Barker Valley Spur Trail is a 7.4 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Warner Springs, CA that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and backpacking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
Directions from LA Basin: Take Interstate 15 south to Highway 79 near Temecula. Take Hwy. 79 south toward Warner Springs. About 2 miles southeast of Sunshine Summit take Forest Road 9S07 west. In about 7 miles the trailhead sign will be found on the left side of the road. Parking is in the wide area along the road. (Vehicles must display a Forest Adventure Pass.)
We did an overnight in October during a drought. There was some water in spots. Definitely going back after the rains. The waterfalls would be beautiful when the river is flowing.
Enjoy this trail. Have been here a few times camping (don't forget to get your visitors permit for overnight) and have been the only person in the valley. Doesn't seem like a heavily traveled trail. Make sure to bring plenty of water or a good filter, and watch the weight you bring in.
Great two day trip with our Boy Scout trip. The climb out was a bit steep but it was not that bad to handle. There was very little water in the river and it has turned into somewhat of a marsh now. Camp sites aren't clearly marked except for sticks with bike reflectors on them. Great hike though, stunning views of the surrounding Palomar Mountain area.
trying to find out more info on this place. Can't seen to find info on barker valley spur. Does it cost anything? If we are backpacking and camp out can we make camp anywhere? Any information would be great thank
No water flowing in the River. There is a small water hole to filter water out of a few yards from the eastern fork.
Although there is no water or swimming holes to enjoy, the valley is still a great place to do a quick and fun overnighter. It's beautiful and serene with not to many bugs (since there is no water)
My wife and I hiked in and camped overnight. I was looking for a short backpacking trip that wouldn't be too challenging for her. This fit the bill nicely. We packed in eight liters of water, not knowing if the stream in the valley would be running, but I also brought an MSR water filter. Turns out that there is plenty of clear running water in the stream in April even during a low-rainfall year like this one, so we had plenty of water. The hike in and out is completely dry, so you'll want to bring plenty of water for the hike. In the summer, I imagine it can be a very hot hike, but there are many shady camp sites up and down the valley.
Once you get down to the valley, you can go to the right upstream to a large meadow, where there are a number of nice places to camp. Turning left and heading downstream, you follow a well-worn but sketchy trail that involves some steep scrambling that would be a challenge with a heavy backpack. If you are up to the challenge, you'll end up in a nice meadow with several excellent camp sites about a mile downstream. At the end of the meadow, the stream enters a granite gorge with several large pools suitable for swimming and some waterfalls. There were quite a few people at the waterfall when we were there.
We ran into a group of young backpackers who camped in the meadow just above the waterfalls, a Boy Scout troop that was camped above us in the trees at the edge of the big meadow upstream and about eight hunters who were trying to bag wild turkeys. Even so, our campsite felt completely isolated.
Barker Valley faces southeast towards Lake Henshaw. There are no city lights to pollute the night sky, so you can see an amazing number of stars on a moonless night. I woke up at around 2 a.m. to see the Milky Way stretching across the sky. It's a stunning sight that most city dwellers never experience.
I gave 3 stars b/c I didn't see the springs as being as useful as I'd have liked. Maybe I just got my hopes up for a swim... Definitely a peaceful place for camping though! Only one road up is still open and that's road. 9S07 and is 2 miles passed the town of Sunshine Summit on the right. Don't be dumb like me and underestimate how much water you need to bring. The way there is all downhill, so bring a ton! You can always pour out what you don't need before heading back. I'll tell you the uphill hike is painful with drymouth!
All in all, a great trail!
Off the 79, the entrance to this trail takes some work to get to. You have to drive on a rugged road (some paved and unpaved areas) to get to the trail head. It was about 8 miles off 79.
Once on the trail, it descends into the valley. When you reach the dry river bed, take the trail to your left (east) instead of crossing the river bed to the meadow. As you follow the river east, it'll open up onto another meadow. There are a few camp sites on the way and also a nice one in the meadow. We stayed here over night and it was very enjoyable. We did see a snake in the field but it stayed away from us.
If you want to see the falls, continue following the trail east out of the meadow and the last camp site. The trail seperates shortly thereafter; look for the trail that goes UP over the rocks. If you follow the trail along the river, it's rough and hard to navigate. If you find the trail over the rocks, it takes you to the first part of the falls. Continue following the water and you'll find several pools you can swim in.
Beware! The pool I swam in had leeches! Swim at your own risk.
Some parts of the path are rocky and covered in brush.
This hike is awesome! Really mellow graded trail with a few rough patches. When you finish the trail you end up in an enormous meadow. I'm sure this trail would be even better to do in the spring. If you do plan to do this hike in the summer, be prepared for some heat. For the majority of the hike there is little to no shade. Bring plenty of water, however there is a small stream at the end of the trail when i went in June. But the water would definitely need some filtration. Also if you plan to go during the summer take some sort of bug repellent.
Be sure to find the correct road for this trail: 9S07 - its a much faster an easier drive than what Google Maps might try to send you up.
The trailhead wasn't marked by anything other than a blank 'information'board. We parked opposite that and hiked down from there. It was Easter Sunday and we did not see a single other person or car from the moment we turned onto the dirt road from Rt. 79.
The trail is rocky is some places and narrow in others, which made me especially careful to watch for rattlers. Didn't see any, but i'm sure they're out there.
When we got to the stream, we did NOT cross - instead we continued on the trail and followed the water down to where the two streams connect.
There are two campsites located in a field near the stream about 3/4 of a mile down from the first stream.
When you get to the rocky area near the larger stream - there is a PATH that is slightly hidden in the rocks, that goes up and around the rocky areas - we missed this and instead tried climbing along the rocks along the stream to reach the pools. NOT a good idea - full of prickery bushes and vicious ants.
All in all this was a good trail, but we ran out of daylight and didn't get to see what we were hoping to see - we were hoping for bigger falls and bigger pools but i don't think we made it far enough. Will definitely be back - with camping gear!
If anyone has camped in this area, i'd like to hear from you about tips and experiences