6S06 - El Cariso Truck Trail

Lake Elsinore, California (Riverside County)

Last Updated: 07/29/2018
4.2 / 5 ( 6 reviews )
Information
Nearby Trails
Status: Open
Typically Open: Year Round
Length: 3.2 miles
Highest Elevation: 2650 feet
Duration: About 45 minutes
Shape of Trail: Connector
Best Direction to Travel: N/A
Nearest Town: Lake Elsinore
Nearest Town w/ Services: Lake Elsinore
Official Road Name: 6S06 El Cariso Truck Trail
Management Agency: Cleveland National Forest
District: Trabuco Ranger District
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Highlights

Highlight: 6S06 - El Cariso Truck Trail
6S06 - El Cariso Truck Trail is in the Cleveland National Forest above Lake Elsinore. The lower half of the trail is seldom used so it is a great off road trail that is 4x4 worthy. Lake Elsinore, to the northeast is a prominent feature as you navigate the trail. The trail ends at 3S04 Main Divide Road. Ortega Highway/Highway 74 is 100 feet to your left, the best viewing of Lake Elsinore is to the east 1.1 miles to "The Lookout Roadhouse". A short distance to the west on Ortega Highway will bring you to various campsites including the Ortega Oaks "Candy Store"

Video

Weather

7 day forecast for 6S06 - El Cariso Truck Trail

Route Information

Technical Rating:
( MODERATE )

Read more about our rating system

Waypoints

1. Northern Trailhead (0 mi)
The northern trailhead is right off of Grand Avenue. The first photo shows an optional hill climb obstacle that was steeper, had deeper ruts, and more off-camber than seen here. This writer chose the by-pass to the right.

Directions to Trailhead

Trailhead Coordinates: 33.671912, -117.397565

Starting Point: Lake Elsinore or San Juan Capistrano

**From Lake Elsinore and the 15 Freeway**, go west on Central Avenue/Highway 74 to Collier Avenue and turn right. Continue on Collier Avenue to Riverside Dr and turn left. Continue on Riverside Drive 3.2 miles to Grand Avenue and turn right. The El Cariso Trailhead will be on your left in 1.0 mile. **From San Juan Capistrano and the 5 Freeway**, go east on Ortega Highway/Highway 74, 23 miles to where the North and South Main Divide Road crosses the highway and turn left/north. The El Cariso Truck Trail will be on your right in 100 feet. **This route is for the Southern Trailhead**

Camping

Dispersed

Trail Reviews (10)

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Just ran the trail this AM with our 2wd (locked and re-geared) 2006 Sequoia. The lower portion of the trail, as mentioned, is undulating with many off camber sections. 2wd not recommended, especially if no traction aids are being run, though with good lines and momentum we made it up with no issues. Would run this trail again but probably be bringing one of our 4wds. Great weather right now and this trail offers gorgeous vistas of Lake Elsinore.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Did the trail today starting from the entrance on Grand Ave. It was extremely rutted for the first half. Thought about turning around but I ended up finishing it. It gets much easier near the private property.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Started from the northern trailhead (bottom), and started up. It was rutted bad but it also has been raining pretty good that put 14 in snow in Julian. I had to put rear locker on in one section because i was crossed up in a washout. I was 0.5 mi in and stopped to air down. I was met by a non stock jeep and i asked them what it was like higher up. They said it was rougher and they turned around. After reading previous reviews i wish i attemptef it

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
We started at the north end with our bone-stock Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sport. The trail was pretty rutted and washed out in spots, but the Jeep made it with no issues and no scraping. It was a fun challenge for my wife who is building her off-road chops.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
I entered the trail from the Southern trailhead just off Ortega Highway. I descended past the Private Property, the Halfway Views, and most of the Lower Scenic Views. It was very narrow and rutted in parts just prior to the private property and into the Lower Scenic Views. Given I saw not one other off-road vehicle making the ascent from the Northern Trailhead, when I finally came upon a couple of hikers, I asked them what it was like further down the trail. They were surprised I was able to descend as far as I did, and had serious doubts that I would be able to make it to the Northern Trailhead. After some words of "encouragement" from the wife, I found a safe place to turn around, and retraced my steps and ascended back to Ortega Highway, from whence we came.

Author:
Status: Temporary Closure
Offroaded on:
We went to the trail today. It's still closed.

Author:
Status: Temporary Closure
Offroaded on:
Closed due to holy fire

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Another trail close to home that I can't resist a quick run on. The bottom half is getting pretty rough.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
We went up the trail today.. a ton of fun. It’s very rutted out in some locations, but I think that was the fun part.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
We went to my sisters in Lake Elsinore for Thanksgiving today. She lives as close to this trailhead as I do to Dagget Creek Path in Menifee, so we did a quick run to the top and back in about one hour. I did the previously by-passed hill climb at the start and used 4-LO, as its quite steep and I didn't want to find myself in one of the many ruts. Either the trail has gotten rougher in the lower half or I'm learning to grade them better, I'm raising the rating on this trail to a 3-4.

Questions & Answers (0)

Writer Information

Dennis Clark

Mapping Crew - California and Idaho

Dennis Clark was born in Los Angeles in 1942 and after 76 years of living in So Cal he moved to Emmett, Idaho with his wife Patricia, has four adult children with many grand and great grandchildren. He has loved the outdoors since his Cub Scout and Boy Scout days while camping with the family. He's an archer, hunter and fisherman but no longer wishes to harm animals. He has been involved with photography since the 1960's. He became more of a serious hiker in 2010 when he started Geocaching and has hiked the three tallest peaks in So Cal, Mt San Jacinto, Mt San Gorgonio and Mt Baldy, along with most of the lesser peaks in search of caches. Geocaching started his love for the USFS Trail system as he used the trails frequently to get to certain trailheads. He had a 2002 Ford Ranger 2wd and its amazing where that little pickup took him. In 5 years of weekly geocaching he was only stuck once in some Palm Springs sand. His 2016 Wrangler Sport Unlimited was purchased in 2015. He has become quite lazy in the hiking department as he can now drive to most locations. He's looking forward to posting some trails and don't hesitate to ask him for any help you might need.
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