Saddleback and Sweetwater Trail Loop

MODERATE 36 reviews

Saddleback and Sweetwater Trail Loop is a 5.2 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Descanso, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October.

Distance: 5.2 miles Elevation Gain: 695 feet Route Type: Loop

camping

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

rocky

no dogs

Green Valley Falls day use fee is $8.

hiking
over grown
rocky
3 months ago

The trail signs are not 100% so it was a little challenging to figure out the loop

hiking
3 months ago

My fiancé and I are avid hikers and we got very lost doing this hike. Not sure where we went wrong but ended up in a field of great brome which are now permanently a part of my hiking boots. Also saw what we think were two bobcats. Probably a pretty easy, enjoyable hike without the 4 mile detour. Would recommend following a map for this one or checking your location throughout just in case.

Hiked this trail in March and it was already getting a bit warm as there isn’t much shade on the trail. The water was running strong and there were a couple of river crossings where the water was about knee high. There are a number of beautiful waterfalls along the way, and they were raging! Be sure to take a short detour to check out the Dead Horse Falls trail which features a secluded pond and waterfall. I then hiked in a clockwise direction following the Saddleback Trail all the way to Green Valley Falls and back. The only ‘downside’ was that part of this trail is a fire road so it gets a bit boring, but still a great workout without crazy elevation change. Parking in Descanso at the trail head is $10 which goes towards good use I’m sure. I loved this trail and hiking it during the cooler months is highly recommended.

hiking
Thu Oct 11 2018

this hike is actually 7 miles! .9 miles from the trail head to the beginning of the loop. Beautiful !

hiking
Tue Apr 24 2018

easy to moderate. ..

hiking
Mon Apr 10 2017

Beautiful! We hiked 4/9/17. Parked at the Green Valley Falls Campground off the 79- $10 parking pass. Hiked Fire Falls to Sweetwater Trail to Saddleback to Californina Riding & Hiking back to Fire Falls. Crossed the river twice (you will get wet. Its deep in some parts. We put some fallen branches & rocks down, but still got wet) we saw a beautiful deer in the meadow. The saddleback trail is hard on the ankles. Wouldn't recommend if you have knee problems. My 5 year old completed this. Its very do-able and the reward was playing in the water at the end

hiking
Mon Mar 27 2017

This trail is a little misleading. The falls are literally .2 miles from the trailhead, but there are several trails that go down into the valley and this one does in fact end up looping back to the same point if you follow this app a bit. There is some decent elevation involved as well as crossing the sweet water river a few times if you decide to do the whole 5-6 mile loop. Bring plenty of water, make sure you have good trail shoes or boots and plenty of food before you make the trip!

Tue Sep 27 2016

Nice easy hike.

hiking
Wed Apr 30 2014

This trail is beautiful and offers great views of valleys, hills, and the Sweetwater River. The falls themselves are reason enough to visit, but the trail is well worth it. The loop is formed by taking four different trails. I was nervous I was going to get lost but I found a map of it on the San Diego Reader website. You start on the Falls Fire Road. There is a section where you can go down to the falls, but once you do you'll have to come back the way you came. If you do go down to the falls, you might not want to leave :) The Falls Fire road meets with the Sweetwater trail and the California Riding and Hiking Trail. You can go either way. If you go down the Sweetwater trail, you will turn right at the Saddleback trail, right at the California Riding and Hiking Trail, and then meet up at the Falls Fire road. The Sweetwater trail is very narrow and I wouldn't recommend it for mountain biking. When you turn onto the Saddleback trail, you might cross some water. When I was there, someone had made a makeshift bridge out of fallen branches and I managed to stay dry. UPDATE: Hours after we got home, my husband discovered he'd been bitten by a tick. This trail is overgrown with grasses, so be careful to check for ticks!

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21 hours ago

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Sun Aug 26 2018

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Mon May 28 2018

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