3 days ago

I downloaded the trail map. Wish I knew I could load it into the recorder. My strava recorded it as 14.6 miles. I was packed with my PCT pac. 36 lbs. 95 degrees. took off at 7:25 returned 3:30. Nice rest at top and really nice breeze and shade. 1 gallon of water. came across 1 couple running the trail.

However the camp ground was noisy. Some group of young ragers arrived at 2:30 screaming and puking and woke me from a much needed sleep. Foul mouthed shouting which had to have awaken the boy scout group camping.

Beautiful Mother’s Day hike! It was a cool cloudy day perfect weather since there isn’t much shade. We did 6.1 miles round trip didn’t make it to the top the littles couldn’t hang. Gorgeous views saw one baby harmless snake, not a lot of people very peaceful will definitely go again.

Hiked this trail today! It took me 2.5 hours to reach one end. That was with me pushing hard and taking only a few stops here and there to take pics of the colorful wildflowers and mountains. I saw one skinny but long snake on the trail but it was quick to slither back into the bushes. I also saw some vibrant blue birds! Overall this hike took me 5 hours to complete. It was very scenic and offered lots of solitude. I drank over three liters so be sure to bring lots of water. Also protect yourself from the sun. Lots of exposed sections on this trail. And while you’re thinking about protection, you might want to consider long pants. Some of the plants left me with a rash around my ankles. It’s not itchy but it looks irritated. Bring an Adventure Pass if you have one. Happy Trails!

I started on Wild Horse Trail to eventually take a right onto Magee Palomar Trail went to the summit and came back down on Dripping Springs Trail. From 79, the total miles we 20, took me 10 hours, about 3500 ft elevation gain according to the app. Magee Palomar Trail is in deed overgrown but, thanks to the dedication of fellow hikers, it is getting better. I did what I could with my machete but got tired fighting the brushes after a while. Please bring a garden tool with you and contribute to clearing the overgrowth. if everybody helps, it'll soon be walkable again. Right now, it's passable but requires a lot of ducking and a sturdy fabric for long sleeves and long pants. I would not try it in a t-shirt, let alone in a fabric that catches on the thorns. The trail is beautiful, the views are serene and well worth the effort. You won't regret this SoCal gem.

I hiked from dripping spring camp ground to Palomar magee trail/Dripping Springs sign post and back (total about12 miles) It took me 4.5 hours up and 3.5 down. I took many short stops. I wasn’t moving very fast but I sure enjoyed the views and tranquility. I’m 65 years old. I packed 3 liters of water some snacks. Lite colored long sleeved shirt, hat with strings, ankle supported hiking boots, and a hiking pole. Trail is quite sunny and rocky. I felt energized when I finished. Great trail....

Great trail, easy to get to and not a ton of people on the trail for a weekend. Steady incline on the way out but not too hard if you're in reasonable shape - we had 3 young kids with us and it was challenging for them but not too hard. This provides more of a challenge and genuine hiking experience compared to other popular places in the area, such as the trails on Santa Rose Plateau. As to be expected, rattlesnakes are out right now and we saw them resting on the trails, so be vigilant.

backpacking
1 month ago

Backpacked this trail over two days. Dripping Springs Trail to Palomar Magee Trail to Crosley Saddle. We set up camp on Crosley Saddle and hiked 6 miles to Eagle Crag and back on the Cutca Trail. The next morning we hiked Wild Horse Peak back down to Dripping Springs Campground. Dripping Springs Campground has toilets and running water. It's not very quiet being right off of CA 79. We camped there Friday night to get an early start on Saturday morning but the other campers were playing loud music, drinking, and talking loudly until well after midnight. We should have just drove there early Saturday morning. If you're camping in the wilderness you need to get a free permit. Also, you need an adventure pass displayed on your vehicle or you can pay the $5 dollars a day use fee at the campgrounds. Camping is $15 a night at Dripping Springs Campground. I highly recommend a bug net for your head. It will save your sanity!

backpacking
1 month ago

Backpacked this trail over two days. Dripping Springs Trail to Palomar Magee Trail to Crosley Saddle. We set up camp on Crosley Saddle and hiked 6 miles to Eagle Crag and back on the Cutca Trail. The next morning we hiked Wild Horse Peak back down to Dripping Springs Campground. Dripping Springs Campground has toilets and running water. It's not very quiet being right off of CA 79. We camped there Friday night to get an early start on Saturday morning but the other campers were playing loud music, drinking, and talking loudly until well after midnight. We should have just drove there early Saturday morning. If you're camping in the wilderness you need to get a free permit. Also, you need an adventure pass displayed on your vehicle or you can pay the $5 dollars a day use fee at the campgrounds. Camping is $15 a night at Dripping Springs Campground. I highly recommend a bug net for your head. It will save your sanity!

