DescriptionDivided among three separate areas in San Diego, Orange and Riverside counties, Cleveland National Forest covers more than 460,000 acres in Southern California. These areas include chaparral and conifer woodlands and offer many recreational opportunities, the most popular of which are camping and hiking.
The forest encompasses three separate mountain ranges—the Santa Ana Mountains, which straddle the border of Orange and Riverside counties; and the Palomar and San Diego mountains, which cut a north-south path across central San Diego County. Though modest in stature, these mountains are home to some of Southern California’s most notable peaks. In the north, the twin summits of Santiago Peak and Modjeska Peak rise to 5,687 and 5,496 feet respectively and together form the landmark ridge known as “Old Saddle Back,” rising high above Santa Ana Canyon and clearly visible across much of the greater Los Angeles region. Farther south there’s Palomar Mountain, home of the Palomar Observatory, which houses the legendary 200-inch Hale Telescope—for many years the largest functioning telescope in the world.
The National Forest Adventure Pass is required in some of the day-use areas, trailheads and campgrounds in the Cleveland National Forest. The cost is $5 for a day pass or $30 for an annual pass. Information about all forest activities is available at the following offices: Descanso Ranger District, 3348 Alpine Blvd., Alpine, CA 91901, phone (619) 445-6235; Palomar Ranger District, 1634 Black Canyon Rd., Ramona, CA 92065, phone (760) 788-0250; and Trabuco Ranger District, 1147 E. Sixth St., Corona, CA 92879, phone (951) 736-1811.
The Forest Supervisor's Office is at 10845 Rancho Bernardo Rd., Suite 200, San Diego, CA 92127-2107; phone (858) 673-6180. It is open Mon.-Fri. 8-4:30. The last National Forest Adventure Pass is issued 30 minutes before closing Mon.-Thurs.; 90 minutes before closing Fri.