Cutca Valley to Dripping Springs via Eagle Crag

HARD 2 reviews

Cutca Valley to Dripping Springs via Eagle Crag is a 20.2 mile lightly trafficked point-to-point trail located near Aguanga, California that features a great forest setting. The trail is rated as difficult and primarily used for hiking, camping, nature trips, and backpacking.

20.2 miles
3330 feet
Point to Point




nature trips



Great hike, if you have two vehicles.

1 month ago

I went up to Eagle Crag on Feb 3, 2018. From the summit register, it seems like I was the 2nd person to get to the peak since Christmas, so the final half a mile to the peak was difficult, with no trail to follow. Use a gps and just bushwack to the peak. Great views of San Jacinto and San Gorgonio, some guys on the trail told me that they spotted pot growers on their trail cam.. Good day hike.

2 months ago

Backpacked Dec. 20-21, 2017 from Dripping Springs Trailhead to Cutca Valley.

Trail quality is good up to Agua Tibia Mountain, moderate vegetation overcrowding near the top, with some branches at face level. The trail divides near the top: the left path leads to Agua Tibia Peak, and the right path continues on to Crossley Saddle. We marked the path that continues to Crossley Saddle with Bavarian Checkered flag tape (mile 13, from Cutca Trailhead).

The trail leading to Crossley Saddle is obstructed by multiple fallen tree trunks. We had to climb over and under as we went, but the path is negotiable. There are pine stands along the way with thick beds of needles that might make nice sites to bed down (mile 12, from Cutca Trailhead).

We made the saddle by evening (we started late on the solstice; your mileage may vary), and camped there (mile 11, from Cutca Trailhead). The saddle is cold, drizzly and windy; there are better places to camp, but it is conveniently near the halfway point, and affords a nice view of the county. Eight years ago when we hiked through, the signage at Crossley Saddle had been burnt out, but it is now repaired and prominently placed.

The path up to Eagle Crag from Crossley Saddle is an old truck trail, and, though in poor repair, easy hiking. The climb up to Eagle Crag requires some scramble, soft earth and a steep slope, but is worth the climb. There is a registry at the crag, and there is a sheltered lee behind the rocks that makes a good camping site.

The path down to Cutca Valley from Eagle Crag is a series of steep switchbacks, that continue down into the creek (flowing in the past, but dry for us this time). We passed three hikers heading going the opposite way: Cutca Valley to Dripping Springs, on our way down. Once through Cutca Valley, you spend some time heading south on a truck trail, and then back on a path to the east. At the end, the path winds down into another creek bed, after which a short but steep path up some switchbacks leads to the Cutca Valley Trailhead.

We marked the trail from the point that it splits near Agua Tibia Peak to the Cutca Valley Trailhead with Bavarian Checkered flag tape. The turnoff to Eagle Crag is marked with Bavarian Checkers, some old pink flag tape, and a duck.

In past years, we’ve come across flowing water in the creeks (wintertime), but this time we did not come across any water. Unless there is snow, most of the seasonal water will be in the creeks on the Cutca Valley side, east of Eagle Crag: the first six miles, if you’re starting from Cutca Valley.