Agua Caliente Creek Trail is a 9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Warner Springs, CA that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round.
Pretty, but a security guard at Warner Ranch followed us in his golf card to the edge of the property. Was disconcerting. Wonder if they harass PCT thruhikers?
Saw some cows, birds of prey, and ground squirrels in the valley. Mix of riparian shade, wide open spaces, & rocky desert. Very pleasant. Saw only a few other people hiking. The creek was flowing!
Great trail especially for my son who is a beginner backpacker at age 9. He's been begging to go backpacking to we did a trial run on this trail. Right now there is plenty of water along the creak and we went beyond the end of the trail and had some amazing views.
Beautiful trail, go in spring when the creek flows.
Definitely no water in the creek this November, but a nice hike nonetheless. I actually stumbled upon this originally thinking I'd check out Eagle Rock, but went the other direction (North) on the PCT from the Fire Station to avoid some really gusty winds. I'm glad I did! It's a nice hike with a lot of change in scenery... from the exposed desert valley, then old campsites, then a more little wooded area along the creek, then up the hills of hot springs mountain.
Like I said there was no water in the creek but there was some fall color in the trees, which is just about as rare as water in Southern California.
It's a really easy hike until you get to the hills and a small switchback will begin your climb up and over these ridges. It's rockier and steeper, and my trail tracker wasn't working or I could speak to the actual elevation gain. I went for about 5.5 miles one way before turning around and heading back to my car on Hwy 79.
This was a lovely hike. There were very few people on the trail--only 12 others in the four hours we were out. The trail was in good condition and well marked, once we found the starting point.
As noted in other reviews, parking is available on the south side of State Route 79. Cross the street and find the dirt road with the barbed wire fence across it. Disregard the "no trespassing" sign and walk around the fence to the road. Follow the road to the beginning of the trail. There are several signs indicating the beginning (well, really the continuation) of the trail. Follow the sandy path, which eventually leads to a much wider sandy path; running parallel to it is a narrower path with PCT markers along it; both go the same place, so don't worry which one you choose.
You will hear the creek in this first section of the hike before you see it. There is a crossing shortly after you first spot it. (In summer, I suspect that there isn't much water in the creek, so there may not really be a crossing.) After this first crossing, the trail resumes. The next 45 minutes or so of hiking is mostly along a sandy trail that winds through the hills, carrying you gently upward. Be sure to turn around and enjoy the views back over Warner Springs. This time of year the hills were beautifully green, sprinkled with tiny yellow and purple wildflowers.
About an hour into the hike you'll begin to descend back to the creek. There are several crossings and you will come to a few camp sites with fire pits. If you're planning to stop for lunch or a snack, one of these would be a good choice. There aren't very many places to sit and rest along this trail, but the camp sites have some good flat rocks and fallen trees in shaded areas.
After the last crossing of the creek, you start to wind back up the hillsides. We continued for about 20 minutes before turning back. This was at the 2 hour mark in our journey. Along the way we saw more wildflowers, some birds, and many lizards.
Be sure to take plenty of water. It may not seem like it will be warm, but when the sun comes out, there isn't much shade along the trail. My husband and I each drank about 64 oz of water along the trail and then another 16 oz back at the car.