Tenaja Falls Trail

#3 of 115 trails in Cleveland National Forest

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Tenaja Falls Trail is a 1.4 mile out and back trail located near Lake Elsinore, California that features a waterfall and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible year-round.

Directions from Temecula, CA: Travel Interstate 15 to the Clinton Keith Road exit and go west, then south on Tenaja Road for a total of 9.9 miles. Turn right at sign that points to Cleveland Forest Rd. Continue 5 miles to trailhead. Then continue 4.3 miles to the falls.

California Travel and Tourism Commision, P.O. Box 1499 , Sacramento, CA, 95812-1499, Phone: 800-862-2543

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1 Completed 1 Reviews

The walk required a fair amount of rock jumping and was not well-marked, causing us extra time to get to the falls area, which were not flowing due to the drought conditions. There was a little water in the pool below but the area was crowded and not really worth the hike.

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1 Completed 1 Reviews

Good for families and beginners. Cool view but very little water right now (darn drought) short hike about 2 miles to the top of the falls and back. Far drive for such a short hike

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31 Completed 22 Reviews

Went here yesterday (3/11/14). If you like cool, scenic drives then you will love going here. Once you go past the Santa Rosa Ecological Reserve (which is full of Mountain Bike trails) you drive for about 15 or so miles through beautiful countryside. There are huge ranches full of horses (I even spotted a Texas Longhorn). Once you turn onto Cleveland Forest Road the main trailhead will be in a mile or so. This is the trailhead for the longer 5 mile hike. To get to the closer trailhead continue on past it for about 4 1/2 miles. From here it is less than a mile to the falls. Not too much incline. You can spot the falls from the trail up. The water was only at a trickle when I was there. There was broken glass all over the top of the falls and graffiti too. Some dumb kid even spray-painted a big "PROM?" proposal on one of the rocks... basically spoiling most pictures of the upper falls. The views through the whole canyon are awesome. Try to plan a trip here when its wet. You can also get here from certain trailheads off of Ortega HWY and other places, but this makes it for a longer - more awesome hike. If you come here can you please pick up a little bit of trash? THANKS!!!

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22 Completed 13 Reviews

I don't think that this trail is really worth all the time to get out there. I can see the appeal with the waterfall, but to be honest, the trail was dirty, filled with too many people and it took quite a while to get out to the trailhead. I heard all the hype with this trail so I decided to try it out, and it will be my last time back. This place has a vibe where kids come out to drink and hang out with friends. Not wilderness friendly by any means.

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33 Completed 4 Reviews

Driving directions on this are wrong. Once you get to Tenaja Rd you must continue until making a right at Cleveland Forest Rd. There was no water at the falls but the view was incredible. There's a lot of tagging but if you ignore that, it'll make for a nice short hike with family or friends.

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2 Completed 3 Reviews

The rocks are very polished and slippery, I fell and slipped six feet on my ass!
Getting there was a bit tricky. We had to cross a stream by jumping on rocks.

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2 Completed 3 Reviews

My first hike! So much fun.
The trail wasn't that rough. I was hot and sweaty, but as soon as I jumped in the water I was instantly refreshed!

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5 Completed 4 Reviews

Been here so many times over the last 20 years. Used to be able to rock jump in the falls and pools when they were really flowing good. A nice quick beginner trek. Uphill on the way there, down on the way back. You can slide down the dry rock face of the falls to do some awesome exploring down on the forest floor. If you keep following the trail, there is a cool hidden camp spot about 1.5 miles past falls. Local, quick and free. Love it!

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4 Completed 4 Reviews

This trail is a nice short trail, but you also have to go when it has just rained. If you go when it is dried up then it is a waste of time.

It is pretty easy, if anything the path is a little bit confusing because it is not clearly marked. You have to climb some rocks to get across some water to continue on the right path. We didn't do that the first time we went and continued on what we thought was the path and hiked the wrong way for about an hour. Eventually we went back and found the right way. We got up to the fall and there was some water, but if it would have just rained a few days earlier it really would have been great.

Also the drive is a little windy and on a very narrow road on the side of a mountain. You have to really be careful and drive slow.

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13 Completed 4 Reviews

Super short trail and really easy. Only took us about 30-45 minutes. The falls were almost dry, just a little bit of water left.

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