Monday, September 26, 2011

Ortega Falls

September 26, 2011
4:30pm- 5:00pm

Nearby City:
Lake Elsinore, CA

Driving Directions:
Heading South on the 5 Freeways take the exit for the CA-74/ Ortega Hwy toward San Juan Capistrano. Turn left onto CA-74 E/Ortega Hwy and follow it for about 20 miles. Near the end of that 20 miles the road will make a tight "S" shape and then you will see a dirt patch to turn off and park. If you park on the oposite side of the road from the trail head be careful when crossing the street. To see the exact spot to park on a map follow the link 'Jessie's Trails' below the google map on the right side of the page.

Sunrise - sunset


Well marked trail but there is some climbing over large rocks.

Elevation Gain/Loss:
300ft loss

Entrance Fee:
An adventure pass is needed, they can be bought online or you can find a location near you.

Cell Service:
T-Mobil - I got service all along the height and at the falls.
AT&T- Service all along the trail and at the falls

Ortega Falls Trail- 0.5 miles round trip

Trails Condition:
Easy to follow but it does involve some scrambling over large boulders.

Trail Directions:
From the dirt car park off Ortega Highway we took the second trail in from the right. There are multiple trails leading down into the canyon and this proved to be a little confusing, but as you walk down the trail you will see they all seem to merge into one. Once you have picked a trail to follow, continue to follow it straight to the falls. We had to climb over huge boulders further back in the canyon to get to the falls but they are all dried up. I have read these falls can only be viewed after a good rain storm if you want to see any water flowing so keep an eye out for my update post on Ortega Falls.

Other Activities:

Cleveland National Forest
Adventure Pass

Jessie's Thoughts:
It wasn't so much hiking as a short walk down hill and once we finally found where the fall was supposed to be, it was dried up. The canyon itself is very beautiful if you can look past all the trash and graffiti everywhere. But because this is such a short walk and so close to a major highway it is a party spot for every teen in a 30 miles radios.


View Jessie's Trails in a larger map


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