hiking

Did trail as a thru hike to the Tenaja Falls trailhead in San Mateo Canyon wilderness. Trail was well worn and easy to follow but much easier when you have the live app making sure you make the correct turns. You will have cell data until just after you reach the ridge 4 miles in. Water was flowing pretty well over the falls. Note if you do this as a thru hike, expect to take more than 30 minutes to drive from the opposite trail head to the trail head off the Ortega highway.

17 days ago

great hike! very hidden. road was a little scary. short hike but a great moderate incline to waterfalls. still some water flowing. go left over creek to find trail, right after fish information sighn.

hiking
17 days ago

Super fun easy hike. I brought my little dog and she loved it too!

loved it , I've been back 3 times trying different trails ,each one is exciting

I would rate this on the more difficult side of moderate (length you should actually figure there and back, which I tracked at about 7 miles, plus elevation gain at some points are super steep, with super narrow trail). Trail was overgrown in many areas, and also incredibly (dangerously) narrow in some areas with what would be a very steep tumble only a trip/stumble away. Luckily not a crowded trail or I would have had to turn back, since navigating that trail with two leashed dogs + competing foot traffic would have been a no-go. Definitely could be marked more frequently/clearly. The only trail markers were all the way at fisherman's camp, which didn't even point us in the direction of the falls, so we had to turn back. A couple sections of the trail (crossing over some rocks) it would have been nice to have markers indicating where the trail reconnects after the crossing. We made it to fisherman's camp (someone stopped me on the way back asking how they get there, as it was their second attempt at trying to find it), but then unfortunately couldn't determine which way to go for the falls. I would rate this on the more difficult side of moderate.
After the first 1/4 mile or so the trail is mostly shaded; good for escaping the sun. There are some good vantage points for nice views, but mostly a very quiet hike where it would be easy to zone out and clear your mind if it weren't for having to so closely monitor your footing.

Also, at the trailhead it is posted that a pass is required to enter and must be displayed on your vehicle left at the lot.

I would go again if only to try to get all the way to the falls.

The pictures and other people’s reviews are somewhat deceiving. The Fisherman’s Camp Trail vía Tenaja Falls splits about a hundred feet from the trail head. Fisherman’s Camp is to the left and the falls are to the right. The trail that is 4.5 miles is the one headed to Fisherman’s Camp and while the river runs along this trail, you will not find any falls.

The trail is lightly traveled. You will find about a mile in that the trail splits into a lower and higher trail. You can choose to hike either trail because they both join up later in the hike. There are a lot of overgrown bushes and grass. So expect to move these out of the way. Which is why i gave it a 3 star rating. However, the views are amazing.

Hiked this 12/21/2017 as a loop starting at the Fisherman’s Camp trail head ending at the Tanaja Falls trail and hiking the road back to start.

No water at the campsite but a lot of standing water down the trail but lots of solitude. It’s well marked but narrow. Very beautiful and quiet. Will definitely be a go to overnight trip spring/ summer.

It was rad. But got lost on the way back. Added an extra two hours walking the riverbed trying to find the trail lol

2 months ago

This was a nice trail even off season. We went on a hot Black Friday. It was 86.

This was our first time at this trail and we loved it! We hiked about two and a half miles in before turning around due to a few tired pups. :) The trail is pretty narrow (think single-file) with some ups and down, sometimes along cliff faces so be very careful with dogs and little ones; we clipped our dogs to us using their harnesses just to be safe. There wasn’t any running water today, just a few pooled areas that looked pretty icky, so crossing the riverbed was easy going despite there being a lot of rocks. However, there were a few river crossings just in the 2+ miles we hiked, two of which seem like they’d be pretty difficult to cross when the water levels are high and/or fast moving so be aware of that if you hike here after rain or snowmelt. Overall, this was a great hike with beautiful views...we’ll definitely be back! :)

3 months ago

I have done this trail and the surrounding trails numerous times and although this one is short, depending on when you go it is the best one! In spring the water runs and is significantly deeper, in fall and winter on occasion the waterfall will be running and it's a quick hike full of great views. Today it's dry, but I'm sure the storms coming in will fix that!

5 months ago

To get there, exit Clinton Keith off the 15 and head west. Go to Tenaja Rd and turn right. Stay on Tenaja until you see Cleveland Forest Road and turn right. You will pass the Tenaja trail, just keep going on the Tenaja Truck Trail Road. It's about 5 miles of a single lane, narrow, windy with some potholes, road. You will pass Fishermans Camp. Keep going. The next trailhead is the one for the Falls. Once you are on the trail, you will see a trail sign for Fishermans camp to the left and the falls to the right. Go right. You'll pass a Steelhead Fish info sign. Keep to the right. Then you will see two big boulders. Just past the boulders is where you will want to cross the stream to continue to the Falls. After that, the trail is very easy to follow.
There wasn't more than a trickle of water at the Falls today but there is still some mucky standing water at the top. It was a little bit buggy, and there is quite a bit of
Poison oak alongside the trail.
Overall, it was a quick and easy little adventure. I want to come back in winter or spring when there might be some water flowing!

hiking
6 months ago

This is truly a case of spending more time to get to it than to hike it. In mid July, there was still enough stream flow to keep a bathing pool full for a much needed cool dip. The hike is short, and you must pay attention to crossing the stream early in the hike, and once you do it will be easy to follow the trail on up. This is a great introduction to a huge wilderness area that has years of possibilities.

hiking
7 months ago

Beautiful short hike unless you miss the left over the river as we did. It is not marked and luckily we went back and ran into a family that pointed us in the right direction. No falls at this time but still pooling water at the top.

hiking
7 months ago

Could not find trail head. The directions are incorrect in apple maps or something. Somebody tell me how to get here and I'll give it a better review!

on Tenaja Falls

hiking
7 months ago

It's a nice, easy, and relaxing trail. Good for dogs and children. I took the hike to the top and swam in the little water bed above the falls. Good for lunch if you want to eat, there is quite a bit of sun exposure but only while you're walking up the hill. You will get your feet wet for sure, so be sure to wear shoes you know you can get wet.

hiking
8 months ago

Objective: Make movement to East Clark Trail. Disposition: San Mateo Canyon is heavily overgrown. Main path marked by difficult to spot cairns due to vegetation. Poison oak is abundant and requires continuous active avoidance for the duration. Proceeded 0.5 miles past map indicated trail junction. No indication of junction/terminus. Upon egress it was immediately found to be impossible to identify my own spor, use of cairns remained obligatory for ease of travel. Canyon is notably beautiful. Trails West Clark and Bluewater are marked and appear serviceable although strenuous.

hiking
8 months ago

Short hike to an awesome place. Tip is you cross the creek just after the sign about the fish. Once on the trail before and after stream crossing you can't get lost. Lots of sun exposure not much shade getting there. Pretty much all up hill to get there so the way back is a breeze. Be careful rocks at Falls are slippery even when not wet or barefoot. Not super young kid friendly.

on Tenaja Falls

8 months ago

this was dissappointing to me. the road going in is a little challenging at times. Finally get there and the trail itself was confusing. A lot of climbing over and in between boulders/rocks. Never did get to the falls. I guess the challenge is NOT to FALL! I would not say it is moderate. It's on the difficult side. Not kid friendly!

There is no signs to show trails so a Lot of people got lost , it's so scary there area Lot of rattle snakes

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