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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.

Chairs at the top were nice, well maintained trail -fairly easy

I really liked this hike, great scenery and views getting down to the waterfall and the waterfall/pond was beautiful.

I was the first one on the trail at 6 30 am and passed a lot of people on the return so I would advise going early if you want tranquility.

Fun hike. Lots of elevation changes and the rope down was fun. Various paths to get down the steep part.

The falls are pretty and a nice place to enjoy lunch or a snack.

Some nice single track bouldering and switchbacks.

Good times.

Just beyond epic

One of my favorite hikes, can’t wait to come back!

My second time doing this trail. Wasn’t able to complete it the first time. But came back and finished today! Great trail with nice views challenging carry plenty of water it’s a little over 16 miles. Do it really early to avoid the heat! Loved it

took my Cherokee (Catalina) and boy I got to tell you it was pretty easy trail nothing out of this world just a nice trail been to hard ones but I liked this one to come back again ...

Awesome Hike! Kids loved it and Mother Nature Gave us a lot of shade along with some nice breeze through the openings of the canyons. Kids will Be Kids, bring extra socks and shoes, A Good possibility they will purposely splash crossing the creeks.

We started at 6am and got back as it started to warm up. It was the perfect time to go! It was so peaceful to hear the water running and so pretty.

Delightful short hike, only an hour drive from San Diego.
Easy parking, adequate signage. Once above timber line, view is spectacular over the open valley to lake Henshaw and Palomar mountain.
On a warm day the breeze from the SSW will be most welcome once in the plateau and on a cold winter day plan on a warm jacket.

My primary concern was getting my Scion xB up to the trailhead. I left early in the morning and drove a slow 10 mph but it managed! Decent amount of water on the falls.

hiking
5 days ago

Great hike! In love with this area. Outstanding place to park at the welcome center across the fire station! WOW! Take many pictures!

- Lots of greens and shades in this trail. Well maintained;
- Be careful of bikers and motorcyclists !!! Some of them were really aggressive, who never slowed down because of race.
- Needs lots of water (at least 3.5 L) and energy bar as well
- 4WD recommended and drive slow.

Great trail

off road driving
6 days ago

narrow in most places. some good size ruts

hiking
6 days ago

04/13/2018, hiked Los Pinos Peak Fire Lookout Tower from four corner, counterclockwise up to the peak and looped down via spur meadows, way trail, corral canyon trail and wrangler trail for 9.06 RT hiking mileage and 1,537 ft. elevation gains! Great view of Corte Madera Mt from the summit! I was surprised and disappointed to see lots trash of empty plastic water bottles and tuna and/or sardine cans! Good hike and passed mountain bikers and a few motor-cross bikers. Overall great hike!

on Bedford Peak Trail

7 days ago

Clear trail, easy to follow. Good workout. Very exposed to sun. Nice Vista from the top although hazy today.

Beautiful spring wildflowers, blooming cacti and yucca flowers. Some steep hills but worth it!

Challenging hike for me but pleasant all the same. Couple pieces of advice, most which are mentioned by others. Bring more water than you think you need. I took 3 1/2 liters and ran out with 3 miles to go. Also, when you think you are getting close to the summit you still have a long way to go. You can see the antennas and feel you are 30 min from the peak for half the hike. The road up to the parking lot is bumpy so if you don't have a four wheel drive allow some extra time. Get your adventure pass for parking prior if you can. This hike takes a long time so be aware and don't assume you can shave a couple hours off. I didn't end up getting done til 6:00 so only had another hour of light. Enjoyed the hike even though a mountain bike event was going on so had to pull over for about 50 bikers. Coming back was very pleasant with the afternoon shade and less traffic.

Awesome! Just beware...where there is water, there be a-holes

Not even a trail. This is a rocky road that no car less than a Jeep should travel down. Don’t waste your time unless your looking for dirt bike trails.

mountain biking
8 days ago

Had a blast, generally the trails were easy however there are moderate to difficult trails off the main loop. keep in mind this trail is in Cleveland National Park several thousand feet above sea level. there's a $5 entry fee (honor system) to enter the park and general parking is not well marked. the trail head sits at the center of a camp ground so I sort of made my own parking spot.

Thanks to big bro Marty for turning me on to this gem of a hike!

Nice hike, first mile or so follows a seasonal creek and walk through shady oak trees. Next couple of miles is out in the open with expansive views, can see Palomar Observatory, Lake Henshaw out in the distance. Eagle Rock formation is amazing and happy to see no graffiti. An added plus on this trail, it is part of the PCT - hiked this on April 12 and met lots of PCT hikers. They were from everywhere....Denmark, UK, all over US - very interesting chatting with them and hearing their stories. Would not want to do this hike when hot because a lot of the hike is in open area with sun beating down on you! Rate this hike on the easy side rather than moderate. Highly recommend this hike!

Finally a hike that challenged me. The way to the falls is downhill, so coming back up was brutal. I was the first one on the trail today around 7 am, had my permit printed and the ranger checked for it. I think it’s great that they keep a log of those on the trail and their return. There is a restroom at the small parking lot, but you can park on the curb as well, no parking permit needed. No shade on the trail, so while it was cool in the morning heading down, it was hot and sunny on the way up. The fall itself was SO beautiful! It was so peaceful to be there alone but then everyone else showed up. Lots of wildflowers on the trail, beware of snakes.

Did this as a training hike with a fully loaded backpack. The road is a PITA cuz it takes a long time to get out there and it can be crowded, but the trail overall is quite lovely. Once you start climbing (after the waterfall trail junction) it gets quieter and the views get better and better. April 2018: there is plenty of water in the lower sections of the trail. When you get to main divide road there is no sign indicating where to go, go Right for about .4 miles and look for some piled rocks on the left side of the road pointing to the trail, it takes a sharp Left and keeps climbing. Bring a headlamp in case you end up hiking after dark like me!

Beautiful views, great water fall with fish in the pond. Strenuous hike back to the trailhead. Did it with my 3 small kids. Only my 7 cried. Tough but fun hike.

hiking
10 days ago

Fun hike!!! Enjoy!!!

mountain biking
10 days ago

One of my favorite San Diego Trails. The loop around the meadow and the lake is beautiful.

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