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Chiquito Trail to Chiquito Falls [CLOSED]

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San Mateo Canyon Wilderness

Chiquito Trail to Chiquito Falls [CLOSED] is a 9.1 mile heavily 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

walking

bird watching

running

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

rocky

closed

NOTE: It has been reported this trail has temporary closures due to COVID-19. Please see the park's website for up to date information. 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.

hiking
7 days ago

great hike but it’s totally closed according to highway patrol. hope it opens up back soon.

Great trail, more easy than moderate. I was the only car here when I got here at 830am, by the time I finished around 1130 the entire street was full of cars. Parking lot closed currently due to the situation. Would definitely recommend this hike, gorgeous views and lots of wildlife!

hiking
15 days ago

Very nice hike, about 4.5 hrs at steady pace with some time for pictures and enjoyment of the falls. Plenty of water, some gentle stream crossings. Refreshing smell of bountiful sage plants.

hiking
22 days ago

A good hike with a prize at the end. The waterfall was running because of heavy rains. views all along the trail because of low scrub brush. You can see the Pacific near the back end. I advise to start and finish on the short side of the San Juan loop. The other side is along the highway. Noisy and uninteresting.

Very green place, good views The waterfall at the end was dry though. It must not be it’s season. There some times where there is shade so it is not all open.

hiking
2 months ago

Nice easy trail, I went towards the end of January and there was no water.

hiking
2 months ago

Would’ve gave 5 stars but there wasn’t any water at the falls. Otherwise a beautiful hike, lots of variation in the trail. I took my dog despite all the reviews about the ticks and she came out with 0 ticks. She’s on Nexgard monthly and stayed on the trail with me so just be cautious and your pups will be safe. We also started the hike at 8am on a Sunday and only ran into a few people going up and more people on the back down.

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike with beautiful views. take plenty of water and wear long pants. There isxa good amount of poison oak and poison ivy along the way and TICKS. **TICKS**. Took my Australian Shepherd with me on this hike. A couple days later, I noticed some dark spots on his belly towards his back side. A closer look showed he had ticks. We pulled off 5 ticks total. Again, wear long pants, high socks and hiking boots. Also, check yourself for ticks. Aside from the Ticks, still a fun hike.

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike! Only a trickle of water at the actual falls. Lots of great views!

A great hike! Unfortunately, no water at the falls. Still was a fun hike to do with some beautiful views. I would definitely do it again after some rain to hopefully see the water flowing in the falls.

hiking
fee
3 months ago

great hike perfect on a sunny day

hiking
bugs
no shade
3 months ago

No water at the falls, but there was still a little water in the creek beds at the beginning of the hike

hiking
bugs
3 months ago

Good trail , but would recommend leaving the dogs at home . I have taken 50 ticks ( prob more ) off of my dog after that hike yesterday . He is on repellents for them, didn’t help too much. Maybe there’s a spray out to use on them before getting in the car ! No water at the falls

hiking
rocky
3 months ago

Hiked up to the waterfall on. Was hoping with recent rains there might be water flowing but the waterfall was dry as a bone. Still a nice hike. Many changes of vegetation and scenery. Trail has some challenging sections especially near the waterfall but certainly doable. Time wise the hike took just under four hours.

4 months ago

Great hike for a family with teenagers! We went after the rain and it was perfect weather. We trampled along the river bed at Ortega falls before caching the narrow trail, to Chiquito.

Waterfall is dry. Otherwise a great hike

hiking
over grown
rocky
scramble
washed out
4 months ago

hiking
bugs
rocky
washed out
4 months ago

Nice easy trail, not very challenging. I started late and therefore most of the trail had shade. If you start early bring plenty of water. Plan on coming back in winter season after some rain.

hiking
bugs
rocky
7 months ago

Great trail, bring plenty of water because most of the trail is not shaded. You get some beautiful views of the forest from this trail.

hiking
7 months ago

Beautiful hike! Will definitely do it again in the spring when the waters are flowing more. It was hot yesterday so definitely be sure to bring enough water if you’re going soon.

hiking
bugs
no shade
8 months ago

Hiked this July 21st 2019. Lots of sun and little shade, I took about 5 quarts of water and went through about 4 on the trail. Tons of bugs but the views were great! Saw lizards, frogs, buckwheat, mustard seed, manzanita trees, oak trees, yucca, wildflowers, sage, and your standard grasses etc. The falls are small this time of year but still there. Some parts of the trail get rocky but not terribly so. The way down is very easy, but be prepared for the long trek up.

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