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Barker Valley Spur Trail

MODERATE 61 reviews
#30 of 152 trails in

Barker Valley Spur Trail is a 7.1 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Warner Springs, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 7.1 miles Elevation Gain: 1,059 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

fishing

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

over grown

rocky

scramble

Trail is accessible by the Palomar Divide Truck Trail. Enter from the HWY 79 near Blue Canyon. NOTE: Do not attempt this hike if the gate to Palomar Divide Truck Trail is closed. This will add 8 miles to your hike.

hiking
bugs
no shade
over grown
rocky
2 months ago

The road leading to the trail is located off of hwy 79 on Palmore Divide Road 9S07, right before Some Creek (driving north). The road is a moderate 2wd not 4wd truck trail, just lower the tire pressure a little and your good. The hike however is not worth it this time of year. It has very little shade and the sun bakes you 98% of the time. If you want to see the creek do it soon, I don't think it will last through August. I do recommend doing it early morning because it feels like you're going to die about 3/4 of the way through the trail. I wanted to murder my husband because it got so hot, and I am not used to this weather (I am from Washington state). Other than that it is a great workout for a hike

hiking
bugs
no shade
rocky
2 months ago

hiking
bugs
no shade
over grown
rocky
scramble
washed out
3 months ago

The correct road up to the trailhead is PALOMAR DIVIDE TRUCK TRAIL. Apple Maps tried to get us to the trail head from the West next to the Palomar Firestation, but that entrance is private property. Google Maps gave us two options, one of which tried to take us through Half Way Road from the East after that, but that road eventually hits private property as well. The road up to the trailhead is pretty rough in some parts and should definitely only be taken by high clearance, 4WD vehicles. The trail has very little shade. That could've been that it took us much longer than expected to get there (we got to Sunshine Summit at 7:30 am and didn't get to the trailhead until noon). Near the end of the trail is a clearing with a few oak trees perfect for base camp. The trail to the water fall is more of a game trail and at one point we ran into a rattlesnake and decided to wade through the river the rest of the way. Overall, it was a beautiful trail and great trip.

hiking
rocky
washed out
3 months ago

Do not take the Half Way Road route to get to the trail head where All Trails is directing you. it's washed out about 3.3 miles from the trailhead. We scrapped our backpacking idea and went regular camping instead. Next time I am following the Palomar Divide Truck Road to reach the trailhead. We will be back and I hope to give a better review then.

backpacking
washed out
3 months ago

DO NOT LET GOOGLE ROUTE YOU UP HALFWAY ROAD!! "Halfway Road" is a NO GO at this time This is the trail that hits 79 at Holcomb Village (it appears to be the most direct road to the trail head on a map) For reference, the Sunshine Summit Market and SD County Fire Station 59 are right where the trail hits the highway. I believe this website's directions tab, Google Maps, will route you to the Barker Valley Trailhead via this road. This used to be best access from the North (LA), but you need to keep going south on 79 to the Blue Canyon access point! I'm driving a 4x4 diesel Dodge truck. We made it less than one mile up the trail to the first of two gates. This gate was closed but unlocked, although a chain and USFS padlock were attached to it. Not long after the first gate, the road was completely washed out. You could get through on a dirt bike, but a 4x4 would have to be a pretty serious rock crawler. No way a regular lifted 4x4 is getting through. We parked there and walked on up the road towards the trailhead. It ended up being about 3.5 miles one way. Past the washout, there are numerous large boulders on the trail that only a dirt bike could get around. Interestingly, we came across a second gate, white steel, which was locked. If we had been able to drive to the second gate, the trailhead would have been less than a mile away. When we got to the trailhead, there were 4-5 cars parked. I saw one guy unloading and he said he had driven in "the long way", which I take it to mean from Blue Canyon. We did not continue down to Barker Valley and I cannot report on the status of water there. toddkay99@gmail.com

4 months ago

very clear trail with Beuatiful views ofPalomar Mountian to the west and Henshaw valley to the south. I have hiked this trail off and on for years and have never been disappointed. Over night stays are super peaceful. I'm most impressed by those who hike this area( no trash )

backpacking
4 months ago

Tried to go backpacking today but gate is closed. :-(

hiking
5 months ago

The trail to the waterfall doesn’t exist. We finally made it to the waterfall by hiking down stream, never crossing the river but sticking along the side, after the abandoned tower, climb over washed out branches and through some bushes. It was difficult but the reward awesome!! Perfect one night backpacking trip :)

hiking
6 months ago

Definitely an awesome hike with a nice meadow, a stream at the end, and incredible views along the way. We did run into a rattle snake next to the trail, but by the time we came back it was gone. The road in was pretty bumpy and the last 0.7 miles was too much for my sedan so we had to stop and walk that extra distance, but that wasn't too bad.

hiking
bugs
rocky
washed out
6 months ago

All gates are open. The road leading up goes from: ruts and washouts - to primitively paved - to definitely need a 4x4 with high clearance. I’d say a Subaru type car could make it most of the way but the last mile or 2 would have to be hiked. The trail is in decent shape. Lots of rocks and some washouts. A bit of shade if you start after 4pm. It was pretty rough on my dogs paws so take precautions if you bring a doggo. The 2 streams are flowing well at the bottom. Lots of flat areas to make camp. Be aware that the flies are pretty bad right now. Nothing was biting but they were annoying. There was quite a mess left behind at one of the camping areas. I cleaned up as much as I could and humped out large trash bag full of MRE trash. There’s still an old sleeping bag left behind. If it’s still there next week I’ll grab it. All in all it was fun. Great intro for someone new to backpacking.

hiking
no shade
rocky
6 months ago

Trail is very washed out and full of rocks. Overgrowth of vegetation gives you more shade than normal but still very little shade. The water is flowing great right now. Plenty of spots to find some secluded camping This is my second time trying to get to the waterfall with no success. Palomar Mountain recurved 13” of rain back in February and it shows!! The trail to the waterfall basically does not exist. You can see where it looks like a flash flood went through and leveled everything in its path. Overall a great beginner backpacking trail with a nice flowing water source.

