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Lake Calavera Preserve Loop

Intermediate
 3.9 (8) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Get out and enjoy a great mix of everything Calavera Hills has to offer.


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Map Key

3.2

Miles

5.1

KM

Loop

381' 116 m

High

223' 68 m

Low

180' 55 m

Up

180' 55 m

Down

2%

Avg Grade (1°)

13%

Max Grade (7°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Birding · Cave · Lake · River/Creek · Views · Wildlife

The park's sign says it closes at dusk.

Overview

This 3-mile loop around Lake Calavera Preserve offers gorgeous views of its namesake lake, the area's famous volcanic plug, trees, and plenty of scrub brush throughout its rolling route.

Need to Know

The man-made paths are extremely slick when wet or damp! Be very careful if you see moisture on them.

Description

Start out by parking at the Sky Haven East Trailhead Parking and heading across a loose dirt path to the Lake Loop Trail. Take a left onto the trail, then head down to the creek crossing. Be careful on the trail if it's wet, as it can be very slippery!

From the path, stay right and head straight up the trail instead of continuing on the Lake Loop Trail (you'll get there later). Shortly up the trail, you'll see a right, which you'll want to take to enjoy the up and down singletrack. You'll climb out of the singletrack toward power poles before connecting with the fire road and heading right.

You'll soon make a "T" with the next fire road and head right down the steep grade before climbing back out. You'll level out with homes on your left, then head right back down and up to a wide path on your right, where looking left you'll see an iron gate leading toward a street.

Hug the fence on the right and follow the fence to the large boulders marking the trail intersection where you'll keep right. Stay on the main trail down and follow the signs taking you left. You'll see the lake soon enough as you follow the path above the lake.

Watch for blind corners where mountain bikers may be coming around. If you hike with music, keep at least one earbud out so you can hear what's happening around you.

The upper lake path will weave left and right then take you down a rocky descent where you can work on your fancy footwork bouncing down the rocks. At the dam, keep right and connect with the trail on your right just after the steep cement-path incline. You'll follow this fire road all the way back to the car.

Contacts

Shared By:

Jared Gustafson

Trail Ratings

  3.9 from 8 votes

#2987

Overall
  3.9 from 8 votes
5 Star
38%
4 Star
25%
3 Star
25%
2 Star
13%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#439

in California

#2,987

Overall
553 Views Last Month
5,953 Since Jan 8, 2017
Intermediate

0%
0%
88%
0%
13%
0%

Photos

Looking back on the path you traveled around the base of Calavera Volcano.
Feb 16, 2017 near Carlsbad, CA
Intersection of Back Stretch and Main Trail.
Feb 16, 2017 near Vista, CA

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Check-Ins

Jan 14, 2020
Kellen Cagle
Oct 26, 2019
Justin Carlisle
Jun 3, 2019
Chris Sandeen
Jan 13, 2019
Steve Gentry
2.1mi
Dec 2, 2018
Matt Mucciaccio
Went straight to the peak and back. beautiful WALK. Easy. 2mi
Nov 24, 2018
Raymund Escauriaga
My first Trail run 4.3mi
Aug 12, 2018
Maria Vazquez
Completed the trail and went up the peak.
Jun 6, 2018
Brad Poulos