24 Miles in the Cleveland National Forest

Shannon and I had been planning our hometown loop for sometime. The plan changed a few times but we knew we wanted to do many miles and adventure on some terrain we’ve never covered before. A late start was planned because we had a full moon lighting up the trail after sundown. We each took 3 liters of water and 2 liters for the pup pup, Charlie. No real meal prep was planned, we just loaded our packs with the jetboil for tea, homemade jerky, granola bars and fresh fruit.

Our Micro Adventure started at the Morgan Trail head near Lake Elsinore. Morgan trail leads us into the San Mateo Canyon Wilderness, part of the Cleveland National Forest. With rains just days before, we hoped we to capitalize on flowing creeks and mushroom blooms. Morgan trail would lead us to the bear canyon trail to which we would reach 4 Corners.

With Sitton peak becoming popular after joining the sixpack of peaks late last year,  4 corners was a popular spot. It’s the half way point if you’re venturing to Sitton from the Ortega Oaks Candy Store. From 4 Corners we venture about 5 miles to our next land mark at Blue Water creek. It’s here we could confirm our hopes of epic water flow at “lover’s cove”. At the cove we hung our hammocks and prepped some tea for an hour of rest at our half way point.

Shout out to our friends at Golden State Outdoor Supply for the Hammocks and JetBoil for the Fuego.

The rest was to prep us for a series of switchbacks the San Mateo Trail would take us up and over to the Fishermans Camp junction of the Teneja Trail. From fishermans camp we’d follow the Teneja creek north till we would finally hit the Teneja Falls themselves. With sun set approaching and a gaggle of boy scouts enjoying the falls we opted to head onward.

In the dark we let the moon guide us the last 5 miles back to the morgan trail head. After arriving back at out car we took a look at our water situation. We were down to just a single cup for the 3 of us. Dully noted!! BRING MORE WATER!

Check out our final footprint. Good Luck Adventurers!


24 Mile Hike With SHannon

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