Explore the best hiking trails near Temecula with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.
I went out with three friends on an early, drizzly Sunday morning for an inaugural counterclockwise run on this trail loop. Although the temperatures never reached 50 degrees, the constant effort kept us all sufficiently warm, except for the middle portion of the loop where we were up in the clouds and in near-constant contact with wet undergrowth. Water consumption, on the other hand, was WAY less than others experienced on sunny days!
It was a plenty challenging run that lived up to the "hard" classification, but the numerous scenic (mostly) foggy vistas and the company of friends made it all worthwhile.
Did it as the second half of the Agua Tibia loop with an Eagle Crag summit. This trail is second only to Dripping Springs for views and fun in San Diego. Can't say enough about how fun this is. The oak grove portion is amazing. Tough trail too, so bring some water.
Great hike! Over 20 miles- you have to cut through the camping area once you park. There is about 4 free parking spaces to the immediate right as you pull in. If you blink you might miss them. It took me about 8.5 hours total with breaks. I started at Dripping Springs trail, counterclockwise route about 6:30am. I used 4-5 liters of water.
Mile 1 - 7. Very steep ascension. This is probably the toughest start to a long hike I've had. I hiked a day after it rained so many cougar prints! No sun in the morning, so be prepared, but you will warm up fast. Great view points throughout this side of the hike. If you are after views and selfies, this is the way to go.
Mile 8 - a great resting point. Assess whether you should go back at this point. Great view of north county San Diego.
Somewhere around the halfway point there is a sign for Cutca trail? I couldn't find anything for this trail on any map. Don't go that way. Follow the wild horse trail parallel to the way you came.
Mile 8 - 14 was great for birding! Tons of tohees, finches, thrashers, jays, hawks, and mountain quail to scare the heck out of you on every corner! A few down trees to maneuvers around. The trail is super wide and super narrow in spots. Lots of contact with brush. Also, a strange fire pit in the middle of the trail??
Mile 14 - 20 by far the toughest part of the hike! Lots of sun and switchbacks!! I had to hook up my back up bladder about a mile in. Make sure you have plenty of water. More down trees and up and down elevation all the way back. Did I mention the switchbacks? Because they never end all the way to the trail head.
I may try hiking clockwise the next time. It seems like it may be easier. Enjoy!!