Lower Hot Spring Canyon

Lake Elsinore, California

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This is a trip of superlatives—arguably the most beautiful canyon hike in the Santa Ana Mountains, and arduous to boot. Your goal is a magnificent 140-foot waterfall, one of Southern California’s highest. This is also a deceptively difficult hike—in fact, it’s the most strenuous, and objectively the most hazardous, of all the trips in this book. Note: A portion of this route unavoidably passes through an inholding in the national forest—the Lazy W Ranch, a church camp. You must ask for permission in advance to hike through the property. Being in excellent physical condition, having considerable experience in cross-country travel over rugged terrain, and possessing good judgment do not automatically guarantee that you’ll be able to reach the falls and return without mishap. You must be cautious, patient, and determined too. Hazards include slippery rocks (some concealed by leaf litter), prickly vegetation and forests of poison oak. Pants, a long-sleeved shirt, and sturdy boots are musts.
Afoot & Afield: Orange County

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Afoot & Afield: Orange County

by Jerry Schad and David Money Harris (Wilderness Press)

This is a trip of superlatives—arguably the most beautiful canyon hike in the Santa Ana Mountains, and arduous to boot. Your goal is a magnificent 140-foot waterfall, one of Southern California’s highest. This is also a deceptively difficult hike—in fact, it’s the most strenuous, and objectively the most hazardous, of all the trips in this book. Note: A portion of this route unavoidably passes through an inholding in the national forest—the Lazy W Ranch, a church camp. You must ask for permission in advance to hike through the property.

Being in excellent physical condition, having considerable experience in cross-country travel over rugged terrain, and possessing good judgment do not automatically guarantee that you’ll be able to reach the falls and return without mishap. You must be cautious, patient, and determined too. Hazards include slippery rocks (some concealed by leaf litter), prickly vegetation and forests of poison oak. Pants, a long-sleeved shirt, and sturdy boots are musts.

© 2015 Jerry Schad and David Money Harris/Wilderness Press. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Lake Elsinore
Distance: 10
Elevation Gain: 1,600 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Difficult
Duration: 10 hours
Season: Best: December through March
Local Contacts: CNF: TD
Driving Directions: Directions to Lower Hot Spring Canyon

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May 2018