Cleveland National Forest - Southern California

The Cleveland National Forest is the southern most National Forest in California.  There are areas that butt right up to the Mexican border.  The CNF lies within close proximity of highly populated areas of San Diego County, but still afford users a undeveloped backcountry feel that is lacking in the areas other park lands.  Access has become an issue in the past couple years as law enforcement activities associated with the border and private land disputes have closed access roads to the general public.  This is a double edge sword in that allows the park lands to revert to their natural state of the course of untrodden years but it limits use of the park and therefore the importance much of the public puts on the land is diminished, allowing for more commercial encroachment.  Read up on the Sunrise Powerlink for more info…

The southern section of the park in eastern San Diego County is dominated by Cuyamaca Peak which is around 6,500 ft in elevation.  Stonewall Peak, Eagle Peak and much of the Sunrise Highway corridor are popular recreation areas for activities ranging from biking and hiking to equestrian and winter activities when conditions permit.  Noble Canyon is a famous mountain bike trail that can be shuttled and allows for a few thousand feet of descent between skirting some nice alpine meadow areas.

The northern section of the park inland from Orange County is smaller. similar in terrain, shorter in elevation and serves a different section of the coastal population.  It, too, will get snowfall a couple times a year.  It too is feeling the crunch from the rapid growth surrounding it.

 

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