Exploration Trail

MODERATE 50 reviews

Exploration Trail is a 8 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Running Springs, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Horses are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
8.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,440 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

hiking

horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

rock climbing

trail running

walking

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

no dogs

12 days ago

love this trail. I've both hiked and MTB it

hiking
2 months ago

This is a very solid hike in the dry Southern California Mountains. We did the Exploration Trail from the TH near Hwy 18 going uphill one way to the intersection of Keller Peak Rd. and the Exploration Trail ending point . It was a car shuttle (one car at the bottom, and the other near "Children's Forest"). We then drove to the top of Keller peak for some additional views. Note - the road gets very narrow from Children's Forest to the top of Keller Peak, though worth doing once. Avoid the drive on weekends. The 3,500 ft drop-off to the southwest near the top is impressive in spots. We saw no hiking trails there independent of the paved road, i.e., if your hiking to the top, your on the paved roads from Children's Forest to the top pretty much. Your welcome to climb the final fire outlook station once your at Keller Peak if personal is there (they are usually there). Our hike was just 4 miles long with 1440 ft elevation gain one way. Nicely kept trail, nothing "ledgy", and hard to go wrong. More Mountain bikes than hikers though. Some variety in scenery. Note - to go from "Children's Forest" to the peak, there is no clear trails to avoid the road, at least on the southern side, and we were looking for them, regardless of tracks on alltrails.

hiking
4 months ago

Keller Peak, The Children's Forest, and The Exploration Trail, all seem to be the same trail. It's always lovely, peaceful, and scenic. Like everywhere in SoCal, it gets crowded at about 11am or noon. Mountain Bikers show up about that time, and that's when I usually leave. get there early.

5 months ago

No view of the lake but beautiful scenery. Awesome in the winter

hiking
11 months ago

This trail is great and everything a "moderate" trail should be. Beautiful views, perfectly strenuous to get the blood flowing but nothing extreme. Great single track is fun to trek down. HOWEVER, the GNATS are INSANE!
They were so bad that we cut the hike short just 2 miles in before we just has to turn back. I'm not even sure repellent would have helped, though definitely bring some and apply liberally if you go. The moral of the story here, although the trail is terrific, is to wait until the fall or spring when (presumably) the gnats arent around.

hiking
11 months ago

We did Six miles out and back ..I love the hike the only things is there was maybe .5 section with gnats and a few here and there. But I guess that's Norman when hiking this time around. Other then that it was great!

mountain biking
Wednesday, June 28, 2017

hiking
Saturday, September 24, 2016

Good moderate trail with some good views at the top. I recommend parking at the lot at the bottom of Keller Peak Rd rather than the top which the directions take you to. My activity tracker clocked 10.75 miles round trip. Good hike with you dog. There aren't any sharp rocks or boulder scrambles.

hiking
Saturday, August 20, 2016

This is a great trail with some shade and a decent uphill climb. The trail is about 4.3 miles to a parking lot and if you want to continue to Keller Peak it's another 1.5 miles. Round trip about 12 miles. Not a difficult hike and the views are amazing, especially at Keller Peak. I completed the trip up and back in 4 hours and 20 minutes.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

I definitely wouldn't use the words "a lot" to describe the quantity of shade on this trail. It was HOT. Gnats were out like crazy, and there weren't any even remotely impressive views. Good exercise but we probably won't be doing this one again.

backpacking
Saturday, July 16, 2016

Don't forget bug spray!!!

hiking
Tuesday, June 28, 2016

A really beautiful, shady trail that climbs the western flank of Keller Peak through a black oak forest community. The grade is pretty mild on most of the trail and the views that open up at the upper elevations are fantastic.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Beautiful trail. Only did 3 miles in and out. Lovely in the fall!

hiking
Monday, March 17, 2014

Great hike! About 10 miles be sure to bring a jacket it was windy towards the top

hiking
1 month ago

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4 months ago

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6 months ago

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6 months ago

mountain biking
8 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

hiking
10 months ago

hiking
Thursday, July 20, 2017

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Friday, April 28, 2017

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