9 months ago

the road was closed

backpacking
Thursday, September 27, 2018

Good and easy hike in, all uphill on the way out. Loose rocks. There was no water source when I went with my buddy. Very secluded and peaceful.

backpacking
Monday, September 10, 2018

Easy 3.5 mile trek down to the valley where the camping areas are. A lot of loose rocks on the way down. Very limited shade on the way down and back up, but lots of shade in the valley. Perfect for a beginner backpacking trip, which it was for us!!

backpacking
Saturday, July 28, 2018

Don’t count on any water at the bottom of the hike in.

backpacking
Tuesday, June 26, 2018

This review is more about car accessibility, dogs, water availability, and insects (especially bees). Went on a little backpacking trip from 6/23-6/25/18. It was 80-85 degrees during the day and full sun. I brought my two very fluffy dogs with me and went 3 miles down the hill to the creek. I left the main trail and followed the trail to the left (south, downstream) one mile. One mile downstream there is a large oak perfect for climbing and very shady to set up multiple tents. And alright yes a campfire ring, but please DO NOT start a fire! Also there is a stone dam and tower and small sandy beaches to enjoy. To get there go just beyond the campsite, up and over the rocks. At the top is a lone cactus, at that point head down and walk along the creek to avoid the very steep hill down directly to the dam and tower. I saw 3 hikers total on my entire trip so a very secluded trail!! There is minimal shade along the first 3 miles till you hit the creek. It is best to complete this portion of the hike before 930-10a. The shade is optimal then as the hill is basically west facing. The first mile or so has partial shade at least every 0.1 miles, then no shade for 1 mile, then spotty shade till the creek. It is gently sloping downhill, but nothing strenuous at all even on the way up. Took me two hours to do the 4 miles to the campsite and just under 2.5 hours back to the car. I did stop whenever the dogs wanted to and for however long they wanted. Walked at a very average pace. Water- No water until one mile downstream (4 miles total). Currently there are several pools of water varying from 20 feet in length to only a few; they are up to 4 feet deep and are not flowing. Please be conservative and conscientious when using water to avoid washing any sunscreen, bug spray, and dish water into the pools. It is also very easy to mistakenly scoop up tadpoles, frog eggs, and fish! Critters of every size and class are trying to make it in and around there! Car accessibility- I have a 2005 Hyundai Accent so low clearance and very compact. I did not find the road leading to the trail head to be very bad at all! Took me 50 minutes to go up and down since due to my vehicle I have to be very careful and thoughtful about how I drive up there. Definitely having a narrow car that allows me to use the whole road to avoid bad areas was very helpful and a wider car with similar clearance may have more problems. Dogs (previous ER/ICU vet nurse here)- Do not attempt this hike if it is above 85 degrees with your dog especially between 10a-2p!! Bring bare minimum 1 liter of water just for each dog (just for this 3 mile portion) and let them have a good rest in every bit of shade and free choice water at all times. After heat, your next biggest enemy is foxtails!! Right now it is peak season and the meadow the oak tree campsite is in is filled with them! Check frequently especially deep in the toes. Dogs have died from going septic from them embedding themselves. They will creep up into the eyes, ears, nose, prepubis, everywhere!! I spent at least 6 hours removing them total. Did pick off a few mostly dog ticks (not a large prevalence of tick borne dz in SoCal), they have 2 month (out of 3 month) old Scalibor collars but they go in the water a lot. Insects- Yes expect a constant buzz. Once a swarm finds you walking along the creek, you've got new friends. They were tolerable, but certainly disrupt mediation. The mosquitoes are not too bad just annoying flies. Far from ruined the trip for me! I found Honest brand bug spray (mostly essential oils) worked fairly well but needed frequent application. If you care about bees as I do, due to a severe allergy, then its not perfect but it could be worse. I attract bees like crazy! So I still had a few stalkers, but no stings. Wildflowers are currently in bloom the first 0.5 miles and then along the creek where there is water. The ones along the creek seemed basically too pre-occupied to pay me attention. A few got a little interested, but not for long. I felt comfortable knocking into the flowers that crossed the path even if bees were busy working on the bush. The ones to be worried about are the swarms on the little white poms in the first 0.5 mile of the trail. There are just so many bees and I believe close to a hive that they are more protective and I had quite the stalker for a while that made me nervous (...and forget my hiking poles in the car!). Things I was glad I brought or wished I had: - Bug spray - Visor > sunglasses - Sunscreen - Chapstick - Hiking poles- lots of loose gravel and small rocks on the trail that poles help balance and stabilize you - Comb to help remove foxtails from dogs - Way to clean water Things you don't need: - sleeping pad- quite comfy on the bed of oak leaves, not worth the weight

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