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Lake Calavera via Oak Riparian Park

MODERATE 121 reviews

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

3.9 miles
515 feet

dogs on leash


mountain biking

trail running



partially paved



There may be limited parking at the trailhead.

1 hour 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
1 month ago

Maisy hike

2 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!

2 months ago

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

3 months ago

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

7 months ago

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.

8 months ago

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

11 months ago

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.

Friday, July 07, 2017

Really disappointed that there was so much dog poop all over the trail!! It's upsetting that people cannot pick up after their pets! Signage could have been better. Parking very limited.

trail running
Monday, June 05, 2017

Solid walk/hike. The directions send you to the Oak Riparian Park parking lot - follow the paved path to the left until you see an opening that crosses a small stream. Once you hit that you'll have many options for walking/running/biking. Including getting to the top of Mount Calavera!

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Fun trail with dog friendly amenities.

Monday, April 17, 2017

I started at oak riparian park and ended up coming out of carslbad because I got lost. it was dark by this point so I called an uber back to my car. it's a good trail but wish there was signs that could direct which way you are going.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Really great place to hike, people are usually nice. Be careful for Rattlesnakes. There are signs, but during baby season they tend to bite then rattle. So for the curious doggies that like to go off the the edges be careful! We are in their territory! Im sure it doesn't happen often, but we just had the bad luck of having my puppy get bit. Other than that the place is nice & pretty well kept!

trail running
Saturday, March 04, 2017

Great place- I bring our pup out here all the time! Everyone is friendly and the trail is easy- every once and a while you'll run into someone who doesn't like dogs, but hey what can you do? Just nod and run on

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Great little area. If you want a climb head for the peak but you can loop around the hill and it has a surprising variety of vegetation in such a small area. Trails are well kept for the most part. The plant variety there is prettier than most trails in the area.

Monday, September 19, 2016

stay on trail,sunk up go me knees in mud at the shoreline of the lake,jeeez. barefootin it back to car.....

1 day ago

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