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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.

Pretty long trail with a decent amount of elevation gain. Didn’t make it to the top so plan on taking a few hours to go out and back. Don’t go on a hot day, there’s not a whole lot of shade. Still very pretty.

lots of fun, beautiful end. bring water not for the walk down but for the walk back. difficult when comes to climbing but well worth it. be careful if you bring dogs. again part of the stuff is rocky.

Fun easy well maintained trail. That starts in shaded oak trees then breaks out into a plains area with a cool rock formation at the end. Nice scenery only a few people. Saw pretty good size coyote in the mid of the day

beautiful place and a great workout. you'll need lots of water.

A must see up close !

The best trail I've ever been on in my life! I was physically drained by the time I got to the Lake but the entire experience was amazing! It's well worth camping at the lake when you get there!

Beautiful hike with some amazing views at the top. Went on an overcast day and the cloud cover on the mountain made portions of the hike feel like an enchanted forest. The first half to the top wasn’t too difficult and we made good time. The second half of the loop was another story. The review written by Amy Morrissey is spot on. The Yeager portion of the trail is no joke- areas with super steep inclines and extremely loose dirt (like potting soil loose), side stepped most of the way, fell a few times, slid down a few times on hands and feet or straight up on my behind. I’ll definitely go back again but most likely just to the top and back down.

Very challenging but well worth it! Trail to Gaskill Peak was over grown and could walk off trail easily. We missed the entrance and had to back track. Left a cairn to signal future hikers. A lot of scrambling and rock climbing. We hit up Lawson peak on the way back. Go early it gets warm. 2 liters water was good it was 76 degrees today. Cover up the brush is sharp. We left scraped up and bleeding. Still worth it! Bringing rope if you’re alone. We had to help pull each other up on some parts.

Great trail. I'm in a crosstrek, no lift, grabbers and had no issues. plenty of places to stop to recharge and take in the view. not just a flat grade, plenty of bumps and rocks

Entertaining trail! I don’t think it’s really hard, my wife enjoyed it as well and she’s newer to hiking. Good first “Hard” trail to complete. Beautiful views though Lots of mountain bikers on very narrow trails, who caught us of guard pretty often. Nothing really exciting at the turn around point, it’s really just an intersection of different hike. Overall, I enjoyed the hike!

Fantastic hike this morning! Weather was perfect, clear and sunny and we went early to avoid the brutal east county heat. (even when it's not hot.....it's hot) Snakes are out so keep eyes open. The falls are beautiful, such a marvel of nature.

The falls area gets very crowded, even with limited permits. We were lucky to go early and be able to sit at the falls for a while before a majority of people came in.

Hike is downhill to the falls and all uphill coming back. Bring plenty of water.

Secure your permit before you go and read up on regulations. We added hikers to our permit because a party was over the limit and was about to be turned away. There is a limit to the number in your party.

Gorgeous hike all around and the scenery is amazing. Can't wait for next time!

I got a little sunburned doing this hike! Not too much shade going up! But the chairs were super cool to sit on, had a very nice breeze at the top! My boyfriend saw a huge rattlesnake so be careful

Its a beautiful trail but not easy to follow the signs for the peak are missing so we took a 3 mile detour and ended up taking the fire road up to the summit all in all 21 some odd miles. Ouch. Lots of vehicles on the fire roads and they will drive around you rather than giving you right away so be aware.

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

No walk in the park with this hike. I could compare it with El Cajon minus the length. This is a butt kicker and you won’t get many flat areas in this hike. It was foggy and cool which it made it comfortable hiking. Can’t imagine doing this hike in hot weather. Hot shot firefighters train here. RESPECT!!!! Great view from top. I bet it would have been better in clear day but nonetheless, epic.

Take a gallon of water!
Wear lug soles.

This trail was okay. Not "must do again," but nice enough. I did this trail alone with my dog on a Friday afternoon and there was NOT A SINGLE OTHER SOUL AROUND. Normally I'm happy to find less trafficked trails, but this was creepy since I was by myself!

hiking
6 days ago

Scenic but rocky. Watch your feet. Some graffiti:(

I went May 2018 and there was no water in the creek or very little water in the creek. The trail is overgrown if you could even call it a trail but if you’re willing to go down the Rocky Creek bed it is some of the most amazing views. It is worth the trip but don’t do it alone like I did.

hiking
7 days ago

Really beautiful hike! Definitely on the harder side. But, for those (like myself), who are scared of heights - the cave can be sketchy to go in and out of.

Very comparable to Cowles Mountain - pretty straight up incline w/ switchbacks. But, absolutely gorgeous view up top. Great, quick hike to knock out.

This is my favorite hike in all of SD county. It's a gorgeous, moderate hike. Definitely account for time to soak up the view at the top.

Nice little trail to get away from it all for a few hours.. I plan on going back at night my next time around

Great hike, not crowded, and beautiful hills all around. In mid-May the falls were down to a trickle and pools were green, so probably better in Feb/Mar. It gets hot and there is very little shade cover along the trail. Be sure to bring plenty of water especially if you’re a beginner hiker. The ranger told us that people frequently have to be rescued because they underestimate the hike and the direct sunlight. But if you’re in good shape and hike regularly you should be fine.

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!

hiking
10 days ago

My family and our dog hiked this on Mother's Day. It was cool in the shade but warm in the sun, so layers were good. My kids are 8 and 11, and this was a very easy hike (I left my boots in the garage at home and did this in my husband's birks, 2 sizes too big). I will say that there are many trail junctions, so a map is necessary to know how to stay on the loop that you want.

The meadow was gorgeous and this is one of the most fragrant hikes I've been on in California (pines). We saw a handful of mountain bikers (which this trail is great for!) and a few walkers, but many long stretches alone. Overall, a very pleasant and peaceful walk.

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.

Best hike ever

hiking
11 days ago

Took advantage of great cloudy and misty day to do three sisters so, why not tackle this one. No one on the trail compared to three sisters. Pretty easy hike. A little over grown. The views a cool on top.

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