Birding Links

Cleaveland National Forest
10845 Rancho Bernardo Road #200
San Diego, CA 92127

Online Bird list Printable list of birds sited in the area.

Birding the Cleveland National Forest

The Ortega Highway winds through the Cleveland National Forest. While all kinds of activities can be found here, one of the more serene activities is bird watching.

According to a free Checklist of Birds and Mammals put out by the USDA, there are over 268 species of birds found within the Cleveland National Forest. This free checklist is available at the information center located at the El Cariso Visitors Center.

The El Cariso Visitors Center

The El Carso Visitors Center is located on Ortega Highway at the El Cariso Fire Station. In addition to the free Checklist of Birds and Mammals for the Cleveland National Forest, the center also provides information including:

  • Trail Guides
  • Camping & Picnic Guides
  • Off Road Maps
  • Forest Use Restrictions

The website for the El Cariso Information center is HERE, and their hours of operation are Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 8:00am-6:00pm. Phone (951) 678-3700

National Forest Adventure Passes

All forest visitors are required to display a National Forest Adventure pass. Failure to display the pass may result in a fine. Passes are on sale at many locations including the El Cariso Visitors Center. Please refere to the National Adventure Pass HERE for complete information.

Other places the adventure pass may be for sale include forest campgrounds and the following locations

Lookout Roadhouse
32107 Ortega Hwy
Lake Elsinore, CA 92530
Annual, Daily, Secondary

Pattys Place -The Country Store
32692 Ortega Hwy
Lake Elsinore, CA 92530
Annual, Daily, Secondary

The Forest Service advises to always call ahead for hours of operation, and to make sure National Forest Adventure Passes are available.