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Espinosa Trail

Intermediate/Difficult

Trail

3.4 mile 5.5 kilometer point to point
82% Runnable
Intermediate/Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 986' 301 m
Descent: -436' -133 m
High: 2,964' 903 m
Low: 1,980' 604 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 8% (4°)
Max Grade: 27% (15°)

Dogs

Leashed
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Trail shared by Russell Hobart

This trail leads from beautiful vistas to carved stone waterfalls.

Russell Hobart

Features Birding · River/Creek · Swimming · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Poison oak is prevalent here, and I'd suggest winter or early spring for your run if you want to avoid the worst of it.

Runner Notes

Mostly good, even trail.

Description

From the parking lot, pass the gate and start off on an old forest service road for a short distance until you see a trail heading downhill to the right. Barrel downhill for 3/4 of a mile until you meet up with the creek. Enjoy the lowlands along a tributary of Pine Valley Creek for another mile until you arrive at Horsethief Canyon.

The area ranges from a healthy waterfall and swimming hole to a dry dirt lowland with some fetid water. Cross the creek and pass the Secret Canyon trail cutting off to your left. Head precipitously uphill through some switchbacks and intense climbs for another mile until the trail slowly eases up. Another mile on more comfortable terrain leaves you on the Corte Madera Road, where you can turn back or catch a run.

Flora & Fauna

Live oak, snakes, lizards, manzanita, deer, mountain lion.

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Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 3 votes

#5252

Overall
  4.7 from 3 votes
5 Star
67%
4 Star
33%
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Trail Rankings

#474

in California

#5,252

Overall
23 Views Last Month
1,001 Since May 16, 2017
Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

Above the Horsethief Falls.
May 22, 2017 near Descanso, CA
Looking back down onto the Espinosa Trail.
May 22, 2017 near Descanso, CA
Perfectly round depressions on this boulder may have been a spot where the Kumeyaay Indians ground acorns from the nearby live Oaks.
May 22, 2017 near Descanso, CA
Seasonal swimming hole and waterfall at the south end.
Mar 7, 2016 near Descanso, CA
Espinosa Trail leading to into Pine Creek Wilderness. October 18, 2017.
Oct 24, 2017 near Descanso, CA

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