Among the many recreational opportunities available on the Cleveland National Forest is off highway vehicle use. This section of the recreation portion of our site, is designed to provide the Off-Highway vehicle enthusiast with information, regulations, and travel tips while using National Forest lands. We encourage our visitors to follow theTread Lightly guidelines for minimum impact recreation.
An Off-Highway Vehicle is a registered non-street legal vehicle, and rider/drivers are responsible for proper registration and use of their vehicles.
The USDA Forest Service in cooperation with the State of California Off-Highway Vehicle Fund (Green Sticker), has developed trails, roads, and facilities for the enjoyment of OHV users. Program funding comes from fuel taxes that are attributable to the recreational use of vehicles off highway, off-highway vehicle registration fees and fees collected at state vehicular recreation areas (State of California OHMV Recreation Division website, http://www.ohv.parks.ca.gov/default.asp?page_id=1241). Funding for addition improvement to the OHV areas comes from Adventure Pass (Recreation Fee) dollars.
OHV enthusiasts are asked to please pay close attention to all informational signs. Sections of roads or trails may occasionally be temporarily closed (or partially restricted) to minimize impacts to wildlife, prevent rutting, soil erosion, or in the case of extreme fire conditions on the Forest.
In addition, there are areas of private land adjacent to or within the Forest boundaries. Where land is posted or fenced please respect the rights of the landowner and do not trespass.
Your OHV must have a USDA Forest Service approved spark arrestor to ride on this National Forest. There are several companies that make a Spark arrestor/Muffler combination for 2 and 4-stroke engines that are legal. If you are unsure about your spark arrestor, ask a Forest Service Officer or the manufacturer before riding.
The external temperature of an exhaust pipe at the first bend after the manifold can reach 1000 degrees. Grass ignites at about 400 degrees. Common sense and following these few simple rules will help to reduce the number of fires started each year.
- Smoke only in enclosed vehicles or cleared areas.
- Do not smoke while riding.
- Avoid tall grass, and other dry vegetation that might come in contact with hot vehicle parts.
- Stop often to clean grass and debris from skid pans and other grass catchers.
- Stop only in cleared areas.
- Do not spin wheels unnecessarily.
- Do not overfill fuel tanks.
- Use brakes cautiously. Locked or over-used brakes can overheat and ignite.
Forest roads within the Cleveland National Forest are limited to street legal vehicles only. Green and red sticker vehicles are limited to the areas at Wildomar on the Trabuco Ranger District (951-736-1811) and Corral Canyon on the Descanso Ranger District (619-445-6235). While green sticker vehicles are permitted to ride in these areas year round, red sticker operation is limited to specific dates which are as follows:
Corral Canyon, December 1 through January 31
Wildomar, December 1 through February 28/29
There are noise regulations in place for OHV vehicles. For specific noise limits, testing data, and testing standards, please visit the OHV Noise Regulations section of the California OHV website.
Green stickers allow users to operate on public land all year.
Red stickers are for ATVs and motorcycles year 2003 or later that do not meet California Air Resources Board emission standards. If your vehicle has a 3 or a C in the eighth position of the Vehicle Identification Number, then you fall into this category and must obtain a red sticker to operate your vehicle. Red sticker vehicles may only be operated at certain times of the year.
Special Non-Resident Permits
Special permits are required for non-California residents who plan to ride OHV's on the Forest. These permits are only required if you are a non-resident and your vehicle is not registered in your home state. Please see the State of California OHV website for additional information on Non-Resident OHV Permits.
For more information on OHV use in California, how to obtain either of these types of stickers, and which areas are open to red sticker vehicles, please visit the California OHV website.
Remember, this is a public recreation area and it's up to you to help maintain it's viability as an OHV area! A combination of responsible riding and respect for the rights of others will help keep these public lands open to OHV usage.