Massacre Canyon Trail is a 1.4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near San Jacinto, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.
The trail is great for geocaching and normally takes a half day. From the road you don't have a clue what beauty lies just to the north. When the rains come the canyon floor will be impassable.
very beautiful except for the writings on the boulders
Reviews can be deceptive here because there are different trails. What should be stated about MC hiking is:
1. Walking along the bottom creek bed you'll eventually reach a waterfall w/vertical rock face to the left which is relatively easy for an adult to climb (there are handholds, but it's an actual climb). Neither dogs nor small children will go past this point.
2. There is often shooting in this canyon, which can be unnerving to some people (although I'm not against it but people should clean up their messes).
3. Starting back near the entrance, there is a "high trail" that hikers can take and this is DECEPTIVELY dangerous.
--A. There are quite a few helicopter rescues per year related to unprepared or ill-timed hikers on this trail. Look at RMRU web site (Riverside Mountain Rescue) and also Google "massacre canyon injured".
--B. This happens because people think they can take an afternoon hike in and they don't realize YOU CANT EXIT THE HIGH TRAIL in low light conditions. People lose the trail and fall off a cliff, or more often get stranded in positions where they can't see any safe move and must call for rescue. Cell phones work in parts of the canyon and other parts don't.
--C. This entire canyon is full of loose rocks and unstable walking surfaces. Walking/climbing the canyon sides requires a lot of patience and care. No one tries the canyon side on purpose, but its where people end up who lose the trail on the way out. They end up climbing into places searching for a vantage point and then grabbing or stepping on rocks that suddenly give way. This is when they finally realize they can't get out by themselves.
--D. Rains have a heavy impact on this area, both making it beautiful and making trails treacherous. There were two cliff falls from the high trail in February 2017 after January's rains. Hikers fell from 20 and 100 feet.
--E. ALWAYS bring flashlights, warm clothes, food, and water. Leave yourself plenty of time. Remember, there is no place to go when you reach the end (!!!), you may be quite tired and you must turn around and make the hike out with PLENTY of daylight. For safety, if you're heading in after noon you should be fully prepared to spend the night.
GREAT easy daily walk with Onyx
There was plenty of water running this March! so many flowers of many colors as well.
Love the high trail!!! It's dangerous but super worth it goes all the way to Beaumont ca!!
This trail is so beautiful, it hurts to see how people have completely trashed it. We also heard lots of gunshots. Be careful cellphone coverage is not good.
Ok so all the reviews of this trail are incorrect in my opinion. There are two ways to complete this trail to the top. Both are extremely dangerous but a good challenge for a very experienced hiker. The obvious way is to climb straight through the wash . This gets extremely challenging as u will need to use ropes climbing straight up vertically on slippery rocks..I do not recommend this as some of these ropes are not very sturdy and I have witnessed some serious injuries here.The second way is a trail to the right of the wash. As soon as u go under the freeway and enter the canyon look for the trail to the right. This is the scariest trail I have ever completed hands down easily beating three sisters falls to the top. At the end of the trail u will be greeted to some nice solitary open land that used to be a missile test site.
It would be a fantastic trail into the Canyon, if it was not for all the trash, graffiti, discarded alcohol bottles, expended shell casings, and the stench from God knows what. People have truly turn this trail into filth. And the taggers are pieces of crap and deserve to be whipped for turning the canyon walls into trash
It's an easy hike for this small town for any body to get a feel of hiking.
This is a neat little hike. I was a little confused where the trailhead was when I parked. You will go over an overpass when you first get there and will notice parking on one side of the road. Just walk under the overpass and then you can continue to walk in the bottom of the watershed or you can look for a trail that runs on the right hand side. The trail to the right is elevated and offers a much different experience than walking along the bottom.
I didn't notice the high trail until I was coming back and was only able to hike part of it as daylight was running out. The trail that runs along the bottom appears to be much more established and will take you further.
This is a fun short hike. Although some scholars have left their witticisms spray painted along many of the rocks, it is still very pretty and peaceful. There are a couple spots that could be tricky for small children or people who are not able to climb up a short rock face with the help of a rope. (see pictures)
I think it looks a little worse than it actually is. If you are in good shape and are careful you will have no problem.