Dripping Springs Campground Trail

MODERATE 160 reviews
#1 of 4 trails in

Dripping Springs Campground Trail is a 12.4 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Temecula, California that features beautiful wild flowers 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
12.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2995 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

Directions from Temecula, CA: Travel 11 miles east on Highway 79.

hiking
22 days ago

5/29/18. Trailhead Map says it’s 6.9 miles up. Started GPS where I parked and got 7.2 up. You have to walk through the entire campground to get to the trail head. That sucked on the way back...

Started at 8:05am with a 30# pack. Stopped to take a lot of pictures along the way. Got to the turn around at 11am. You’ll see a wooden sign at the end. Left the turn around at 11:30am and got back down at 1:30pm. I didn’t expect to do the entire thing but brought 10 x 16.9oz bottles of water for weight and just in case. When I finished I had 3 bottles left. It was a hot one. Expected temp was 87F for Temecula but felt a lot hotter since most of the time you’re under direct exposure of the sun. #sunscreen :(

If I were to do it again, I would have stopped when the views stopped. I am guessing around mile 5 you start to go into woodsy terrain with not much to see as far as views. It was cool to see the change in foliage though. It was nice because it was at least somewhat shaded. I kept climbing expecting to see a view from the top. There is no view at the top :(

Only passed 1 person on the way up and a group of 3 on my way down.

1 month 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.

hiking
1 month ago

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.

hiking
1 month ago

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!

hiking
2 months ago

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....

hiking
2 months ago

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.

hiking
2 months ago

Gorgeous views! It’s long but worth it

2 months ago

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

3 months ago

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

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
4 months ago

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".

4 months ago

This is my favorite local hike.

4 months ago

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

backpacking
4 months ago

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.

hiking
4 months ago

Not quite as hard as a normal black box "hard" icon would indicate, but never the less a great challenging hike. Wonderful views about 2 miles in. Went in February so we had a perfect day (70 degrees), lots of cool wind. Not that busy on the trail for a Sunday. Switchbacks were a bit redundant at first, but the scenery more than makes up for it. From walking in the sun, to passing through wooded covered areas, this trail has it all (except for a water source...streams were drybones for sure). Great quick hike up, and a fun hikers run (shuffle) down. Definitely coming back.

4 months ago

really good trail don't think that's half just long have to take decent shoes lot of pony rocks

hiking
5 months ago

I wouldn't say this hike was a "difficult" rated hike at all. done many 14ers and this was just a mellow uphill. we hiked a total of 12 miles up the dripping springs trail, after you pass the first mountain, the climate changes into a rain forest type of environment and it's extremely beautiful and rewarding with panoramic views. Looking forward to hike it again in the spring when all the flowers are blooming

hiking
5 months ago

Beautiful surroundings. Easy trail. Good for jugging. I wouldn’t categorize it as difficult. Very easy. Climate change was awesome.

6 months ago

Hiked to the top of the first big hill. Started at 2:30 pm because the trail was shaded. Beautiful 360 view. Campground below was surprisingly very well kept and appealing.

hiking
6 months ago

This hike is deceptive. It's long if you go all the way to Palomar and also goes up almost 3000' elevation. It's my go to hike when I don't want to travel because it's close to home. The beauty of this hike is in springs there's millions of flowers, summer has lots of leaves, and winter the leaves are turning color. I always like doing the same hike at different times of year.

7 months ago

Tough trail, done the full out & back 2x.

7 months ago

5 Stars! Stayed at Campsite then in morning went on hiking trail.. very convenient location to spend the night at.. Hike was absolutlely beautiful!! There were a lot of shady spots! Beautiful views of the lake..and rolling mountains.. very interesting views.. some of dark green mountains some trails with a fall theme.. tons of pretty leaves.. some of the way high yellow grass.. big rocks.. it just kept changing.. loved it!! only downfall is the end of trail... absolutley nothing.. just a spot in the middle of nowhere.. nothing to look at nothing to see... the best parts are when your hiking.. trails are in good condition.. cant wait to do it again!

9 months ago

Hiked in July. Bring lots of water. I carried 6 liters. 2 of the 6 liters ended up on my head, face, body. Well worth it! More like 15 miles round trip when you turn around at the very top. There is a sign post where the Palomar Magee Trails meets the Dripping Springs Trail. It's not a true peak. I thought about continuing the loop to make it a total 19 miles down the Wild Horse Trail, but I didn't want to push my luck for the day. Definitely considering doing an overnighter and camp near the sign posts. I hiked solo and took my time and had an MRE for lunch, so I spent nearly 10 hours on the trail. Certainly not the fastest I can go, but I really had the day to myself. Paid $5 for self parking, probably going to get an adventure pass. I was certainly tired and sore at the end of the day, yet so satisfied!

hiking
10 months ago

Good workout. No shade whatsoever so plan the timing accordingly. Early morning for summer time. I believe it does a loop but I caved in after 6 miles in and turned around

10 months ago

If you go in summer have lots and lots of water. Hike starts at Dripping Springs campground. If you don't have a America the Beautiful NPS annual pass you have to pay to park.

hiking
11 months ago

Parking is limited to a small pay-to-park area outside of the campground; however, the trailhead is very easy to find off the main road. The trail itself is very easy to follow and mostly clear of debris. There are a few areas that have low hanging limbs but nothing that prevents completing the trails. Good views and no climbs that I would classify as steep, but there is a good overall elevation gain. Overall it was a great trail. I began hiking just before 10 and finished just before 3. Highly recommend bringing more water than you expect to need as there is no water source along the trail and you can expect nearly continuous sun exposure.

Friday, May 12, 2017

We started at 8h40 in the morning and finished it at 14h20. We took many pauses to drink water and appreciate the view that is amazing during the entire hike. We consider ourselves as "good beginners". It was written that it is difficult and that it takes 8 hours to make it but we think the most difficult part is that it's a long hike with a narrow trail. There is not that much inclinasion.

hiking
Thursday, April 27, 2017

I honestly didn't make it the entire trail bc I had my dog but the amount that we did go was beautiful especially with the flowers! I heard from some campers that this was the first time in awhile that there was water in the creek! Can't wait to go back and complete the entire trail!!

hiking
Monday, April 17, 2017

If you're reasonably fit, this is more like a "6" with 10 being the hardest. The top is a little anti-climatic if you're hoping to end with amazing views. All we found was a sign. But the views are incredible and it's become a favorite.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Fun trail! The only thing is that it's never ending.

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