Ortega Falls is a 0.3 mile loop trail located near Lake Elsinore, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and walking and is best used from December until May.
I honestly don't know how this "trail" gets good reviews. First off, it's literally right off Ortega Highway. I thought it would be a bonus, super short easy waterfall walk to fit in before my actual hike for the day. Instead, the proximity to the highway means a lot of people (even mid-week), mostly who are clearly inexperienced hikers, a ton of trash and randomly discarded clothing everywhere, and graffiti everywhere too.
Second, while the very short trail down is moderate due to it being fairly steep at some points, the actual pools and climb to the bigger waterfall should really be rated hard. The boulders (not rocks) that need to be navigated to reach anything other than the small middle pool area are deceptively slick even when dry, so it can be quite treacherous climbing around.
If just me, I would have maybe given 2 stars, but the extra star loss is because this really is not a dog friendly place to visit. While yes, my medium sized shepherd mix was able to get down and up the very short trail easily, he had quite a bit of difficulty dealing with all the slick boulders to maneuver to the pools of the waterfall. I am not over-exaggerating how slick they were. I actually talked to a couple other groups who said they had previously had trouble with their own dog so came back another day without it and still were nervous about climbing up to the actual larger waterfall. I myself was sliding down some of the boulders with a brand new pair of hiking shoes on with some awesome tread.
Basically, if you're any sort of regular hiker who knows what it's like being on a wonderfully secluded trail and ending up at a beautiful peaceful waterfall (even a crowded one on a weekend, but at least a beautiful hike), skip this entirely. This felt like a totally waste of time and effort just to experience other people's trash and graffiti.
easy quick hike
I love this trail ..
Short hike with a beautiful waterfall.
This hike was so fun and so beautiful. you can simply walk down the first trail to the first waterfall, or you can keep climbing up further to two more waterfalls. You could even continue on further than we went.
This place is an awesome. short hike to the falls. grate for a pre hike. come here all the time and love to see how nice all the water has made it look, but pick up your trash and at least take some up one your way. lets keep our forests clean!!!!
Really enjoyed this hike it was a little rocky when you go down to the water but nice view We did another hike after this one because its so short
This is so beautiful with the waterfall. This is a Steep CYN and the trail to the right is more moderate incline.but there are many many small trails to try. The parking area is not Marked nor is there signage. This is a very short fun hike for kids...Not so much if you have to cradle a baby in your arms.You need both Arms to get up and down this Hillside. I went 2x and the rains made alot more Foliage the second trip.
It is easy hiking for .34 miles to see beautiful waterfalls so but trails steep and dirty simple
It was an easy hike to the main water fall. You can see it from the highway. Increase the hike by following the water down and then hiking back up to the entrance.
This hike is very short but beautiful! You need to go after a good rain though! Water doesn't always flow here. Make sure you stop and get your adventure pass. 5$ you can purchase one at the lookout road house on the way to the falls! Be sure to stop here anyways the view is amazing!
A lot of rock climbing. A lot of people on the weekend. Not much water as I expected but it was a good workout; my aunt likes the hike.
Just park off the dirt lot soon as you park you can see the waterfall ...I took the right side