Explore the most popular backpacking trails in Cleveland National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Quiet trail didn’t see too many people, nice breeze at the top, hardest part is the first mile .overall super fun relatively easy

Hiked this trail with my dog earlier today and it was great. Trail starts off in a forest section with shade and a stream. You can get a view of some cows along the way as well. Trail then opens up to expansive views throug yt? out a valley that eventually leads to Eagle Rock. Not much shade here. Met some interesting people along the way including a group of guys from Australia do the PCT. All in all, this trail has everything. Easy trail and well maintained. Will definitely be back!

May 13th 2018 Mother's Day. The weather was perfect nice and cool. We left about 8:45 a.m. There seems to be some discrepancy about the length. Some of the other reviewers agree that it's longer than 3.5. It seems closer to 4.5 miles. The first two to three miles are very gentle and well-groomed. However there is lots of poison oak. The last mile gets very narrow very and Rocky with a steep drop off you get to use your hands. the best part was being able to descend down to the creek floor and hike around on the big smooth boulders. There are multiple places to descend. This area is before any of the falls. there are ways to travel up to the falls while being right down at the water's edge. Getting to the second Falls is easily done but we were not on a path we were climbing on rocks and boulders. Clearly many before us have done this. the only section that is very steep is the portion to get from the second falls to the third Falls. This did require crossing over the water and using some ropes that have been kindly placed by previous hikers thank you. coming back we stayed on the trail that is higher up the slope on the east side of the creek. This path is tremendously narrow and only can be used single file. There were many slippery points. You Are Climbing over rocks and you get to use your hands. overall it was a nice hike. I should mention the eight miles on Boulder Creek Road that is dirt in either direction. That was an adventure in itself.

Tough hike in and out. But worth it just for the waterfalls and red salamanders. Bring lots of water the for the trip uphill back out. Choose a cool & cloudy day. Beautiful views of the SD mountains.

Great hike. Start out walking to the far side of the parking lot and the trail begins there. You’ll turn left when you hit a lone post and you’ll be able to see the falls in the distance (seems closer than it actually is!) As you hike along, you’ll notice a drop off about a mile or so toward the falls. You can either go down this way or continue around on the trail that is cut into the side of the mountain. I went down on the way there and it was a lot of fun. A little hairy getting down to the bottom of the valley and a couple of butt slides to get down safely. Once you’re down at the bottom, you can hop along the boulders that the creek from the waterfall runs under (probably my favorite part.) A couple easy rope climbs (the slope is just a little steep and the ropes assist you in keeping your footing,) and you’re at the waterfall! If you don’t jump in your a sissy. I walked along the easier trail that I mentioned earlier that cut into the mountain side on the way out and it was very gradual and much easier to traverse than the original way I went down.

All in all, great hike. Would recommend to anyone staying in the area for a few days.

Made this hike earlier today with my 12 YO daughter it was fantastic, ran into many PCT thru hikers and they have helped solidify my daughters love for hiking. Great trail and we even met a couple on horseback, will definitely be back to experience this trail again!

I almost died on this hike lol. Got there about 8:30 am, got to the falls about 2 hours later (got confused because there is an arrow on a rock pointing a different direction so we thought we took a wrong turn but it was right). Spent time at each fall, climbing the first rope was a little challenging but the second rope was easy. It was very sunny so it got hot, not a lot of shade. Leaving the falls is where we got lost because when you climb over the boulders to get back to the path, it’s not really clear which way to return so we ended up down in unmarked forest while we could see the trail way above our heads. Had to climb through bushes and trees to find our way back. Ran out of water and the heat made us pan a little. Pay attention to the path you take when you leave. But we survived! Definitely the most challenging hike I’ve been on.

I loved this trail. The varying trees, plants, and flowers in each section of the hike were delightful to look at. The cows were cute, the trail was relatively quiet, and Eagle Rock looks just like it’s namesake. I did this hike on a Sunday and at one point had the rock all to myself for around an hour. Highly recommend!

Awesome hike! We did it at sunset sitting in those chairs at the top.. bring flashlights and watch for spiders at night. #sdrvc

My first time hiking this trail. Recommend checking the weather as this week is a great time to go. So glad the ropes were there as I made it to the second falls. I saw a few kids hiking ahead of their parents and I thought they were too young to be doing that. Some of the trail is right at the edge of the drop off so I had the kids climb the rocks and wait for their folks. Way too dangerous as the the kids were between the ages of 5-8yrs old. Not sure when they empty the trash cans but people were just dumping trash on the ground as the cans were overflowing. Take your trash with you.

