Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve, Escondido

4.7
#3 of 7 in Parks in Escondido
Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve is located in Escondido. Take a look at our Escondido road trip app to schedule your visit to Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve and learn about what else to see and do during your holiday.
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Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
35 reviews
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4.7
TripAdvisor
  • During the fall winter and spring . A great place for a hike or picnicking. a small stream winds its way along the canyon. Make sure you watch out for snakes, it is a wilderness area.  more »
  • Today, we decided to stop by Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve to take some pictures with our baby. These were not professional photos, just our family taking some pictures in a place we love. Yes, we...  more »
  • Take your time to explore the trails and view the surrounding plants and animals. Trails lead to several side trails and a picnic area over looking Olivenhain Dam and Reservoir. The picnic area has se...  more »
Google
  • I've lived in San Diego for about ten years and I have done several hikes. I only found out about this place recently. It's really great! I saw the creek and the botanical trail. It was really awesome. I plan to keep going.
  • From the Staging Area, you have two options: botanical trail (easy) and The Way Up (difficult). On the botanical trail, be aware that you have to cross the river. This will involve hopping from rock to rock. It's really pretty and worth checking out, even if you only go to the river and don't cross. We took The Way Up. The beginning of the climb is intense. Lots of elevation gain over a short distance. I would say that trekking poles are appropriate for this hike. Once you finish the 1.4 mile trail, you come to a crossroads. You can stop there at the picnic area, continue 0.2 miles to another picnic area, head up to Escondido Overlook (0.2mi), or take the 1.7 mile hike to the Lake Hodges overlook. If you don't want to go the extra 3.4 miles, you can see the lake from the first picnic area pretty well. It gets really hot in Escondido so check the weather and bring lots of water! Go early in the morning or in the evening. Be aware that the park closes at sunset.
  • Nice nature hike. Medium difficulty but rest stops along the way going up. Need an easy option? Take the biological trail which includes a small river crossing. Go early because parking is limited.
  • Since I am a runner I am always looking for tough terrain to run. This place is AWESOME. One tip I will give bring toilet paper for the bathrooms since they werw completely out other than that enjoy
  • This is a very challenging Mountain Bike ride. The first part is pure technical up hill. After that the top is some fun single and double track with only a few short climbs. Be prepared for a lot of loose rocky sections. I went during the week and there were a lot of people hiking and walking their dogs so be aware and courteous. Right now with the rains it is very green and a nice ride. I would guess it gets very hot here in the summer so plan accordingly.

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Where to stay in Escondido

Like many California cities, Escondido is spread out. Downtown lodgings are close to dining and transportation. If the purpose of your visit is to see one of the notable attractions outside of downtown, then consider staying near the attraction.
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