we saw a couple groups of people on horseback. It seemed to go much quicker on the way back. Roughly 3hrs round trip including about 20min taking pix at Eagle Rock. We stopped at Lake Henshaw (like 10min away on the road back) to eat and it hit the spot! Great service and generous portions. Definitely recommended!

mountain biking
15 hours ago

Done in March with not many people, not too hard mostly flat but beautiful, nice easy ride on single track.

17 hours ago

Got their early and was drizzling rain. Gorgeous hike. I really enjoyed it! You will cross a small stream several times but you wont get your feet wet. They say this is a popular trail and I can see why. I recommend hitting it early to beat the crowd.

Nice little trail, close to my house. The first trail on the left is Dead Horse Trail, it takes you to a creek crossing at about .1 miles. The logs look pretty sturdy, but will probably sink when you step on them if you hike this trail after winter rains like I did (wet left foot for the rest of the hike). Its a nice little climb up the trail from there to a pass between two small peaks. After that, there are some nice meadows that would make a great spot to stop for lunch and possibly see some wildlife. Due to time restraints, I took the Saddle Back trail, which takes you to a second creek crossing which was much wider, but easier to negotiate. This trail intersected the Merigan Fire Rd after about 1.6 miles, after that its easy money back to the trailhead. I tracked my hike to about 7.68 miles. BTW, check for ticks! I came back with two.

Good trail. Nice and quiet.

5 days ago

Awesome place especially at the top. Great view, I’ll definitely come back. I’m surprised it wasn’t crowded at all. Sandwiches at the candy store were quite delicious. The owner was really nice too.

it was a great hike well worth the trip. some things to be careful of is the drive there turn in to a dirt road and it could flood out during the rainy time. also on the trail it self there are two ways you can go, you can go straight down a loose dirt clif or you can stay left and do a easier trail it's easy to miss.

Definitely not as hard as they make it sound. Moderate at most. Hiked it today in the rain after recovering the last month from surgery and it was fine. A little slippery if you step directly on the rocks. Half of our group swam in the 46 degree water because it was just so beautiful. Recommend bringing change of clothes/towel/etc. there were unfortunately some humans defecating around the waterfall-so watch your step! One member was unlucky to find this out the hard way-gross!!!

Also tons of poison oak-so don’t go off if the trail or let your dog wander.

A real beaut! Nice and flat most of the way. hiked this in the rain, I felt like I was in England, but I've never been to England, so I don't know. Wouldn't have been surprised if I had seen a unicorn calmly lapping from the brook this trail follows for the middle third of the hike, but alas, I did not. Perhaps I didn't believe hard enough. Highly recommend for an easy-moderate hike.

Great hike with incredible scenery.

Definitely worth the drive! Very nice people on the way up and down! I honestly was sliding on my butt for a lot of the way down. Make sure to bring plenty of water! The photos on the website don't do service to what it feels like to be there. Definitely the hardest hike I've done but I did all of it! I went from 12:30-4:30 during March and it was perfect!

I started this hike around noon on Sunday, which was perfect timing. If you're using Google Maps, type in San Juan Loop trail head to get to the parking lot. Once parked, cross the street to the candy store and on your right, will be the Bear Canyon trail head.

Trail is super well maintained and not too hard. Pretty easy to follow since there's white sticks that points you to Four Corners, then a sharp right to Sitton Peak. You'll know when you're close to the peak when you enter a very steep trail on your right. This trail is VERY steep and I suggest trekking poles if you have some - it'll make your life much easier going up and especially down. However, still very possible without them.

The view at the top was amazing. I would highly recommend this trail.

7 days ago

An excellent hike for any skill level. I loved the different foliage all around. There are also several geocaches in the area which is fun if you're into that sort of thing.

8 days ago

Did this hike on a weekday with cooler temperature and semi-cloudy day. It was a good workout going up the switchback. The view is very rewarding as you can see the San Gabriel mountains, nearby OC mountains and ocean far away. The gate is closed beyond the visitor center so there is only 6 parking spaces. Be sure to get there early.

