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Cleveland National Forest
IUCN Category VI (Managed Resource Protected Area)

Cleveland National Forest from Laguna Mountain
Map of the United States
Location San Diego / Riverside / Orange counties, California, USA
Nearest city Ramona, California
Coordinates 33°18′00″N 116°48′00″W / 33.3°N 116.8°W / 33.3; -116.8Coordinates: 33°18′00″N 116°48′00″W / 33.3°N 116.8°W / 33.3; -116.8
Area 720 square miles (1,900 km2)
Governing body U.S. Forest Service

Cleveland National Forest encompasses 460,000 acres (720 sq mi (1,900 km2)), mostly of chaparral, with a few riparian areas. A warm dry mediterranean climate prevails over the Forest. It is the southernmost National forest of California. It is administered by the United States Forest Service, a government agency within the United States Department of Agriculture. It is divided into the Descanso, Palomar and Trabuco Ranger Districts and is located in the counties of San Diego, Riverside, and Orange.

Cleveland National Forest was created on July 1, 1908 with the consolidation of Trabuco Canyon National Reserve and San Jacinto National Reserve by President Theodore Roosevelt. The Cleveland National Forest was the site of both of the largest wildfires in California history, the 2003 Cedar Fire, and the Santiago Fire (2007). Both fires widely consumed many sections of the area, and endangered many animal species as well.



Use restrictions

A National Forest Adventure Pass is required for parking in the Cleveland National Forest as well as other National Forests in Southern California, and may be obtained from local merchants, visitor centers, or online.

Available on the Cleveland National Forest Official Site under Current Conditions are road, campground, picnic area, and trail closures.


Popular activities include picnic areas, hiking through the mountains on foot, exploring on horseback, camping overnight or driving on the Sunrise Scenic Highway. The Forest also includes Corral Canyon and Wildomar Off-Highway Vehicle Areas.

Besides climbers and wildlife advocates, the Forest Service must juggle demands from telecommunications companies, hunters, campers, utilities, off-road-vehicle enthusiasts, hikers, horse riders, neighbors and others. About 10 million people live within an hour’s drive of the three districts that make up the Cleveland National Forest.[1]




The Cleveland National Forest has campgrounds available on the Descanso, Palomar, and Trabuco Ranger District. Sites normally serve 6-8 persons and 2 vechiles. Some campsites are first come first serve while others require reservations. More information located on Cleveland National Forest Official Siteunder Recreational Activities.

Group camping

Group campgrounds are located on all of their districts. Group campgrounds occupy larger groups of people ranging from 30 people to 100 people. They can be reserved by calling 1-877-444-6777 or online at There is a 14 day limit.

Remote camping

The Cleveland National Forest welcomes remote camping. By obtaining a visitor's permit (acccesible on Cleveland National Forest Official Siteunder Passes & Permits), you can camp outside the Laguna Mountain Recreation Area and outside developed campgrounds on the National Forest land.



  1. ^ Lee, M. (2008, June 29). Forest Marks 100 Years. San Diego Union-Tribune , pp. 1-4.

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

North America : United States of America : California : Cleveland National Forest

Cleveland National Forest [1] is in California, United States of America.

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