Hiking Bear Canyon near Lake Elsinore - August 2012

I have an old friend who lives in Temecula and we needed to catch up so we met in between near Lake Elsinore to hike Bear Canyon in the Cleveland National Forest. Here's where we were:

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Make sure to buy your Adventure Pass before parking or go inside the Ortega Oaks Candy Store (AKA The Candy Store) to buy one if they're open. They also make sandwiches which was just what I needed after my 2-hour drive from LA. There's a restroom here too and I even bought some beautiful corn-husk roses at the store. :)

For some reason, A and I always seem to get out hiking in the hottest part of the summer (see our last hike which almost ended in disaster). Luckily, this hike had a decent amount of shade because it was a scorcher!

The woman at The Candy Store told us she takes the Bear Canyon Trail to Four Corners and then the Bear Ridge Trail back so we decided to try that. I have to admit, we'd not seen one another for a while and spent most of the hike talking instead of taking in the scenery and wildlife, but Jeff Greene at GreeneAdventures gives a great description of the hike here complete with photos along the way.

On this day, we got to the Verdugo Truck Trail junction and, thinking it was Four Corners (there were four paths meeting), we took the left-hand trail (which we thought was Bear Ridge Trail). It ended up being overgrown and at about a mile it led to this sign

We decided to head back the way we'd come. We didn't need to get lost!

Here are a couple more shots from the hike.