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Lake Elsinore, California, United States

San Juan Loop Trail

Easy and relatively short hike. Yet, very beautiful scenes, and landscapes.

Viewed 39096 times
 (3 votes, 3 reviews)
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 2.1 miles / 3.4 km
Duration: 1 hour or less
Family Friendly • Dog Friendly
Overview: This is a easy and relatively short hike, yet offers a very complete experience. As the name says, it is a loop trail in the Cleveland National Forest, off of Ortega Highway. It goes through different portions of open trail and really old oak trees covered sections. You can enjoy views of landscape, a small waterfall in a gorge and go along the creek bed.
You do see a relative high number of other hikers, kids and dogs. Bikes are not allowed.

Tips: Located at Ortega Highway, around 21 miles east of I-5 and 10 miles west of Lake Elsinore, the trailhead is right at the parking lot across the "Candy Store" (Ortega Country Cottage). Make sure to bring a National Forest Adventure Pass and keep it displayed in your parked vehicle.
Also double check that the trail you are starting is the San Juan Loop Trail, and not the San Juan Trail, which is a much longer hike also in the area.
Bring water and sunblock. Always look for poison oak if wearing shorts. Always look for rattlesnakes, as it inhabits this region.
If you bring your dog, it has to be kept on a leash not longer than 6 feet.
Best if done around end of January and April, but can be potentially done all year, except after heavy rains periods, when trails might not be safe for hiking. Remember that on Summer temperatures here can get pretty high, so bring extra water and a hat.
Exceptionally beautiful area on Spring, when flowers are blooming, vegetation is green and water levels are higher.
Pictures in this guide taken by: Cotcho
Great short hike, takes about an hour to go around. Has lots of little trails that go off of the main one. Beautiful views and great for picture taking! Trail would be very muddy and slippery if it rained.
Visited on Feb 24, 2013

by JenBradStevens on Feb 24, 2013
It was nice, quick. A little rocky, I am glad I was in hiking tennis shoes vs regular tennis shoes because I would have slid a lot. I kept my dog on the leash the whole time which was a good exercise for us maneuvering on the trail together while not stepping or tripping on each other. It literally is right across from the candy shop. I got a $5 ticket for not having a National Forest Fun Pass. I went at noon and left at two. It was about 85. There are shaded areas, and open sunny areas. We found some tadpoles in the water, the dog jumped right in. Only saw about four other people. It was Saturday afternoon. I'll go again.
Visited on Aug 06, 2010

by margonne on Aug 06, 2011
Great trip. Lots of waterfalls and mild temperatures. The flowers and foliage were stunning.
Visited on Jun 12, 2011

by livelyackerman on Jun 12, 2011

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