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Morgan Trail

MODERATE 79 reviews

Morgan Trail is a 10.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Lake Elsinore, California that features a river 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: 10.3 miles Elevation Gain: 1,230 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly


horseback riding

nature trips


bird watching





wild flowers


Directions from Lake Elsinore, CA: Travel southwest on Highway 74 to Killen Road (6S07). The trailhead is located on Killen Road 2.8 miles south of Ortega Highway (Hwy. 74). Ample parking available.

7 days ago

Nice hike. Perfect weather today.

15 days ago

This hike is cool because it has its own little microclimate when you get to the wooded area ... Really nice to lay a blanket and have a nice little picnic (takes about 15-30 mins in). Sounds of creaks, birds, and the sound of the wind hitting the trees is ear candy and is a delight if trying to escape the busy civilization. got to half the trail ... take water and snacks.

I did half of this trail with friends and 1 dog. we parked one car at the Morgan Trailhead and parked another car at the Bear Canyon/San Juan Loop parking lot. We hiked from the Morgan Trail to Bear Canyon loop and ended up by the candy store. 10 miles was a bit much for us so we just did half. It was a lovely trail. well marked and easy to follow.

private property
1 month ago

Wonderful trail except there’s a loop I took at the end and it ended up being private property so don’t do what I did and just go straight through and back. Beautiful forest!

3 months ago

Got here at 3 pm and the weather was perfect. Walked 8.29 miles. The views are humbling.

4 months ago

Did this trail 9/22/19. The gps coordinates for driving directions take you directly to the actual trail head for this hike. AllTrails recording wants you to walk back along the paved road and do the first bit off the actual trail. This trailhead was nowhere to be found- and I tried. 20 minutes of bushwhacking and being right on the trail according to the recording, but in the middle of dense overgrown vegetation. Save yourself the hassle (and the ten minutes picking plant daggers our of tour boots and socks, and take the nice,well marked Morgan Trail. There were also 3 times along the portion I did that the recording will ping you for being off route, but just keep following the very nice, well maintained, well marked trail! A late start from home, and half an hour wasted at the beginning means I didn’t finish the hike, due to time constraints, but it was nice and I will come back another time. The first mile is very nicely shaded, as it’s down low in the canyon following the (currently dried out) creek bed. The shade, however, comes with lots of persistent gnats, so bring your spray or your bandana, if you do t want to eat them. After the first mile, you climb out of the canyon and lose the bugs and a lot of the shade, at least for the section I did. Very lightly trafficked also. Saw a handful of people in the first mile both coming and going, but absolutely no one for the rest of the hike.

8 months ago

I had the entire trail to myself. Didn’t see anyone else the whole time. The gnats became a bit much! But they leave once it opens up. Beautiful wilderness! Make sure you bring some cash for the candy store. You will also need 3 bottles of water. I was having to preserve my water half way back. #socaldirtpathchallenge.

10 months ago

Beautiful trail. Not very crowded. Some parts are shade-covered, some are exposed. I took 2 liters of water, but wished I had at least 1 more. It's a gradual downhill hike (if you end at the Candy Store), so the hike back up was harder than I was expecting, but I'm not in the best of shape. In hindsight, I should have refilled my water at the Candy Store instead of just buying peanut brittle, although the brittle was delicious. The hike took me about 5 hours, going at a snail's pace with probably 6 rest-breaks. A bit muddy and buggy (no biting insects though) in certain parts, but that's to be expected given the recent rains. The trail was marked pretty clearly, but there was one fork where I got mixed-up and walked down a different path (game trail?), so make sure to make a mental note of landmarks when you come across a fork. Lastly, check out the Candy Store - Shanon was a sweet-heart.

Sat Mar 24 2018

Nice trail. Great for trail running. Love the variety of terrain and ecosystems.

Thu Feb 01 2018

One of my favorites, very quiet and doesn't have much traffic.

Mon Sep 04 2017

Your can start at the Ortega Oaks Candy Store and take Bear Canyon in about 3/4 of a mile. Morgan Trail splits off to the left. If you go straight that goes to Sitton Peak and 4 Corners. It's more of a walk then a hike. I don't consider anything less then 1000' elevation gain as a hike. If you go out and back it's about 10 miles from the Candy Store. You should stop at the candy store. All homemade chocolate and the owner is very nice. If you have an America the Beautiful pass you can park free. If not it's $5.00 to park and you need to have the pass. I started at the Candy Store on Bear Canyon. Took Morgan Trail to the end at Killen/S. Main Divide Road. Then took that road, where the Morgan Trailhead sign is and you can look down into Lake Elsinore, over to the Firefighters Memorial. Then Ortega Highway back to the candy store. Don't recommend walking back on Ortega like I did because there is no sidewalk on most of it and cars come by fast. Loop was a little over 12 miles.

Wed Aug 16 2017

The trail was good. But it drops you off at the end at some other parking lot.

Sat May 13 2017

2nd attempt at San Mateo Peak. Started at Morgan Trail and took a left before sign in box. Got to the right turn past the sign for Rancho Capo Loop to go up to San Mateo peak trail but stopped doe to a swarm of relentless bees and really bad muck we didn't want to cross. Ended up staying on trail that said Rancho Cap Loop which eventually ended at a gate in a community at Monterey and Arroyo streets. Took South Main Divide road back to Morgan because bugs were bad. We saw no loop trail. Really overgrown and lots of bugs.

Tue Apr 18 2017

Awesome spot but make sure you are prepared for anything .

Mon Mar 06 2017

Not to difficult. It has a beautiful little forest of Calif Oaks near the trailhead with a cute stream flowing though it.

Sat Mar 04 2017

Long treks possible with connections to other trails, dog friendly great people on the trail!

Sun Feb 26 2017

Nice hike. Not the elevation as Sitton Peak but linger. Different types of terrain. Started this hike at 74 Candy Store.

Mon Feb 20 2017

I loved this trail. beautiful.

Sun Oct 23 2016

Lovely hike, lots of shade, easy to find, well maintained trail - definitely would do it again!

Wed Aug 03 2016

Loved it!

Tue May 17 2016

It's a nice easy hike, very quiet down in the creek canyon. Watch out for poison oak.

Sun May 01 2016

Hiked from Main Divide trail head to bear canyon. Saw only one other hiker all day. Very nice views of canyon and meadows.

Tue Apr 12 2016

I would say this is an easy-moderate trail. A lot of terrain variety as you pass through oak groves on your way up to the higher points with tall scrub and grasses. Some really great views of the other peaks. We staged cars and started at the trailhead and ended at the candy store, which is a really nice treat at the end of a hike.

Sat Feb 13 2016

Great shady areas with a terrain that is interesting and somewhat challenging. Good hike!

Mon Nov 30 2015

Fairly easy, enough shade and lots of trees not such a huge incline but the trail is really bad at some points, my ankles starting hurting and your steps are at a 45 degree angle stepping on the outs of your feet. The trail is wide enough but lots of smaller trenches, hard to explain I don't really know how horses can make it up there! But easy trail! Check it out. Oh and don't think your lost while driving up the mountain it's about 5 more minutes of drive once your Gps has indicated your arrival, so keep going don't turn around.

Sat Jun 13 2015

Nice trail. Not many uphill and downhill sections but a nice hike nonetheless. Shady in about 1/3 of the trail. I started at the Bear Canyon Trail by the candy store and hiked out to the end of Morgan at Killen Road. You can also get to this trail from Killen Road and hike in to the candy store or even make a left at Bear Canyon and go to 4 Corners, and if you have the energy, Sitton Peak. Lots of flowers in bloom and the hike was nice but started getting pretty hot around noon. I did a total of 11.3 miles (using MapMyHike app) and took 3 hours and 47 minutes. If you go out to the end of the trail at the Morgan Trailhead at Killen Road there is a picnic table and if you cross the road get a nice view of Lake Elsinore. I also had to move out of the way, pretty quickly, for two horseback riders but they were very cordial.

Mon Jan 20 2014

Did this trail as a point to point hike going from Morgan trailhead to Four Corners and made that a loop and then back out to Ortega Hwy via the bottom half of the Bear Canyon loop. :) Great day and 9.5 miles hiked. :)

Fri Jul 08 2011

Really lovely trail. I felt it was more shaded then most other trails in the Cleveland Nat'l Forest especially once you get down from the parking area maybe about 1/4 mile into the trip. A lot of trees at that point for a while as you follow the canyon/stream. TONS of flies and mosquitos though FYI. There was a lot of poison oak at one point which prevented me from going any further but next time I'll go during the fall and wearing pants. Sadly I also saw the remains of a house cat on the trail which was likely from a coyote, VERY smelly and flies all around it.

7 days ago

7 days ago

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