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Lake Calavera via Oak Riparian Park

MODERATE 168 reviews

Lake Calavera via Oak Riparian Park is a 3.9 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Oceanside, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 3.9 miles Elevation Gain: 515 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash


mountain biking

bird watching



partially paved




There may be limited parking at the trailhead.

Great trails to get the blood pumpin while stopping at an epic view.

mountain biking
2 months ago

So much sand! This trail was pretty solid by all means, but it lacked in the good off roaring vibe I was going for. Pretty cool hills and many divots for sure. This is more of a beginners trail to take with your kids. I’m 15 and this is the second time of me riding ever. But I do know that on other trails you have steeper drops, narrower trails, and less people. I thought it was pretty good over all but not the best by any means.

mountain biking
over grown
washed out
3 months ago

4 months ago

Great trail and hike, but there’s lots of split off and if you’re trying to follow this EXACT hike, then it’s a little confusing from what I found. Signs point to different areas but since this trail covers the creek, lake, and mountain peak the signs become misleading. I just zoomed in on the map as followed that way. Also, the backside incline to the mountain peak is pretty effin steep and it’s all rocks so be careful. Most of the trail is moderate to easy except for the mountain portion. Overall we loved it! Great views, nice weather today as well

4 months ago

Great hike! They potty trained the animals for the hoomans no step on poopy. Barely saw any droppings. Beautiful hike, well kept and friendly hikers. Varied terrain. Easy/moderate.

no shade
5 months ago

We dropped in from the end of Carlsbad Village Dr. Steep first hundred yards down in (and back out!), but the rest of the trail was moderate/easy. One of the prettier hikes that’s close from north county towns. Great wildflowers after the rains. No shade, so SPF and 2L of water. Hot one for dogs!

6 months ago

Just as of note, it’s not dog poop it’s a lot of coyote poop and really looks like dog poop but if you have a dog you’ll notice the difference (seeds, hair, fresh piles) and I saw coyotes everywhere in the middle of the day. Didn’t bother me, they were just watching-like hey. What food you got? The bagged poop however lol can’t speak on that. That’s probs the wolves bc they’re super smart ;) probs bag their own poo and leave it

Great hike when it’s green and full of flowers

Similar to other reviews, I found this trail to be poop infested. It seems that dog owners let their dogs crap directly on the trail and just walk away. I also saw some filled poop bags by the side of the trail. I guess these people think the rest of us will pick up after them. Really disgusting. The trail itself isn’t very inspiring because you don’t ever feel like you are in the woods with the tarred trails, airplane noise, and background motor noise. Sorry, only 1 star for this one.

Great trail. Different trails to try out. Definitely will try again but be aware with parking at the park. It's very limited.

no shade
7 months ago

Maisy hike

8 months ago

I love the hike there was many roads to take. The weather was perfect yesterday.

Tried this for a trail run - super pretty. I’d give more stars for the park but this trail isn’t the greatest - trails up and down the mountain were hard to follow and the view was the lamest part. Next time I’ll just go my own way!

8 months ago

It was shorter than I had hoped it was really easy or very technical

9 months ago

Dog poop everywhere. What is it about dog owners who think they aren’t responsible for picking up after their pets. Disgusting.

Sunday, September 09, 2018

We arrived at 7:30am. The fog was still low, so the temperature was perfect and scenery was still pretty. Saw lots of ducks, a heron, and an egret on the water.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

This is a great hike for any day and weather. pushing 90 outside, and with the wind, made for an excellent time out.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Nice local trail, only 10 minutes from home, great outing for families. It’s appalling that people won’t pick up after their dogs; don’t see this on the Batiquitos trail, more civilized hikers, it seems.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

The good: wetlands boardwalk is gorgeous. That portion of the trail is very nicely maintained. Visually speaking, you feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere rather than in the middle of a busy city. The bad: the trails are very narrow and nearly impossible to pass people if anyone has a dog with them. Ice cream truck at the park played very loud, respective music for 20 minutes, which could be heard everywhere on the trails and kinda ruined the nature for me. Offleash dogs not with their owners in multiple places (people playing fetch with their dogs, so the dogs were quite a ways away from their owner, retrieving a ball or frisbee). Lots of graffiti on trees and rocks on the side trails. Group of adult men smoking weed in a bong up on top of some giant rocks along the trail staring down at me while I hiked past, in the middle of the afternoon when kids were at the park nearby; gave it a very creepy vibe. I certainly wouldn’t return alone without my dogs. 1/52 #52hikechallenge

Friday, January 05, 2018

Enjoyed an easy hike with some nice weather.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Always love a quick climb at Calaveras!

Friday, September 08, 2017

Really varied area, wetlands and dry hills and everything in between. Pretty active amount of people, lots of different access points.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

I don't think I've ever seen so many quail in one place before! I had read a complaint about dog crap littering the trails...it is crap it is all over the trails but it ain't dog its coyotes! On the whole I found this place to be rather fun.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

In my backyard...love the variety on this trail. Creek crossing, lake, trees, wild flowers and a volcano in the middle. Watch out for rattlesnakes. Saw one on the side of the trail 3 weeks ago. Lots of coyotes live here too, you can hear them at sunset.

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