Gorgeous views! It’s long but worth it

Huge thank you to whoever did recent trail maintenance on Palomar-McGee! It was totally passable, but we could see many areas where branches had been recently clipped off making it more doable than it otherwise would have been. We were able to get through the whole loop and overgrowth didn't slow us down very much (though there were a few places where we needed to slow down to go over/under fallen trees). I think backpackers could manage it too, I was carrying a large (though lightweight) pack and was able to get it through the obstacles without a problem.

trail running
1 month ago

Great trail to run on but by mile 9 or so it was very overgrown and I had to both bend over to get through the terrain and push through brush. Once I got through those tuff 3 miles or so of the very rough part and got out to the furthest section of the trail it opened up and I was able to get some real good running in on the back part. I do recommend giving it a shot for the hiker that wants to see this section but for trail running I don’t. Trail markings were visible throughout.

Great hike, too bad the cross over to Wild horse trail is not maintained

This is one of my favorite hikes. I try to get my friends to go with me every chance I get.

Great trail however is extremely overgrown during the last 4 miles of elevation gain. Pain in the butt if you’re over 6ft

on Wild Horse Trail

hiking
2 months ago

Well defined trail (we turned round at 5.5 miles), great views of the surrounding area. A good workout!!

I gave it 5 stars because it has different challenges and not a walk in the park. I took the ambient temperature was 32 degrees 7 a.m. At the trail head. Took dripping springs up. Nice scenery a lot of chapparal. little shade.Took 3.75 liters of water (in summer I suggest 5 at least). Palomar Mcgee, starts to flatten up a little. this is where the over grown brush and fallen trees are at different spots for a couple of miles. Thank you to whoever put blue and white checkered markers to help stay on trail. making a left on Crosley saddle you go down . when you reach the river bed you start climbing again. Then undulating for a few miles then get to the bottom. 24.4 miles total. Alltrails can keep you on trail but won't give you appropriate mileage. For food I brought cold soaked oatmeal with sugar and berries, ramen with soy sauce vinegarette and carrots, hummus and snacks.

I hiked Eagle Crag from the Cucta Trail Head on the 2nd of February. Easy up until the last .5 mile, which isn't marked (it is the only way to Eagle Crag). It was incredibly steep (70+% incline) for a few hundred feet with minimal trail to follow. Then the trail just vanished. I knew the general direction to the peak from my GPS and just bushwhacked to the top. From the trail register, it seems that me and my buddy where the second and third guys up there since Christmas. I made somewhat of a trail, so it'll be easier for future hikers this year.

I hiked Eagle Crag from the Cucta Trail Head on the 2nd of February. Easy up until the last .5 mile, which isn't marked (it is the only way to Eagle Crag). It was incredibly steep (70+% incline) for a few hundred feet with minimal trail to follow. Then the trail just vanished. I knew the general direction to the peak from my GPS and just bushwhacked to the top. From the trail register, it seems that me and my buddy where the second and third guys up there since Christmas. I made somewhat of a trail, so it'll be easier for future hikers this year.

hiking
3 months ago

ATTENTION, LOST ITEM! REWARD IF FOUND!!!!
I lost a clear white diamond shaped topaz/quartz crystal earring that has a microchip embedded in it which displays a picture of my girlfriend if you hold it up to your phone. We camped at the intersection of cutca, palomar-mgcee, and wild horse trail about 10 feet behind the trail sign on a flat section next to some leftover coals from an old fire overlooking the edge. I 100% know its there because i left it in the tent and forgot to take it out when we turned the tent inside out. Just hoping whoever finds it has an android phone or iphone8 so that they might accidentally see the return info. Thank you if anyone decides to takeup the challenge! Its going to rain in 3 days i hope it doesnt get washed away :(
heres the last picture of it haha

https://imgur.com/TXxR1Yg

goodluck to any treasure hunters!!
email me if you find it braydenhesford@gmail.com

