Cleveland National Forest
Cleveland National Forest from Laguna Mountain
Map showing the location of Cleveland National Forest
Map showing the location of Cleveland National Forest
Map of the United States
LocationSan Diego / Riverside / Orange counties, California, United States
Nearest cityCorona, California
Coordinates33°18′N 116°48′W / 33.3°N 116.8°W / 33.3; -116.8Coordinates: 33°18′N 116°48′W / 33.3°N 116.8°W / 33.3; -116.8[1]
Area720 sq mi (1,900 km2)
Named forGrover Cleveland
Governing bodyU.S. Forest Service
WebsiteCleveland National Forest

Cleveland National Forest encompasses 460,000 acres (720 sq mi (1,900 km2)), mostly of chaparral, with a few riparian areas. A warm dry mediterranean climate prevails over the forest. It is the southernmost U.S. National Forest of California. It is administered by the U.S. Forest Service, a government agency within the United States Department of Agriculture. It is divided into the Descanso, Palomar and Trabuco Ranger Districts and is located in the counties of San Diego, Riverside, and Orange.

Cleveland National Forest was created on July 1, 1908 with the consolidation of Trabuco Canyon National Reserve and San Jacinto National Reserve by President Theodore Roosevelt and named after former president Grover Cleveland. It is headquartered in San Diego. The Cleveland National Forest was the site of both the 2003 Cedar Fire, and the Santiago Canyon Fire of 1889. Both fires widely consumed many sections of the area, as well as endangering many animal species.[citation needed]


Use restrictions

A National Forest Adventure Pass is required for parking in designated areas of the Cleveland National Forest as well as other National Forests in Southern California, and may be obtained from local merchants, visitor centers, or online.

Available on the Cleveland National Forest Official Site under Current Conditions are road, campground, picnic area, and trail closures.

"Law Enforcement Activities" are a common reason given for closures in the southern portion of the forest. These closures are implemented to limit back road access in hopes of circumnavigating US Border Patrol checkpoints. Bear Valley Road coming up from Buckman Springs, Kitchen Creek Road and Thing Valley Road are among routes that are routinely restricted.[3]

Elevated fire restrictions were announced in August 2020.[1]


Popular activities include picnic areas, hiking through the mountains on foot, exploring on horseback, trail running, trail mountain biking, camping overnight or driving on the Sunrise Scenic Highway. The Forest also includes Corral Canyon and Wildomar Off-Highway Vehicle Areas.

Besides climbers and wildlife advocates, the Forest also accommodates the needs of telecommunications companies, hunters, campers, utilities, off-road-vehicle enthusiasts, hikers, horse riders, neighbors and others.[4]


Hiking trails


Fire lookout towers

There are currently two operational fire lookout towers in the Cleveland National Forest.

Wilderness areas

There are 4 official wilderness areas in Cleveland National Forest that are part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. One of them extends into land that is managed by the Bureau of Land Management.

Flora and fauna

Cleveland National Forest is home to many wildlife species such as mountain lion, bobcat, mule deer, coyote, gray fox, ringtail cat, long-tailed weasel, opossum, black-tailed jackrabbits, desert cottontails, California ground squirrel, and many other small species. A wildlife corridor is being created between the Cleveland National Forest and Orange County’s wild coastal terrains to ensure that animals can retreat fire safely if needed.

See also


  1. ^ "Cleveland National Forest". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2012-12-26.
  2. ^ "Adventure Pass - Cleveland National Forest". Cleveland National Forest. Archived from the original on 25 November 2012. Retrieved 26 December 2014.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-05-14. Retrieved 2011-05-17.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ Lee, M. (2008, June 29). Forest Marks 100 Years. San Diego Union-Tribune , pp. 1-4.
  5. ^ a b "Cleveland National Forest Official Site". Archived from the original on 17 May 2011. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  6. ^ Archived 2012-02-23 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "Sunset trail". Archived from the original on 4 February 2018. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  8. ^[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-10-11. Retrieved 2015-06-09.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ "Garnet Peak Trail". Cleveland National Forest. Archived from the original on 2020-05-04.
  11. ^ "High Point Lookout – Forest Fire Lookout Association". Archived from the original on 6 July 2016. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  12. ^ "Los Pinos – Forest Fire Lookout Association". Archived from the original on 14 July 2016. Retrieved 9 May 2018.