Way Up Trail at Elfin Forrest Recreational Reserve makes U-T’s list of best hikes in San Diego County

Right in our backyard – The Way Up trail at 8833 Harmony Grove Rd., Escondido is a moderate 2.82 mile out and back hike. Thinking it is too hot to hike these days? Here’s what Lauren J. Mapp of U-T has to say:

“One of the worst parts about hiking in Southern California is being out in the hot sun for hours, which is why I love hiking Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve. Most of the trail is shaded by tall, dense bushes and tree coverage, a beautiful brook runs near the trailhead and there is often a cool breeze flowing through the air when hiking there in the spring and autumn. Although the hike is consistently an uphill climb, it is not overly strenuous, and there are plenty of places to stand to the side to catch your breath as needed. There are about 11 miles of trails in the reserve, but I usually stick to the 1.41-mile Way Up trail, which ends with a beautiful view of the Olivenhain Reservoir and plenty of picnic tables to rest at before descending back to the parking lot.”