Rules and Regulations

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All Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve visitors are responsible for reading and understanding the following:


The Reserve opens each day at 8:00 a.m. The Reserve is closed on days affected by inclement weather and on December 25. Use of the Reserve outside of posted hours is considered trespassing (California Water Code 71660).


Please check the main entrance signs for current closing time. Closing time is approximately 30-45 minutes before sunset. Parking lot gates are locked at closing time and vehicles will be locked in or towed at the owner’s expense. Use of the Reserve outside of posted hours is considered trespassing (California Water Code 71660).


The only permitted sites to enter and exit the Reserve are via the Harmony Grove staging area or via the Del Dios Highlands County Preserve. The Reserve is a popular facility and parking is limited. On weekends and holidays, please consider carpooling or taking a ridesharing service, or visiting our neighboring recreational facilities.


No person shall hunt, fish, trap, or take any wild game, animals, birds, or eggs in any park or recreational area except with the prior written permission of the Park Manager.


All natural resources and wildlife are protected and collecting is not allowed.


Motorized vehicles and equipment are prohibited beyond designated parking areas (this includes e-bikes).


Firearms, fires, smoking, fireworks, and alcohol are prohibited.


Hiking, biking, and equestrian use is limited to designated trails. All off-trail travel is prohibited (this includes dogs).


Please travel at a safe speed at all times. In addition, bicyclists must dismount their bicycles in the immediate vicinity of horses.


Dogs are welcome at the Reserve, and are required to remain on a hand-held leash, no longer than six feet, at all times throughout the Reserve.

Please pick up after your dog.


A Special Use Permit is required for group use of the Reserve and is available free of charge from a park ranger or by calling 760-632-4212. A group is defined as:

  • Eight (8) or more people
  • Four (4) or more horses
  • Four (4) or more vehicles

Special Event Permit and fees are required for events such as photography shoots, races, weddings, facility rentals, or any commercial use of the Reserve. Additionally, insurance policies and fees are required depending on the nature of the event. For more information, view our Special Event Policy or email us.


The Reserve recognizes geocaching – a treasure hunt that utilizes the Global Positioning System (GPS) and the internet to find caches – as a recreational experience. However, not all areas of the Reserve are suitable for geocaching due to sensitive habitat. Please review our GeoCache Policy and speak to a ranger at 760-632-4212 if you have any questions.


Operation of drones or unmanned aircraft systems in the Reserve requires advance written permission.


A complete list of EFRR Rules and Regulations is available here.

Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve

8833 Harmony Grove Road
Escondido, CA 92029

Mailing Address
1966 Olivenhain Road
Encinitas, CA 92024


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