El Cariso Nature Trail, Elsinore, CA
Total Distance: 1.3 Miles (1.5 if you go to the Firefighters Memorial)
Difficulty: Easy (slight elevation gains, dirt path)
Address: 32353 Ortega Highway Elsinore, CA 92530
Cost: $5 parking or Adventure Pass
Yesterday we went to the El Cariso Nature Trail. Despite the fact that it was Memorial Day weekend we did not see anyone on the trail. We saw a few people in the campsite ($15 per campsite, first come first serve), but there were still plenty spots available.
Usually when there is a lack of people that is a bad thing, but when it comes to nature it is a good thing. The trail was very short (only 1.5 miles), but it was interesting as it had lots of outlook views on to the different valleys, an abandoned mine, and a few pine trees. Every so often there were interpretive signs along the way to point out highlights.
For us it was a nice way to spend the afternoon. It was a very relaxing quick hike for our family. My son is 6 and he did the whole trail in sandals. I would not recommend this as some parts can get slippery (I slipped once on some gravel) and I also recommend to wear pants that cover your ankles because there are some parts of the trail that get narrow and there are plants that have various briars (sticky things).
How sad that such a beautiful place has so few visitors.