4 stars for the hike. Fun hike with great views and tons of beautiful tiny wildflowers, only ran across two other people on a Thursday. Did run across a rattle snake next to the path. We avoided him and he avoided us. 0 stars for the view returning back to the parking lot. Two of my car windows completely smashed and a bag full of old running clothes taken. Park here at your own risk, and if you do, don't leave valuables in the car.

The trail was easy. I wished I could have done the old trail for a better challenging workout. We started about 8:30 am. Weather was nice and cool. When we hiked back our if was a bit warmer. Heard some rattle snakes so be careful! Overall, great hike for anyone and kids no younger than 9-10 years of age.

I've heard various levels of difficulty about this trail, since apparently there used to be an alternative route to the falls. going down, I followed the blue ribbons placed along the trail to help you stay on it. a few points where it became rocks/ climbing, I had to look and for the trail, but for the most part it was pretty easy to follow. a lot of the trail is right on the edge of a drop-off, so I wouldn't recommend bringing children. I was the only person when I got to the falls. slipped off my Dusty shoes and socks and enjoyed the water, and got to lay down on the rocks by the water, just enjoying the sound of the falls. on the way back up- which is steep in some parts, I passed 3 people. I brought 3L of water, drank 2.

on the way down I had complete shade, trek back was maybe 25% shaded. beautiful change in scenery throughout the hike. A few areas I had to slow down and focus on my steps.

Great hike! The falls were beautiful! I wasn’t sure what to expect with the new trail. My 11 year old son came along and made it. Coming out was a little difficult and made many stops. It was also pretty warm, about 80 degrees and only had an occasional breeze in the canyon.

Heard some rattle snakes right off the trail in the rocks so be on the look out this time of year.

Over all it was a great hike, taking us about an hour to get to the falls and about 1 1/2 - 2 hours coming out.

Pack water and a snack and start early and your sure to have some fun!

hiking
26 days ago

Did the first section including the little loop, around 4 miles total. Beautiful - lots of nice views, interesting plants. Trail is well-worn and easy to follow - note the white double-sided arrows on the ground to keep following the trail when coming to an offshoot, most of which lead to a campground. TONS of lizards, lots of mountain bikers as well, but all friendly. Great time!

Trail starts in parking lot across the street from the candy store. A little over 11 miles from parking to falls and back, 9.1 miles as stated on app is incorrect. Falls are not impressive but it’s a nice hike to get there nonetheless. A good 4 hours round trip, take lots of water, sunscreen and a hat. Wear good trail shoes, parts of the trail are dry with loose pebbles/rocks easy to slip in the wrong shoes. Lots of pretty wild flowers along the way.

Beautiful trail and well maintained, pretty much flat with minimal curve. Round trip took less than 2 hours. I would rate this as easy. Eagle Rock is a must see if you just moved to California. Gorgeous!

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

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.

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

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.

hiking
1 month ago

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

hiking
1 month ago

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!

hiking
1 month ago

What a FUUUUN hiiiike!!! I would rate it EASY. Make sure to bring lots of water to hydrate and use sunscreen. ENJOY!!!!

The road was open on 4/7/18. Lovely hike down. Plenty of water in the creek. Great camping with no bug issues. The last steep descent to get to the first pool below the little dam seemed too scary at first, but after getting to the little beach by crossing above the dam and fighting through the brush, I found I could climb up the steep section, and so we went back that way. Then we spent a wonderful afternoon down among the cascades. We swam across the big pool next to the little beach down there (not the beach by the dam), and then waded to the drop off and looked down! Cool. I had climbed up the ridge to the right of the dropoff to see if there was a way down and around, but didn't see anything likely. Took us 4 hours to hike out after an active day. My girlfriend's first backpack trip. A success!

hiking
1 month ago

Perfect length and difficulty level! Great for a little challenge and a great spot to hang out and enjoy lunch by the falls! Will 100% be going back.

absolutely beautiful. this is on the must do list for any socal hiker. look out for snakes though.

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