South Clevenger Trail Guide
- 5 miles - Moderate Effort
- 2-3 Hours (Total)
- 1,400 Total Feet of Climbing
- Max Elevation of 1,680 feet
- Leashed Dogs Allowed
The South Clevenger Trail has gained popularity because of a unique attraction: a pair of lawn chairs perched on a boulder, offering epic views down into San Pasqual Canyon. Visiting the chairs is fun, but there's also much more to enjoy on this hike in the San Pasqual - Clevenger Canyon Open Space Park. You have a moderate climb that provides spectacular views of the valley and then the final summit, where you get sweeping views of high peaks like El Cajon and Cuyamaca Peak. It's a fun hike with lots of natural eye candy and photo opportunities.
- Video and Turn-by-Turn Directions for the South Clevenger Trail
- How to Get to the South Clevenger Trail
- Insider Hike Tips and Recommendations
When planning, always check the park website and social media to make sure the trails are open. Similarly, check the weather and road conditions.
Where is South Clevenger Trail?
The South Clevenger Trail starts just of CA-78, a spectacular windy road up the valley. Use this trailhead address:
South Clevenger Trail, 18259-18313 CA-78, Escondido, CA 92025
There are no toilets or water fills at the trailhead.
Gear For the Hike
This is a "hike hike" and I recommend using hiking clothing. You can also hike in fitness clothes.
- Trekking poles will help on the climbs.
- Some parts of the trail can be overgrown, so protect yourself from ticks and wear long pants if you are squeamish about scratches.
- Bring 1L of water. In the summer it can get really hot, the trail is mostly exposed.
Top Spring 2023 Gear Picks
Osprey Stratos and Sirrus 24 Daypack ( Amazon | Sirrus REI | Stratos REI )
Garmin Mini 2 Satellite Communicator ( Amazon | REI )
Black Diamond Trail Ergo Cork Trekking Poles ( REI | Amazon )
As a hiking guide, I test lots of hiking gear. On my picks page, I'll show you all of the gear that I actually use. I don't accept paid promotions or talk about the stuff that doesn't make the cut. It's just the gear that works best, so you don't have to waste your money.
All My March 2023 Top Gear Picks
South Clevenger Trail Maps
This hike is on a trail in a City of San Diego Park and Recreation Department's park and is actively maintained. Yes, you are in the City of San Diego here! The trail is in decent condition and easy to follow.
Explore Map on CalTopoView a Printable PDF Hike MapDownload the Hike GPX File
Free Nav Tools: GaiaGPS - AllTrails - LAST DAY - 50% Off AllTrails+
Guides to Help You Navigate
- This fertile canyon was initially home to the Kumueyaay, who harvested over 12,000 varieties of plants for food, medicine, and materials. They used the acorns of the Engelmann Oak to make porridge and even chewing gum.
- The park is named after John Leslie Clevenger Sr. (1832-1918), the first gringo to settle here and start a dairy and wheat farm. Today most of the farms here in the San Pasqual Valley focus on citrus and avocado; you can see them on the drive in.
- Who put the chairs on the boulder? No one is positive, but a park official suspects they were placed there by construction workers who were clearing a nearby housing plot which you'll pass on the hike.
- Most of this hike goes through an area destroyed by the 2018 Pasqual Fire. Today the fauna is growing back.
South Clevenger Trail Hike Directions
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Turn by Turn Directions
This Guide Was Written by Cris Hazzard
Hi, I'm Cris Hazzard, aka Hiking Guy, a professional outdoors guide, hiking expert, and author based in Southern California. I created this website to share all the great hikes I do with everyone else out there. This site is different because it gives detailed directions that even the beginning hiker can follow. I also share what hiking gear works and doesn't so you don't waste money. I don't do sponsored or promoted content; I share only the gear recommendations, hikes, and tips that I would with my family and friends. If you like the website and YouTube channel, please support these free guides (I couldn't do it without folks like you!).
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