Explore the most popular dogs on leash 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.

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

Just beyond epic

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.

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.

- 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
7 days ago

narrow in most places. some good size ruts

on Bedford Peak Trail

8 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.

mountain biking
9 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.

backpacking
10 days ago

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!

mountain biking
11 days ago

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

Trail was confusing only because from the turn off from highway 74 (Ortega) about a quarter mile up the road, it drops to what I assume to be 1 lane. Once you’re off cement, and in the dirt the trail, it’s big enough for just 1 vehicle in 1 direction for the most part. That was the confusing part. Absolutely no way could another truck or Jeep be coming down while you were going up (or visa versa) as the room to backup or pull off is completely not feasible to the average off roader. Not on this trail in my opinion.

Luckily, when I reached the end, it seemed to dead end and T off with the left option having a closed gate and the option to go right looked soooo small and not like a truck trail, I had no choice but to turn around and go the way I came. Luckily I was the only vehicle up there cause meeting face to face would have sucked.

The trail and scenery are cool and I would do it again if I knew for sure wtf was going on or how that trail operates but until then, I won’t be going back and suggest that any amateur driver stay clear. You can roll down the side of the mountain at any given time. So I recommend only 4x4’s go up.

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
14 days ago

Great trail, great views

Bring more water then you think you’ll need. My pack ended up being pretty heavy but 7 bottles of water a Gatorade and 3 apple juice boxes proved to not be near enough almost.
The road up to the trail can be sketchy, that being said I did trek it in my MINI Cooper and it really wasn’t that bad. More just embarrassing because I almost felt like people were looking at me like, look at this bitch trying to take this road in a MINI but if you go slow, let Jeeps pass and watch for rocks & pot holes in the road you’ll be just fine.
General store at the end of the road to the trail had Adventure Passes for sale.
The hike to the summit for me wasn’t too bad physically just more mentally challenging. A lot of the hike is shady but be prepaired for some sun as well. Probably about 1/3 of it you might be in the sun for.

PARKING: you'll have to park within the camp ground so be sure to read the signs and not park in lots that have been reserved. ALSO - a few websites note that you need an ADVENTURE PASS to park but i parked without a pass (without researching ^_^') and luckily didn't get ticketed. However, parking at the Observatory is free - just not at the campground. :D

ANYWAY, from the campground - try to find parking midway into the campground so you're near the amphitheater...cause that's where the trail head is. You'll come across A LOT of chipmunks and squirrels (maybe even some on the road :( you know what i mean) but i think the most annoying critters are the gnats and flies - especially if you go near the afternoon.

I think i digressed. Where am I?

The hike is pretty straight forward with no branching trails (from what i remember) and with gradual inclines. I recommend hiking early in the morning (possibly around 7 or 8) to avoid the gnat swarming around in the heat. I think i saw a few deer but i could be wrong. I get my animals mixed up sometimes.

The hike seems scenic but 15 minutes into it - i started hearing a low guttural roar, which quickly intensifies and then disappear. Yeah, the trail is actually adjacent to a road that actually leads to the Observatory. Kind of kills the whole alone in the woods mood but meh.

ANNNNNYWAY, about an hour into the hike - you'll finally reach the observatory. Past the parking lot (i wish i had driven myself up there and pretend i actually did the hike - no one would know...) you'll see the museum and gift shop to the right. pretty cool stuff in there.

A little further up is the actual Observatory, which you can actually go in and read all about Hale and the telescope. Pretty cool stuff. BTW - PLUTO IS A PLANET!!!

After you've had your fill of interstellar education (btw, there's a tour you can join for cheap), hike your way back the same way you came.

Overall, pretty enjoyable hike with little human traffic. I heard there's a pretty cool night hike led by one of the rangers or employees or something. Something to think about.

Great training hike for our Grand Canyon. Go early. Parts of trail are pretty expsoed and can get warm. A handful of annoying things about the trail...first are all the bikers on the trail. second are the motorcycles and cars the last mile. last is the last mile of the trail is on the road with lots of rocks and exposed for the first half. however at the end there amazing views of OC and the ocean on clear days.

Really enjoyed the hike. Shady and small creeks to cross made it very enjoyable. The car ride to get there was bumpy but also fun. Not a difficult hike even for small dogs.

Fun 4x4 trail.

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

I really enjoyed this trail along with the pups.

Great trail. Tough to get to sometimes as the dirt road can be in pretty bad condition getting there. Great views with trails that have a variety of surfaces, rock, dirt, sand. Bring a lot water.

hiking
20 days ago

absolutely stunning hike!! didn’t pass a single person on the trail. very very rocky. don’t take dog unless they can climb up some smaller rocks and have tough pads. view at the top is incredible make sure u go up as far as u can go!

hiking
22 days ago

Great Hike! Just make sure you have the right foot wear. Some small streams and rocky areas to cross.
We took our jeep all the way up, Make sure to Air down on the bumpy ride all the way up to the parking area. So, beginner Off roading & Hiking in one short trip! =D

A must for local Hikers!

Load More