San Juan Loop, Cleveland National Forest – California


We wanted to squeeze in one more hike before flying out the next day so we headed north of Temecula to the Cleveland National Forest along the Ortega Highway. The drive into the forest was pretty spectacular with the winding roads and views of Lake Elsinore.

The parking for the San Juan Loop Trail is on the right if heading west, across from the Ortega Oaks Candy Store. When parking here, it reminds you that you need a California Adventure pass which is available at the Candy Store. A day pass was $5.

IMG_5004

We hiked the 2.2 mile loop counter clockwise. Located in the Santa Ana Mountains, the trail provides stunning views of the rolling, rocky mountains.

IMG_E4979

IMG_E4980

The rocky trail descends into the gorge of San Juan Creek. Granite stones tower all around the trail.

IMG_E4982

IMG_E4989

The terrain changes about halfway through the hike into an old oak forest and then begins to parallel the Ortega Highway. I really enjoyed this hike and it is dog friendly!

IMG_E4998

The next day we caught an afternoon fight back to St. Louis. I loved flying over the ocean, but what a difference it was when we landed in St. Louis.

IMG_5020

IMG_5034

I wanted the sunny weather back! All in all, this was an amazing trip! I had so much fun traveling with Nicole and can’t thank her parents enough for letting me stay at their house! Memories to last a lifetime!

Categories: Cleveland National ForestTags: , , , , ,

2 comments

  1. I’m glad you got to explore California! It looks like you had an awesome trip! Thank you for sharing your adventures!

  2. Such spectacular views ! So glad you were able to hike this area.Fantastic scenery ! Great job!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: