Trail Questions
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A waterproof, tear-resistant San Clemente Trails Map can be purchased at any City facility for $3.
More Information (949)361-8264 |

In addition to its world renowned beaches and golf, San Clemente has 5 major trail networks detailed below that span the City from the beach, up the canyons and along the ridgelines. These trails have been designed to provide a safe walking, hiking and riding experience while maintaining San Clemente’s coastal rural environment. The ridgeline trails provide spectacular views of the coast in both directions and pristine coastal canyons in adjacent wildlife reserves. San Clemente is a rare Orange County coastal City that is bordered on two sides by protected wild lands. Deer, coyote and bobcats are common as is a full compliment of local and seasonal bird life.

Can I bring my bike/dog/horse? Bikes are welcome on all trails though only a few are paved. Dogs are allowed but must be leashed and owners are expected to clean up after their pets. Horses are currently allowed on the Forster Ridgeline Trail and the two regional trails, Prima Deshecha and Cristianitos.

Beach Trail (Map)
The Beach Trail is a popular 2.3 mile long trail connects North Beach to Calafia Beach with stops along the way at the Pier and T-Street. With the expectation of very popular summertime use by walkers, joggers, casual cyclists and dog owners, the City of San Clemente wants to ensure that all trail users have a safe and enjoyable experience.

Here are some helpful tips for enjoying the Beach Trail:
Bicyclist’s Tips: Please use caution when approaching and passing other trail users. The use of bike bells or a friendly “On Your Left” to let others know your intentions are recommended. Honor the designated “Walk Bike Zones” in place during the busy Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day Weekend time frame. Please do not obstruct portions of the trail with your bicycle, and of course, be considerate of other trail users.
Dog Owner Tips: With so many people using the trail, it is very important to keep your pet on a 6 foot (or shorter) leash and remember to pick up after your pet. The City makes this convenient for pet owners by providing disposable bags and waste containers along the trail. Realize that cyclists and runners will be passing you along the trail which may startle your pet. Please honor the “No Dog Zones” in the Pier Area on July 4th and Ocean Festival Weekend (third weekend in July).
All Trail Users: Please display courtesy and consideration for other trail users. Follow rules and regulations intended to provide for a safe and enjoyable trail experience. This is your trail, take some time to help pick up trash along the way, report damage or safety concerns to the City, and enjoy this wonderful trail along the beautiful San Clemente coast. Remember that trail hours are 4 a.m. to midnight, except on the segment from the south T-Street restrooms to Calafia Beach where the hours are from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Rail Corridor Trespassing: It is very important that pedestrians remain on the trail at all times. Pedestrians are prohibited from trespassing into the rail corridor, which is owned by the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA). Right-of-way enforcement by OCTA’s officers will begin in June and trespassers will be cited for violations.

We hope you’ll visit the trail and use it often. For more information on the Coastal Trail, please call the City of San Clemente’s Beaches, Parks & Recreation Department at (949)361-8264
Beach Trail Guidelines from the Office of the Mayor
"Around Town" show aired on June 19, 2007 highlighting San Clemente's Beach Trail

Cristianitos Regional Trail/San Clemente Summit (Map)
The Cristianitos Regional Trail hugs the back edge of San Clemente on the border of Camp Pendleton and the Mission Viejo Conservancy and offers some of the most serious hiking in Coastal Orange County. Depending on where you start it is either all up hill or all downhill as is winds its way behind the Talega development up to the water tower. This regional trail is a graded path open to hikers, bikers and horses. The area to the North and East is true California wilderness with views down into secluded canyons and stands of native oak. Although the trail seems to end at the water tower it actually continues on behind, up a steep switch back and onto a narrow ridge with a breath taking views of the Cristiantos watershed and the steep scarfs of Talega canyon. The improved trail ends here but there are a number of single tracks that mark the future path of the regional trail. San Clemente Summit, the highest point in San Clemente, is located on the northern portion of the Cristianitos Trail up from the trail access point at Avenida Talega and has an elevation of 1,008 feet.

Getting There:
There are only two main entrances to this trail; one at the top and one at the bottom. The top entrance requires winding through many residential streets so the easiest access is at the bottom. From I-5 head inland on Pico until it ends. On the inland side is the trail head for the Cristianito Regional Trail. The seaward side is the trail head for the Prima Deshecha Regional Trail.

Forster Ranch Ridgeline Trail (Map)
The Forster Ranch Ridgeline Trail follows the crest of the hills on the South and East of the Forster Ranch development for a total length of 3.2 miles. Staying true to the ridgeline means this trail has a number of steep sections so be prepared. It’s all natural surface is surrounded mostly by open space but there is fencing on about 1/3 of the trail. Since this ridgeline trail splits the center of San Clemente it provides outstanding views looking down San Clemente’s backcountry developments and the ccean beyond. The East side of the trail is adjacent to the Mission Viejo land conservancy with its native coastal chaparral wild land. Of special interest are three designated view points with monuments, each uniquely designed to enhance the trail experience. In the future this trail will extend Northward and connect with the San Juan Regional trail complex which ties together most of the South County Ridgelines.

Getting There
There are many entrances to this trail but one of the best starts near the top near a few of the best view points. From I-5 exit at Camino de los Mares and head inland about 4 miles. Right on Camino Vera Cruz up past the school to the top of the hill. Continue to bear to the left at the fork. A few hundred yards later you will see the trail spur to the right.

Prima Deschecha Regional Trail (Map)
Prima is a new work in progress and is 60% complete. As a regional trail it will provide hike, bike and equestrian access from the San Diego County border at San Onofre State Park through San Clemente and into the San Juan trail system. Cutting a North-South path through the back county it offers a wide variety of views from open native chaparral to skirting commercial and residential developments. Pay careful attention to the portion near the Pico crossing where it loops back around the commercial complex, daycare center and catch basin. It’s easy to get off the trail and end up on the power line roads. To cross the road you head back up the hill on Pico, across the road and back down again on the other side and behind the commercial complex on the corner of La Pata and Pico. Check out the golf course in this area. The sand traps are pure white crushed marble. The trail is being extended Northward in this area and should pass under the Hermosa bridge in the near future.

Getting There
Although there are many entrances to this trail one of the most popular accesses is at the end of Pico. From I-5 head inland on Pico until it ends. On the inland side is the trail head for the Cristianito Regional Trail. The seaward side is the trail head for the Prima Deshecha Regional Trail.

Rancho San Clemente Ridgeline Trail (Map)
Rancho San Clemente Ridgeline Trail is a three and a half mile path for pedestrians, bicycles and dogs on leash. It has wide angle views of the coastline from Dana Point Headlands to the San Diego County beaches, along with broad vistas of inland hills, valleys and mountains in three counties. Trail surface is mostly asphalt, with some natural soil portions; it has several steep grades, but the majority is easy, long grades. There are six trail entrances: three are walk-in only and three entrances have parking nearby.

Getting There
Directions from I-5: Take the Ave. Presidio exit right, two blocks to Ave. Presidio (yes, the same street name) right and up the hill to Salvador, turn right to the top of the hill; the trail entrance is on the left, park on the street. If you start going down hill and see a great ocean view, you’ve gone too far.

City of San Clemente
City Hall | 100 Avenida Presidio, San Clemente, CA 92672 | Phone (949) 361-8200  |  FAX (949) 361-8285
Community Development | 910 Calle Negocio, Suite 100, San Clemente, CA, 92673 | Phone (949) 361-6100  |  FAX (949) 361-8281
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