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Tenaja Falls

Can someone give me more info on how to get there and what to expect?

I have been there a few times. Its a little tricky to find but here are direction from google.;spn=0.02536,0.038624&z=15

Use your trip odometer and the mileage info from the google directions so you know when to turn.  I believe the turn on to Rancho California is actually signed as "Forest Service Road" You can get there in a regular passenger car.

The falls are OK. I just went there after the recent rain, and the flow was minimal.

If you are heading to that area, I would recommend visiting the vernal pools at the Santa Rosa Plateau while you are there. Its more scenic than the falls. Both are short hikes. Its 2 miles round trip to the falls  and the pools trail is 1.5 miles round trip. My 3 year old does both of these with me.

The trail head for the pools is here:,0.019312&t=h&z=16

This is the falls last August:

These are the vernal pools a few weeks ago:

more pictures here:

hvydrt wrote:
My 3 year old does both of these with me.

Zach - sounds like you got yourself a challenge.  I lay my money on the three year old 18:1 over you tieing both these together.  


PS - the vernal pools look pretty cool.  I have a construction project in the over flow area of Lake Elsinore and per ACOE and CDFG, I have to stay clear of the vernal pools there.  The ones in Lake Elsinore stink.

Tenaja Falls


I've been to the falls on three occasions - sometimes they are flowing good, other times not so good.

There's another way to go if you want more of a hike - the store on Ortega Highway (halfway between San Jaun and Lk Smellsmore) on the southside has a trailer park and houses just after it on the southside.
Turn up that road for about 1/2 mile and there's a double set of gates leading into private land at the big turn in that dirt road, park just past these gates and go east about 100 yards and you will find a well marked trail - it's 6 miles one way to the falls from this end and it's all downhill on the way in and uphill on the way out.

I've never been to the "Ponds" but they sound cool. When are you going?

Send me an email at my other address and I will send you a PDF file showing you the Trip Guide from "Afield and Afoot in Orange County" that I have at home on this hike and the surrounding areas.

Very Happy

thanks! will do Forum Index -> Other SoCal Ranges
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