Chiquito Trail to Chiquito Falls

MODERATE 242 reviews

Chiquito Trail to Chiquito Falls is a 9.1 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Lake Elsinore, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
9.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,571 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

backpacking

hiking

horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

bird watching

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

rocky

When you think of hiking in Orange County, you don't usually envision dramatic waterfalls. But during the spring, there are a number of wonderful seasonal waterfalls that are just a hike away. One of the best is Chiquito Falls. This trail requires an adventure pass.

backpacking
1 day ago

I will lead a troop of girls in Scouts BSA on their first backpack. But we plan only to hike about two miles and then camp off trail. Any recommendations for sites? From what I have read here and elsewhere, a possible location is the first stream crossing about two miles in. We will do a day hike to Chiquito Falls the next day.

Great trail. I went all the back to the falls which was flowing pretty good. I took some great pictures along the way.

hiking
11 days ago

the water fall was flowing! good hike. little over 9 miles. good workout but not very hard. weather today was perfect.

hiking
rocky
21 days ago

Awesome

hiking
22 days ago

It was amazing! The falls were awesome the dogs had a blast. Watch out for ticks! Well worth the hike. No potty areas until the gov is back up tho.

Wonderful little hike. The falls are very mellow but there is some water there. Low level of traffic on the trail, although the parking lot was already completely packed by 8:30 am. We made it up and down in about three hours but we were booking it the whole way.

I would recommend this hike for trail running and more exercise related activities (I.e. it isn’t too spectacular for views); there is an extension past the middle, I suppose you could make it more like 10-12 miles overall. It’s not overly exciting, but nothing short of pleasant. We had a great view of the ocean and Catalina island. It was a little windy, we wore jackets most of the way up. The parking lot required an adventure pass. Dog friendly.

The bottom loop portion is fairly well covered, with a little creek and some foliage. After you head towards the stick of the lollipop so to speak, way less coverage so wear a hat and bring sunscreen. The trial was a bit washed out in sections and there was a few trees down, but nothing too intense. Moderate is a perfect rating for this hike, it’s a bit rocky and might be challenging on the way down for the less athletically inclined.

hiking
26 days ago

Beautiful hike! 3 days after 4 very full days of rain and Chiquito Falls did not disappoint. It was flowing beautifully. This was quite a hike, felt like more than 9 miles. Some shade but mostly not. Found trail to be pretty clean, especially the second half. Bring lots of water.

hiking
26 days ago

Nicely maintained trails and great view especially after rains last few weeks. So green and good volume at The fall! My husband and I managed to complete this hike in 4.5 hours with few breaks.

28 days ago

Fun and lots of water at the falls!

hiking
rocky
28 days ago

I went with my friend and dog and this was definitely a hike! It’s pretty long, it took us about 6 hours total with a good amount of rest stops and picture taking, especially at the waterfall. I would recommend bringing as much water as you can, it gets tiring and can get hot. I went right after the few days of rain and the waterfall was gushing with water. It was beautiful and worth the hike. I would recommend wearing hiking boots.

hiking
muddy
rocky
29 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

We started hiking at 10am and 59 degrees outside. Perfect weather for this hike. We loved the back and forth along the trail of shade to no shade. It took my sister and I 4 hours to complete the hike to the falls and back to the parking lot. Even though it rained 3 days ago there was no flowing water in the falls. There was only a trickle coming down the face. The trail was damp, but not muddy. Be warned, due to the government shut down the trailhead bathrooms are closed. But the good thing is you don’t need an Adventure Pass to park at the trailhead due to the government shutdown.

hiking
2 months ago

Good hike, but do it early in the day if it’s going to be hot. You are exposed most of the day.

hiking
2 months ago

This was a nice, quiet trail. Ends up being a pretty good workout if you keep a good pace.

hiking
2 months ago

No water in the falls two days after the rain. The dry ground sucked it all up. 

6 months ago

Awesome trail. Gorgeous views.

hiking
8 months ago

Breathtaking views all around most of the way. The spot where the waterfalls would be was completely dry again though on the May 12th weekend.

Took about 3.5 hours to get up there with okay pace and some quick photo stops. 2.15 return. (So, definitely longer than 4 hr round trip as some people have commented)

hiking
9 months ago

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.

10 months ago

Average

hiking
10 months ago

Nice trail, no water at the waterfall yet. But saw a beautiful big rattlesnake right next to the trail.

10 months ago

Had a nice hike through this area. Meant to go to another trail but this one was great for us. I would say this one is moderate. Beautiful cool day. No water at the falls but we were able to enjoy a nice lunch while we were there

Sunday, January 28, 2018

First of all the trail head is NOT by the candy store it is right where you park ..I wouldn’t call it moderate but strenuously moderate.. 9.3 miles to the “falls” ( no water). Lots of ticks..beware and check your dogs. We had fun...

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Only did the loop, but didn't see another soul on a Friday afternoon. The leg of the trail to San Juan Falls should be called the Heavy Doodie Trail since it is littered with dog poo around every bend. For the love of hiking.. PLEASE pick up after your dog and carry out what you bag.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Nice trail for a winter hike but it was quite warm today, about 78. Left at 7:30 when it was cool, finished by 12:30 and it was quite hot. Brought the dogs and found lots of TICKS on them - maybe from the recent rain? I would not have expected ticks this time of year. No water in the falls but a few puddles down stream from the rain.

hiking
Friday, January 12, 2018

It was a great day with a great hike. But no water was flowing

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Definitely go when the weather is clear and cool. I imagine this trail would be great with more water in the stream beds. I only saw 1 person on the trail.

hiking
Saturday, October 28, 2017

We hiked this in October knowing the terrain would be hot and dry, but wanted a conditioning trail close to home. Knowing that, it was a good hike with both oak woodlands and chaparral. The falls were expectedly dry, but the rock formations were quite cool. My gps app stated 5.7 miles to reach the falls - 11.4 round trip.

hiking
Sunday, October 22, 2017

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Nice trail. About 9 miles RT to falls from candy sore parking lot. This time of year it gets very hot in the valleys and on hills. Lots of water or you will regret going.

hiking
Sunday, May 14, 2017

Completed yesterday, nice workout. Wouldn't recommend for summer hikes, but there was still water flowing at the falls. Had my closest encounter with the biggest rattlesnake I've ever seen, not fun. Careful of the hill climb going to the falls...fairly steep in sections and not much sun protection.

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