San Mateo Canyon Trail

HARD 3 reviews

San Mateo Canyon Trail is a 13.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Lake Elsinore, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

13.8 miles
1,368 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash


nature trips

bird watching


wild flowers


over grown



off trail

Directions from Temecula, CA: Travel Interstate 15 to the Clinton Keith Road exit and go west, then south on Tenaja Road for a total of 9.9 miles. Turn right on Rancho California Road (FS 7S01). Continue 5 miles to trailhead.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Objective: Make movement to East Clark Trail. Disposition: San Mateo Canyon is heavily overgrown. Main path marked by difficult to spot cairns due to vegetation. Poison oak is abundant and requires continuous active avoidance for the duration. Proceeded 0.5 miles past map indicated trail junction. No indication of junction/terminus. Upon egress it was immediately found to be impossible to identify my own spor, use of cairns remained obligatory for ease of travel. Canyon is notably beautiful. Trails West Clark and Bluewater are marked and appear serviceable although strenuous.

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

not that hard until the end. 90 percent was moderate, the last section was difficult because of the incline but very doable for most people with breaks.

Monday, February 29, 2016

This was fun!