Can’t believe this is in San Diego. A must do!!!

The Alltrails map is woefully inadequate. There are dozens of trails here that are not shown on your map. You could hike every day for months and still see new country in this wonderful area. It is also great for mountain bikes. Get into the back country by bike, then hike the steep trails, then fly back on the bike downhill.

This was a really nice hike about 1 hour out of San Diego and really easy acesss to the trailhead, I actually went to Foster Point then followed the PCT to Monument Peak a little back tracking but turned out to be a nice way to add more milage to the hike :)

10 days ago

I've done this hike several times up til it meets with Main Divide and gone to the peak once several years ago. My rating might be a little harsh but I like greenery on hikes which is hard in southern california. Its a fire access road so it impossible to get lost. Never gets to steep unless you take the shortcut switchbacks a little before the peak, which we took when we went to the peak. I wouldn't recommend the shortcut. Not worth the "saved time" when you have to stop every so often to catch your breath.
On the way up you walk by what looks like a Korean Church retreat camp. Have seen some guys praying and wailing while I was hiking before. Then as you get further, you start to see Lake Matthews across the 15 and the view keeps getting better the higher you get. As you keep going trees start appearing and they get bigger and bigger, easy to forget you're in the heart of socal.
There are people off-roading so look out for that. Haven't run into any idiots driving recklessly thus far. Friend stepped right over a rattlesnake and only noticed at the last second luckily so definitely keep your eyes peeled and be mindful where you step.
No water sources so bring enough water for the whole hike, especially on those hot summer days

Awesome Trail with a great view of all of Southern California. As other reviews say, its 3 miles straight up but there are plenty of switchbacks to help with the ascent. My garmin said it was about 2023 vertical feet. There is gravel for about 75% of the hike so be sure to wear comfortable shoes with good traction. Bring plenty of water and maybe a little snack to fuel up after your climb. I'm defiantly planning on coming back and doing this one again.

Side note: We brought our dog (which this trail is dog friendly) but maybe have your dog wear boots cause the gravel can be a lot of a dogs paws.

Beautiful and not many people.

Just beautiful! I would definitely call this a moderate hike. My six year old was able to complete it. Well worth the $10 permit.

This trail was classified as easy. It was all down hill to the lake (elevation change 135 ft) with 92 deep stairs. I did not consider it easy and would not go on this trail again. Also, the sign says no dogs, not even service dogs. No access for disabled.

12 days ago

I love this hike. The first part isn't actually that interesting, to me, but once you get to the top portion and start climbing up rocks it's really, really fun. And the cave is amazing! The second time I went I took a friend and he did not like the cave part, it made him claustrophobic and the wind was mighty that day so it may not be enjoyable to all (but try it for yourself!). I recommend this hike for sure. Also I got lost on the way and had no reception so take some screen shots of your directions.

Beautiful view

I almost did not want to post a review because I don't want people to know about this trail. It goes down an old road, but then weaves through the forest and fields. We saw some large mountain lion tracks in the snow which was pretty cool. Along the way there are good views, you can see out to Cuyamaca Peak and Stonewall Peak and beyond.

This trail is pretty flat other than the entrance/exit to the trailhead which is more like a steep animal trail than a hiking trail, if you catch my drift.

Water is flowing decently right now. The weather was great, 50 and overcast with a stiff breeze, a light mist, and heavy clouds around the top of surrounding mountains. I brought two medium size dogs and they loved it also. definable a must do in the area if it's rainy season.

Great hike today out to Eagle Rock. It was cool and drizzly, especially in the open areas. Directions on this app were spot on. Took about 2.5 hours at a leisurely pace. Beautiful changes in scenery and topography. Pretty easy hike.

off road driving
13 days ago

Pretty easy trail. Nice for beginners or stock vehicles. Went up on a Sat, and only accessed the lower part of the trail, gate was closed to upper trail. Probably will have it back open after rain.

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