Explore the most popular Horseback Riding trails in California with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
private property
rocky
scramble
19 hours ago

A fun hike - requires a decent level of balance and mobility. Hiked on a Friday afternoon in November. The creek is still flowing nicely and the waterfall was beautiful. Would love to try it in the summer as it seems like a great place to swim. There isn’t much elevation gain but there’s lots to do. You start the hike by navigating near and through private property areas. There are highly visible signs to keep you on the hiking path. The main portion follows and cris-crosses the rocky creek. You are balancing on rocks and logs to cross, and you’ll do this frequently. The path becomes less obvious as the rocks take over about halfway in but there are a ton of helpful arrows drawn to help you along. The last little bit is a scramble, you need to get up and over larger boulder piles. The reward is a gorgeous waterfall and pool.

hiking
23 hours ago

Be cautious of ticks, I found a few & on the pup. Overall a nice, easy, maintained trail with beautiful trees.

hiking
no shade
rocky
1 day ago

Weather was foggy and damp, creating a mysterious misty vibe. You forget you're so close to the hustle and bustle of Silicon Valley due to the quiet. I went on a Friday morning and encountered almost no one. The rocks were fun to explore! I didn't know about them beforehand, so they were a nice surprise. Trees and rocks were covered in bright green moss, creating a beautiful contrast to the red leaves on the ground. Falls were nearly dried up due to it being autumn. It was muddy due to the dampness, so wear good hiking boots. I unfortunately didn't finish the trail, but I'm definitely coming back to it.

Basic trail no hills

hiking
1 day ago

Not really into it.

hiking
bugs
rocky
scramble
1 day ago

hiking
no shade
1 day ago

Hiked Nov 15, when very dry. If you love the desert, come do this hike! I stretched it out some. Bring sun hat and water, and you’ll be fine. Easy trail, birds everywhere and a few critters.

hiking
closed
over grown
1 day ago

As others have noted, the north trail is closed. The best you can do is take telegraph to Gilman and take that up to Gilman peak. The second trail down from Gilman Peak to telegraph is also overgrown and closed. Otherwise a really enjoyable trail! If you don’t mind the mountain bikers.

This trail is pretty fun. The only negative would be having to go down the asphalt on Gale Mountain. It’s so hot, and there’s no shade. The Sycamore Canyon stairs (from on the way from Higginbotham Park) always kick my tail feathers, but it’s a good struggle.

hiking
rocky
scramble
1 day ago

This hike is HARD! It is steep straight up with little to no reprieve. The trail is relatively easy to follow. This is a thigh and calf burner. If you are not in shape prepare to feel like you are dying. If you are in shape, prepare to use every ounce of strength you have. Take breaks as needed, drink lots of water, carry electrolytes and food for fuel. You’ll need it. There are a few places where the step ups are high and you will need all fours to navigate, same for the descent. Where good shoes. It gets colder near the top so make sure you have sleeves, maybe a cap and gloves if you do this hike during the Fall as we did. The last 1/4 mile is rocky and almost anticlimactic...but wait for it, once you hit the side of the peak get ready to have your breath taken away with the glorious views provided by Mother Earth. All your strength will come back as you stand in awe of this epic view. There are clear views of at least 8 lakes, Tahoe, Fallen Leaf, Upper and Lower Echo, Saucer, Tamarack, Ralston, Aloha, Pyramid, Lake of the Woods, and Susie! I might be missing a few but if you’re using a GPS all of them will be mapped out. There is a couple of notebook boxes for you to sign. If you read this before you go please take a few sheets of paper or a notepad to leave up there. The ones up there are pretty full and washed out. Prepare to be Fulfilled by Earth’s Majesty! (Hiked with my Bestie Debi Penrod)

This trail is closer to 14.2 miles, according to the signs on the trail. The uphill switchbacks are not fun, but once you pass the initial switchbacks, the trail is quite enjoyable. There is a little more uphill closer to the top but nothing like those initial switchbacks. The narrow ridge at the top is only scary for a couple of feet, it’s totally worth it though! People were turning back at that point but you have to go all the way! It’s worth it! Tip for the narrow ridge: look down at the rock in front of you instead of looking in your peripherals. It’s much less scary!

So, I've done the hike to Johnstone Peak multiple times and gone further. One time, I went on the Lodi Lateral mtwy that runs southeast from Johnstone Peak. Another time, me and a friend continued north from Johnstone Peak all the way to Tanbark Flats, then doubled back on what Google Maps calls the W Fork San Dimas Truck Trail (tons of bushwhacking) ending up at the fire station at the end of San Dimas Cyn Road. The only problem is the existence of the San DImas Experimental Forest, technically closed to the public. The border of the Experimental Forest is prior to arriving at Johnstone Peak. While hiking on this trail, I've been mildly harassed by one of the guys checking the radio sites, demanding to search my backpack. I've been harassed by some guy who owns some private property up here, accusing me of trafficking drugs and saying he was calling the Sheriff's on me. I ran into another lady while hiking in Horsethief Canyon Park and we got to chatting about the Johnstone Peak Trail. She said she'd had a shotgun pulled on her by a property owner up there, probably same guy I interacted with. So, while this trail is well-defined and easy to follow, has nice views, and has plenty of solitude, there is the possibility that you will be harassed by people who work or own property up there. There is also a (probably slimmer) chance you will get in trouble with the Forest Service for entering an area that's closed to the public. It's really a shame since this is such an enjoyable spot.

very beautiful hike. flat grade and easy but very long for this first timer. lots of shore birds and passed beautiful vineyards in their autumn colors!

hiking
bridge out
2 days ago

hiking
bugs
no shade
2 days ago

great quick hike! Steady incline with costal views & the city of San Marcos. Have done this hike over a dozen times!

Paved non-hike full of white middle class uppity snobs. They take everything enjoyable and ruin it. Also note: this path has a special rule for walkers/joggers to stay "in the left shoulder". TONS of bikers. Hikers should drive the extra 10 minutes to avoid.

hiking
fee
2 days ago

hiking
bugs
no shade
rocky
2 days ago

nice calm hike, with good views. had no problem,parking across the street

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