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.

Did it at sunrise and completely worth it, even with sub 20F temperatures. A great hike and beautiful view!

It was fun but to get to the start of the trail it takes four miles of off road driving and an extra quarter mile walk. While on the trail, there is a stream and there are areas where you have to cross the stream while walking on rocks. Since the trail is out and back, there are lots of people walking back and forth so if you are walking through a small, narrow area, you have to watch out.
At the end of the trail, there is a waterfall but it’s probably not as big as you’re expecting. I feel like in order to get to said waterfall, you have to be careful, and really climb on rocks and over the stream. You can have children and dogs on this trail.
At the beginning of the trail, after the extra walking, they have a wagon of water bottles you can have only asking for a small donation.

Plot twist! The workout is in the way back! Getting to the waterfall isn’t too bad, there is a steep area that used to have ropes. Someone who was familiar with the trail mentioned it since they are no longer there. About halfway down there is a second spot that gets tricky, that area thankfully still has two ropes. There is a small parking lot for cars and two porta potties. Would totally recommend this hike.

Lovely hike. Important to note that this is an area that requires a Land Pass. Nobody checked ours, but it’s safe to get one ahead of time.

off road driving
1 day ago

If this is a national forest trail why are the gates closed! drive to the gate was beautiful

Great hike on the easy side of moderate. Great scenery along the whole route and the rock is a perfect backdrop for memorable pictures. Great for kids.
Only word of caution above the usual for SOCAL (heat, plenty of water, snakes) is watch climbing on the granite. It's a very effective skin remover

Nice scenery, quite empty, good for dogs. Second half is little bit challenging - since it’s targeted for bicyclists.

on Ortega Falls

rock climbing
4 days ago

Great for rock climbing.

4 days ago

Very pleasant walk through meadow with spectacular views, multiple trails can be used to create loops of varying length and difficulty.

5 days ago

Nice nature hike. Diverse plant life, particularly enjoyed the scent from fig trees and sound of croaking frogs in the late evening.

Fun and beautiful. But seriously lacks respect! Trash and graffiti everywhere. I will be coordinating a meet up/ clean up on Sunday, February 18. Call or text for more info 619 669 5114. My name is David!

5 days ago

Great training hike. Pretty views at the top. No shade and some pretty friendly mountain bikers. Overall I really enjoyed this hike.

off road driving
5 days ago

Went with Funshine Jeep Girls and we had a blast. Slow and easy to the top...15 Jeeps made for a long but rewarding day! Be careful as lots of hikers (very nice) and bikers and motorcycles also share the road. Had a potluck and enjoys the views! Incredible to see so much greenery and lushness! Road balances on pretty much mountain top, which is cool to see from up top. Some very silty parts, few rocky parts...overall fairly easy road to traverse. Would love to do this one again, but stop and take more scenic pics! INCREDIBLE VIEWS!

First timer! This was definitely one of the most enjoyable hikes I’ve been on in San Diego. The steep part with the sand was scary on the way down, I ended up just scooting on my butt. There is a bit of rock climbing you will do on the way back up and I recommend going on all fours on the sandy part towards the top. Don’t use the ropes that you see, you don’t need them. The waterfall and creek was beautiful and worth the trip! Wear long pants, hiking shoes and long sleeves so you don’t get scratched up. Also if you have gloves bring those too as you will be using you hands a lot. Bring lots of water and don’t bring your dog!! This is not a hike for dogs.

This was a great hike and was pretty easy overall. I think the key is to go when it is cool out. Had it been summer this would have been a very painful hike. Lots of landscapes and ending at eagle rock is awesome!

Awason 1st time w/my family

off road driving
6 days ago

Best place to go near San Diego. Everything from easy to very difficult. I’ve done all the trails, but bronco peak and bronco peak connector are my favorite. At least be equipped with a rear locker to tackle the connector.

It was a awesome drive it can be hard for car that are not 4 Wheel drive but it can be done so many awesome views of the surrounding areas. And there’s a café that we went to and it was really good if you ever want to try this trip was amazing

Great trail but to echo their reviewers, not a beginners hill. We made it up and down along with a lunch stop near the top in just over 3 hours. Love the signing books up top, cool to see the log over many years.

Just watch for the left turn with the brown metal post we missed it and had to double back.

Did Laguna to Pine Valley 10.5 miles. Being 64 somethings were challenging for me

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