Monday, September 26, 2011

Tenaja Falls

Date/ Time:
September 26, 2011
12:00- 3:00pm

Nearby City:
Murrieta, CA

Driving Directions:
Take the 91 East and merge onto the 15 South toward San Diego. Take the 15 South for 28 miles passing Lake Elsinore on the right side. Exit at Clinton Keith Rd and in 0.3 miles take a right onto Clinton Keith Rd When you are driving up Clinton Keith Road you will pass a dirt car park on your right and the Santa Rosa Plateau Visitor Center to your left !!!!BE CAREFUL! DO NOT SPEED THIS IS WHERE WE ALMOST DIED AND DID GET INTO AN ACCIDENT WITH ONCOMING TRAFFIC!!!! There has been a lot of deaths at this part of the road! Take that for 5.1 miles and make a slight right onto Tenaja Rd. In 1.7 miles turn right to stay on Tenaja Rd and go for 0.7 miles and make a right to stay on Tenaja Rd. Follow Tenaja Rd for 3.5 miles and turn right onto Cleveland Forest Rd. A few hundred yards of paved road leads to a forest service trailhead parking lot with bathrooms and a water pump. This is not the parking lot! You can park here are turn the 1.4 miles into a 6 mile hike. Continue for 6 more miles to the Tenaja Falls parking area on your left. An adventure pass is needed to park. (see links below)

Hours:
Sunrise to sunset

Difficulty:
Easy/ Advanced

Why?
The trail itself is a very short and easy hike uphill all the way to the falls; but once you get there you will see right away that if you want to climb around or down to the bottom of the falls it can get increasingly harder as you descend into the canyon

Waterfall Height:
150ft

Elevation Gain/Loss:
300ft gain

Seasons:
December - June

Why?
you are able to view to falls at anytime of year but to see it flowing you will need to plan a hike after a good rain storm.

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

Cell Service:
T-Mobil - unable to get service anywhere along the trail or back at the parking area.
AT&T- Unable to get service anywhere along the trail or back at the parking area.

Trails:
Tenaja Falls Trail - 1.4 miles round trip

Trail Condition:
The trail is in great condition you just have to pay attention to what trail you are following. There are many different trails leading off the main trail and can get a little confusing.

Trails Directions:
Starting at the easy to miss car park follow the trail just to the right of a sign saying no margaritas allowed on the trail. In a few feet you will pass a small wooden box to your left; look inside! Fill out the info asked on the paper and place it back in the box please. Follow the trail for a little bit passing other trails leading off somewhere else; make sure to pay attention its easy to take the wrong trail. Shortly after passing a small metal gate you will get to what seems like a fork in the trail. If you go to the right you will run into some large rocks and no trace of a trail (you went to wrong way) if you go to the left you will see a flooded ford, you can cross through the somewhat deep water or go around on the rocks to the left. After this the trial is very easy to follow and heads up hill all the way to the falls. Once at the falls take a look directly across to the mountain on the other side of the waterfall you will see a giant red rock that looks like a turtle on the ledge. There is a trail that takes you directly to Turtle Rock if you just continue to follow the trail past the falls. (side note): I rode the turtle, see pictures below!

Other Activities:
Hiking
Trail running
Equestrian
Dogs Allowed on leash
No Bicycles or motorized vehicles

Links:
Photos (Subscribe Only)
Videos
Facebook Page
Knot the Ordinary- Store
Rice Krispie Creations- Store
Weather.com
Leave No Trace Cleveland National Forest
Cleveland National Forest - Trabuco District (Map)
Tenaha Falls Topo Map

Jessie's Thoughts:
After almost dieing on the drive up, finally getting to the falls was a nice treat or a very long morning. When you are driving up Clinton Keith Road you will pass a dirt car park on your right and the Santa Rosa Plateau Visitor Center to your left !!!!BE CAREFUL! DO NOT SPEED THIS IS WHERE WE ALMOST DIED AND DID GET INTO AN ACCIDENT WITH ONCOMING TRAFFIC!!!! There has been a lot of deaths at this part of the road! The long winding drive through the mountains on what looks like a one way road that's really a two way road is worth it once you get to the falls. The trail was super easy at only 1.4 miles round trip with a slight incline most of the way. Once you get to the falls there are so many things to explore, like Turtle Rock. Be careful of snakes, I was tromping through the water just above the falls and was startled by a snake slithering past my leg in the water. He was not poisonous, but this is his and many other animals home so please take care when exploring and take out what you bring in.

Maps:

View Jessie's Trails in a larger map

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