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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Mike Hamm (448)

3 Completed1 Reviews

Wife and I hiked this for the first time, yesterday. First mile, or so, on the Way Up trail is pretty steep. Gets you up to the ridge pretty quickly, though. Good views once up there. Trail condition really varies. From gravelly/rocky to rutted from drainage to nice and smooth and wide. So, be prepared and wear good shoes/boots. A nice hike.

Claudette Anderson (1131)

54 Completed16 Reviews

This was a great hike,went all the way to the top and then some!

Lynette Andres-Moore (207)

5 Completed1 Reviews

Nice hike that you can make longer by taking an extra trail. Many different directions to head. A little over a mile uphill climb at the start. Was a little hard to find the entrance the first time. The trees do provide shade on the trail, which will be very helpful when the temperatures start to climb.

Dan Mildbrand (188)

7 Completed5 Reviews

I have hiked this trail on weekdays and weekends. It seems to be crowded on weekends. Fortunately most of the trail is wide enough to pass slow hikers. There is a lot of trash along the trail and there is no excuse for that since there are also a bunch of garbage cans throughout the trail. Steep ascent to a relatively flat and open peak with several other trails suitable for mountain biking and horses.

Claudette Anderson (1131)

54 Completed16 Reviews

Please pay special attention to the directions, housing developement cuts off original direction. You want to look for Elfin Forest @ Harmoney Grove.
This is my new favorite hike, its beautiful and quite easy. The rangers and everyone is so very friendly awesome place for the whole family.!

Trish Mac (47)

2 Completed2 Reviews

Fun hike if you want something easy to run!

Graham Ringer (185)

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 (162)

8 Completed4 Reviews