ATTENTION, LOST ITEM! REWARD IF FOUND!!!!
I lost a clear white diamond shaped topaz/quartz crystal earring that has a microchip embedded in it which displays a picture of my girlfriend if you hold it up to your phone. We camped at the intersection of cutca, palomar-mgcee, and wild horse trail about 10 feet behind the trail sign on a flat section next to some leftover coals from an old fire overlooking the edge. I 100% know its there because i left it in the tent and forgot to take it out when we turned the tent inside out. Just hoping whoever finds it has an android phone or iphone8 so that they might accidentally see the return info. Thank you if anyone decides to takeup the challenge! Its going to rain in 3 days i hope it doesnt get washed away :(
heres the last picture of it haha

https://imgur.com/TXxR1Yg

goodluck to any treasure hunters!!
email me if you find it braydenhesford@gmail.com

backpacking
3 months ago

ATTENTION, LOST ITEM! REWARD IF FOUND!!!!
I lost a clear white diamond shaped topaz/quartz crystal earring that has a microchip embedded in it which displays a picture of my girlfriend if you hold it up to your phone. We camped at the intersection of cutca, palomar-mgcee, and wild horse trail about 10 feet behind the trail sign on a flat section next to some leftover coals from an old fire overlooking the edge. I 100% know its there because i left it in the tent and forgot to take it out when we turned the tent inside out. Just hoping whoever finds it has an android phone or iphone8 so that they might accidentally see the return info. Thank you if anyone decides to takeup the challenge! Its going to rain in 3 days i hope it doesnt get washed away :(
heres the last picture of it haha

https://imgur.com/TXxR1Yg

goodluck to any treasure hunters!!
email me if you find it braydenhesford@gmail.com

hiking
3 months ago

Very pretty, with live oaks close to the turnaround point.

hiking
3 months ago

A fair amount of growth on the trail, which makes having sleeves and long pants very nice!

Beautiful trees and vegetation at the top as a reward. Could not find a trail to the very top of the mountain, so had lunch under the huge, old oak by a clearing. Trail did not seem that difficult, might need to be downgraded to "Moderate".

This is my favorite local hike.

I did this day hike with my homie Rod a few weekends ago. The first half of the loop was beautiful hiking and some of the best I’ve done around San Diego. I suggest you wear long pants as the ticks were abundant and their bite very annoying. We reached the magee section of the trail around sunset and this was a very hard and seemingly untouched trail. After a long battle with the bushes, we reached the parking lot around 12 am. This is a long day hike (took us 15 hours) and I do not suggest the Magee trail unless you bring your machete and patience. All in all great hike, didn’t see a single person all day.

Good hike with good views. I was hoping to find more and see more at the top of the trail

Beautiful trail with barely any shade at the beginning. Lots of great views. I love how you go from desert to forest on this trail. At the end of the Dripping Springs trail, there are a couple openings to camp.

I like this trail better than the Wild Horse trail which is on the other side and connects via Palomer-Magee trail.

backpacking
3 months ago

I broke this up into 2 days. My route was Dripping Springs > Palomar-magee trail > (camp) > Cutca to Eagle Crag (didn't make it) > back down to Wild Horse. Here's my review:

First off, you'll need to email a form to the ranger to get a permit to backpack. I filled mine at night and got it back the next morning. Super easy and free.

I started off on the Dripping Springs trail which had absolutely amazing views and I'm happy I started with this trail. This trail barely has any shade. It's well kept, easy to follow and is a pretty good climb. At the end of this trail, there will be a sign for Palomar-magee trail. You can camp here since there are a couple open spots and head back, or if you dare, head to the Palomar-magee trail.

The Palomar-magee trail, like everybody says, is heavily overgrown - meaning, there's a million branches in your way along with fallen trees that you'll have to climb over or crawl under. If you do not have pants, or a long sleeve, then you'll get minor scratches. However, if you look down, you'll see the trail and won't get lost. There was one point where I questioned if it was the right trail, but looked to my right and saw the opening. I've heard of some people who turned around because they didn't want to deal with it. If you're up for the fight and want to do the whole loop, then this is the only way to do it.

At the end of the Palomar-magee trail, you'll find yourself at the junction that says Cutca trail, wild horse, and dripping springs (aka going back to palomar-magee). If you go up about 20 feet on the Cutca trail and look to the right for an opening, there are several GREAT camp spots, which I camped at and saw an amazing sunset.

The next day, I went up the Cutca trail, which was almost just as overgrown as the Palomar Magee but not AS bad. There will be times where you may need to take off your pack to hop over some fallen trees. As I got to the junction of Cutca Trail/Dripping springs/Indian Reserve, I had no idea where to go. Do not go down Cutca Trail, which HAS a blue/white ribbon, or you will descend and will further yourself from the loop. Then like me, you'll realize it's the wrong way and have to trek back uphill. Instead, I placed several pine cones, south west, where there is an opening but easily missed. Just look southwest on your compass and you'll see what I'm talking about. Now this trail is HEAVILY overgrown. I attempted to go down this trail, got pretty far and got to a junction where I had no idea where to go. There was a trail that was going north, which I believe would bring me away from Eagle Crag. There was another semi trail that looked like it was going up a VERY STEEP hill on my right.. It was extremely steep and I didn't want to deal with it, so I retraced my steps to head back out. I wish Cleveland National Forest would put some signs here, in addition to clearing the trails...

