Elfin Forest Trail

#1 of 2 trails in Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve

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Elfin Forest Trail is a 6.8 mile out and back trail located near Escondido, California that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, mountain biking & walking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

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Trish Mac (47)

2 Completed2 Reviews

Fun hike if you want something easy to run!

Graham Ringer (85)

5 Completed1 Reviews

My wife and I just hiked the Elfin Forrest trails this morning. moderate trail with a few pretty overlooks of the dam and to the west. The creek at the beginning of the trail is nice. I will definitely be going back, hopefully when the wildlife is a bit more booming. With 11 miles of trails, it could be an all day hike or just a few hours.

Patrick Smith (1368)

10 Completed8 Reviews

My buddy and I did the hike in the middle of the day in the late summer. I think we just hit this trail at the wrong time, wrong part of the year. It would seem that in late summer/fall time frame everything is kinda dead. The trail proved to be a great workout, but during the middle of the day the temperature got up to 95 degrees. The pictures of this 'forest' proved to be somewhat misleading. We hiked to the top of the mountain for some nice views and then hiked around the reservoir on the other side of the mountain only to find out that there's no swimming allowed due to 'No Trespassing' signs everywhere just off the path. Afterwards we hiked back down the mountain and decided to hit the botanical trail hoping to see some nice scenery, however, as I previously mentioned, everything was rather dead. No wildlife, no flowers, the trees weren't all that spectacular and the stream seemed low and kinda nasty. It would have been nice to cool off with a dip in the stream, but then I noticed the sign... basically, the majority of the water is 'urban runoff' with a note on the sign about something in the water possibly causing illnesses or something to that effect. Pretty disappointing overall and perhaps I'll try again in the Spring to see if the botanical trail has become a little more... botanical. Giving it 2 stars for being a good workout hiking up the hill.

Henry Marin (150)

7 Completed5 Reviews

Pretty easy trail for me. What's great is on your way back you can stop at the creek and cool off. Many people bring theirs kids to enjoy cooling off in the water. If you bring your dogs, please make sure you pick up their shit. Numerous times have I almost stepped on some.

Megan Edmiston-Wilson (142)

8 Completed4 Reviews

Hunter Jones (231)

6 Completed6 Reviews

William Palsrok (139)

4 Completed2 Reviews

Great trail. Moderate difficulty. Plenty of variation with side trails and scenic overlooks. Came in mid-morning and main parking and overflow were full so several of us had to park on the highway. Not much shade after the first mile - strongly recommend plenty of water and sun block in the summer. Water and restrooms are available at the trailhead and the 1.5 mile point. Overall, one of the better trails I have been on in SoCal.

Jasmine Morrow (82)

3 Completed3 Reviews

I absolutely loved this trail. We hiked up to the Lake Hodges Overlook. it was gorgeous. it ended up being just over 8 miles. This is definitely a hike I would do again and recommend to others. It is better to do this hike early to avoid too much sun. There is not much shade and with the summer months approaching, the heat in Escondido can be unbearable.

Lianda L. (85)

This is a pretty spot with water running. You have to cross the creek, so if you're not too sure on your balance, bring a walking stick if you don't want to get wet. Dogs are allowed, and unfortunately, some people let their dogs bark incessantly- just when you want to get some peace and quiet! Didn't go "The Way Up", but took the Botanical Trail. It still had quite a bit of uphill. A nice, not too far away place to be in nature.

Christie Mathews (163)

6 Completed4 Reviews

Beautiful view, hiked this once. Long but semi moderate hike. Not too steep, and very leisurely.

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