Ortega Falls

MODERATE 71 reviews
#11 of 91 trails in

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.

DISTANCE
0.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
98 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

hiking

walking

waterfall

rocky

no dogs

hiking
3 days ago

-I came in mid May 2017 plenty of water but the
-Waterfalls are fuller earlier in the year after the rains -Easy short hike with a great reward of waterfalls
-There are at least two Waterfalls, stay right for the bigger waterfall
-You may have to hike through bolder rocks
-The trail shrubs were outgrown
-Take water shoes
-Some poison oak
-Take snacks hang out for a bit
-1 or two 16oz water bottles per person is fine.
-Extra shoes and socks. You may be crossing water
-No strollers
It was disappointing how much trash & graffiti there was : (
PICK Up YOUR Trash! Leave No trace behind.

6 days ago

The family loved everything about this hike. Pretty easy to hike , you have to climb over some rocks here and there but nothing to bad. Great views

10 days ago

15 days ago

16 days ago

awesome trail!

23 days ago

Lots of tagging under the Falls. Kids pics are ruined with penis tagging behind Falls. Decent hike

25 days ago

1 month ago

1 month ago

alright might be pack in the middle of the day and parking could be better

hiking
1 month ago

1 month ago

1 month ago

1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

It's not a bad trail. Make sure to follow the trail carefully as it is easy to get lost on the many paths that lead to no where.

There was a lot of trash for a national park, but all of the water falls are very cool and there is still a lot of water. Bring a towel and swim suit if you want to dive into the little pools too.

2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

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.

walking
2 months ago

easy quick hike

hiking
2 months ago

I love this trail ..

2 months ago

loved it.