I got back to the Cutca/Dripping Springs/Wild horse junction where I camped, and started to take the white horse trail. This trail has a lot more shade than Dripping Springs, however, A LOT of flies in the "forest" that will attack your eyes and ears (super annoying). Be prepared for a crap ton of flies.. Once you make it past the forest and flies, you'll be fine. It's all descending, not as beautiful as Dripping Springs, but you definitely don't want to go back to Palomar Magee. There are some parts that are overgrown but nothing crazy like Palomar Magee.

All in all, Dripping Springs was beautiful and everything else was pretty overgrown, except for the start and mid section of Wild horse. Be prepared to fight a million branches and hopping over fallen trees if you're doing Palomar-Magee to connect the loop.

Tips: There isn't any water so bring a lot of water, the desert will dry out your mouth. If you plan on doing Magee, bring pants. I had pants and a tshirt but my forearms were getting scratched quite a bit.

backpacking
3 months ago

I broke this up into 2 days. My route was Dripping Springs > Palomar-magee trail > (camp) > Cutca to Eagle Crag (didn't make it) > back down to Wild Horse. Here's my review:

First off, you'll need to email a form to the ranger to get a permit to backpack. I filled mine at night and got it back the next morning. Super easy and free.

I started off on the Dripping Springs trail which had absolutely amazing views and I'm happy I started with this trail. This trail barely has any shade. It's well kept, easy to follow and is a pretty good climb. At the end of this trail, there will be a sign for Palomar-magee trail. You can camp here since there are a couple open spots and head back, or if you dare, head to the Palomar-magee trail.

The Palomar-magee trail, like everybody says, is heavily overgrown - meaning, there's a million branches in your way along with fallen trees that you'll have to climb over or crawl under. If you do not have pants, or a long sleeve, then you'll get minor scratches. However, if you look down, you'll see the trail and won't get lost. There was one point where I questioned if it was the right trail, but looked to my right and saw the opening. I've heard of some people who turned around because they didn't want to deal with it. If you're up for the fight and want to do the whole loop, then this is the only way to do it.

At the end of the Palomar-magee trail, you'll find yourself at the junction that says Cutca trail, wild horse, and dripping springs (aka going back to palomar-magee). If you go up about 20 feet on the Cutca trail and look to the right for an opening, there are several GREAT camp spots, which I camped at and saw an amazing sunset.

The next day, I went up the Cutca trail, which was almost just as overgrown as the Palomar Magee but not AS bad. There will be times where you may need to take off your pack to hop over some fallen trees. As I got to the junction of Cutca Trail/Dripping springs/Indian Reserve, I had no idea where to go. Do not go down Cutca Trail, which HAS a blue/white ribbon, or you will descend and will further yourself from the loop. Then like me, you'll realize it's the wrong way and have to trek back uphill. Instead, I placed several pine cones, south west, where there is an opening but easily missed. Just look southwest on your compass and you'll see what I'm talking about. Now this trail is HEAVILY overgrown. I attempted to go down this trail, got pretty far and got to a junction where I had no idea where to go. There was a trail that was going north, which I believe would bring me away from Eagle Crag. There was another semi trail that looked like it was going up a VERY STEEP hill on my right.. It was extremely steep and I didn't want to deal with it, so I retraced my steps to head back out. I wish Cleveland National Forest would put some signs here, in addition to clearing the trails...

I got back to the Cutca/Dripping Springs/Wild horse junction where I camped, and started to take the white horse trail. This trail has a lot more shade than Dripping Springs, however, A LOT of flies in the "forest" that will attack your eyes and ears (super annoying). Be prepared for a crap ton of flies.. Once you make it past the forest and flies, you'll be fine. It's all descending, not as beautiful as Dripping Springs, but you definitely don't want to go back to Palomar Magee. There are some parts that are overgrown but nothing crazy like Palomar Magee.

All in all, Dripping Springs was beautiful and everything else was pretty overgrown, except for the start and mid section of Wild horse. I wouldn't recommend Eagle Crag unless if you exactly know where to go (I didn't).

Tips: There isn't any water so bring a lot of water, the desert will dry out your mouth. If you plan on doing Magee, bring pants. I had pants and a tshirt but my forearms were getting scratched quite a bit. Once again, I don't think Eagle Crag was worth it.

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