Tenaja Truck Trail

Cleveland National Forest, California
Elevation Gain36ft
Trailhead Elevation2,009ft
Elevation Min/Max1975/2010ft
Elevation Start/End2009/2009ft

Tenaja Truck Trail

Tenaja Truck Trail is a hiking, biking, and horse trail in Riverside County, California. It is within Cleveland National Forest. It is 0.2 miles long and begins at 2,009 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 0.4 miles with a total elevation gain of 36 feet. Near the trailhead there is a meadow.

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Tenaja Truck Trail Trip Reports

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Lakeside, CA
Pathfinder | 70 pts
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this is a good hike... great views especially in the morning when you hike to the peak... when I did this around 8-9am you are over a cloud... very cool view
Pacific Beach, CA
Explorer | 30 pts
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Definately start from the Ellie Lane Trail Head, this will keep you from running into most of the weekend mom's and dad's with kids if you are going at a quick pace. Its 3.5 miles from the Ellie trailhead to the intersection with the main line and then about 6 switchbacks and a mile and a half to the top. Round trip from Ellie lane is 9 miles. Its a good day hike, the land is starting to recover from the fires in 2003 and there are flowers everywhere. The trail is in good condition and its nice and cool at the top. I saw alot of people with poles but these are totally unneccessary for this hike.
San Diego, CA
Explorer | 21 pts
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San Diego, CA
Adventurer | 222 pts
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Do this often, and it''s much more fun doing the whole 9m route from Ellie Lane, and not just from Poway Rd where most people just head up. Do the longer route, and the view back over Ramona and the Cuyamacas are great. And the view of San Vicente Reservoir from the summit is excellent on a sparkling day.
Yuma, AZ
Explorer | 40 pts
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A great stroll for early morning or late afternoon. A very smooth approach to the base of the mountain, followed by a gentle but steady climb to the top. Magnificent views all along the length of this trail. Non-strenuous.

Tenaja Truck Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Jerry Schad and David Money Harris
"As the gloom of a late afternoon descended upon the deep-cut, linear furrow of Tenaja Canyon, dozens of orange-bellied newts waddled determinedly uphill and across the trail, oblivious to my footfalls. The cute faces and beady eyes of these little amphibians mirrored a mindless desire I cannot fathom: Sex in a bower of leaf litter and ferns? A bellyful of succulent treedwelling insects, ripe for the taking?"
"The Tenaja Trail stretches 8.5 miles across the central San Mateo Canyon Wilderness, connecting Bear Canyon in the north (off of the Ortega Highway) with Tenaja Canyon in the south. This hike makes a loop along the lush southern section of the trail through V-shaped Tenaja Canyon. The trail heads down Tenaja Canyon to Fisherman’s Camp, where the mouth of the canyon merges with San Mateo Canyon. The abandoned Fisherman’s Camp, once accessible by vehicle, sits in a broad grassy meadow among sycamores and 200-year-old oaks."
Jerry Schad and David Money Harris
"The south segment of the Tenaja Trail follows Tenaja Canyon down to its confluence with San Mateo Canyon. The route takes you down and later all the way back up, so remember that if the day is warm or you feel fatigued, you can reverse your course at any time. Tenaja is Spanish for “bowl,” and you may note that the canyon was named for its natural stone basins that collect water."

Trail Information

Cleveland National Forest
Nearby City
Cleveland National Forest
Dog-friendly, Kid-friendly
Moderate to Difficult
Skill Level
San Mateo Canyon Wilderness
Local Contacts
USGS 7.5-minute Wildomar and Sitton Peak
Local Maps

5 Members Completed

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