Oak Grove Trail to High Point

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Palomar Mountain State Park

Oak Grove Trail to High Point is a 13 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Warner Springs, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

Distance: 13.0 miles Elevation Gain: 3,494 feet Route Type: Out & Back

backpacking

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

no shade

historic site

no dogs

NOTE: Parking is behind the fire station near a large oak tree. Adventure pass is required.

hiking
9 days ago

Amazing trail! Completed it in under 6h. Bugs during the first part are not that annoying, but maybe because it was a cooler day. Worth doing it at least once!

hiking
bugs
no shade
rocky
11 days ago

Hiked up this morning. Soooo many bugs, mostly huge flies at the beginning then gnats the last mile. We got bit by something on our lower legs (not sure how I did since I had pants on). Solid red type of rash. It was nice on the summit with a nice table in the shade and there was a nice breeze with no bugs. We saw one rattlesnake in the road towards the top. Highly recommend poles!

hiking
bugs
rocky
12 days ago

So many people say this is not an attractive hike but compared to a few other truck trails I’ve done this one is actually quite scenic! 13.5 miles R/T from the parking to the peak. The bugs were very annoying… Bring a head net and bug spray! Biting horse flies and gnats! The first 2 miles once you’re on the trail is a decent incline but once you hit the truck trail it’s a steady gradual incline to the peak. I brought my poles for the hike down and it was a great idea as there are a lot of rocks and loose gravel! We did not do a loop because the return trail was quite overgrown… Did out and back! Saw one rattlesnake coiled in the center of the truck trail. he was quite camouflaged so be careful and keep your eye out

hiking
bugs
13 days ago

First part of the hike is not very ‘pretty’ but trail got better as the elevation increased. Bring a bug net for your head as the gnats as bothersome. I had read another reviewer’s comments about bugs, so I also sprayed my pants with bug spray which I am glad I did as there were biting horse flies as my hiking partner discovered! Ugh! Also, note that All Trail shows a loop around the watch tower at High Point but the trail is no longer a loop, so at the junction of High Point Road and Palomar Divide Road stay to the right the ‘long way’ around the loop. We attempted to go down from the watch tower to complete the loop but the trail was completely overgrown and scrub brushes have taken over the trail so the trail was inaccessible so we had to backtrack and go back down the way we came. (Btw, if hiking this anytime soon and are going to stop to have a snack at the top, a jacket may prove helpful as it was pretty chilly with the strong breeze at the top.)

hiking
bugs
15 days ago

hiking
bugs
no shade
28 days ago

Completed 4/28: Started at 0700. Parked by the trail start point next to the fire station. About 1.5 miles in, we ran into a rattlesnake. The second rattle snake we saw in was on the peak. Also, lots of bugs!

hiking
bugs
1 month ago

hiking
bugs
no shade
1 month ago

4/25 - Trail open but no more snow. No shade mid-day, really wish I did this in colder weather. First couple miles are the toughest. Finished in 5:20 - didn’t spend a lot of time at the summit and ran downhill here and there. Only saw 3 other people and one snake! Beautiful views.

hiking
1 month ago

4.16.20 trail is open, tiny snow patches at top but no need for waterproof shoes. Saw 4 people all day. This hike is a beast, get ready for 6+ miles straight up then 6+ miles straight down, very rare if any flats. Beautiful oak groves at the bottom and near the summit, amazing vistas towards several mountains to the north east, lots of wildlife, summit views are stellar (it's the highest point in SD i believe), but most of the trail is a road rather than trail, which is easier but not my favorite(kinda boring and industrial feeling), and that giant road section is completely exposed, so be prepared to get hit by the sun all day. Many people on this thread compare it to El Cajon(aka El Capitan aka El Cap) Mountain saying it's harder, and I would disagree in a way. El Cajon has much, much steeper sections, and several of them, that are much more strenuous than anything Oak Grove Trail had. Oak Grove is just moderately steep at first but then requires more stamina as its longer and much more steady with it's inclines and declines, but dosen't get your heart pumping like El Cajon does. That and it's easier on the feet. After El Cajon, which I hiked 3 times in the last 2 weeks, my feet were destroyed, those relentless steep parts are rough. After Oak Grove today, same shoes, my feet weren't that bad. So I think Oak Grove takes more energy and stamina, but El Cajon is more brutal, which one is "harder" is actually kinda hard to say, I just think El Cajon beats you up more.

hiking
muddy
no shade
snow
1 month ago

April 12, 2020: trail is open. mile 5-6.5 (summit) is covered in snow. no snow gear needed but bring waterproof shoes.

This was my second time hiking this trail.. the first section to the fire road.. first 2 miles.. is steep... beyond that it is still 500-600 foot climb per mile.. yet it doesn’t seem as bad. The last 1 1/2 miles is my favorite part.. a lot more trees and wooded.. al in all a great hike.. I would say the out is harder than El Cajon mountain.. the way back is much easier though..

hiking
muddy
rocky
snow
2 months ago

I hiked this on March 28th, and thus far this has been one of the best hikes I have ever been on. It is difficult and very steep, correct shoes HIGHLY recommended. I suggest starting in morning, no later than 10, as it does take a full 6+ hours. The views are stunning, as are the changing landscapes. If you are in need of elevation training, or just want more of a strenuous hike, then this is it!

hiking
2 months ago

Very tough but scenic hike. Beautiful views of the transverse ranges to the north and San Diego County to the South. But, it is as steep as it sounds. Trudged through some snowy and muddy trails at the top for the last mile to the tower. I would rate this as the hike with the best views in San Diego, but I also rate it as hard as hiking El Cajon Mountain.

hiking
rocky
snow
2 months ago

Great hike!

hiking
2 months ago

I did this hike on Friday March 6th. It was a cooler day at the tail end of an warm trend. Like others have mentioned parking is behind the Fire Station near a large oak tree. The Adventure Pass Required sign has fallen down but I'm sure they still check. I started up at about 8:00 am, reached the top at 11:30, stayed on top for about a half hour taking photos and was back at the car by 2:00 pm. The first two miles were hot, steep and narrow in spots, just keep at it and eventually the views will reward your effort. Off in the distance you can see San Jacinto Peak, Gorgonio, Mt. Baldy and a bunch of others in the distance. You can also get a glimpse of Vail Lake nestled off to the N/W. Once you reach the fire road (Oak Grove truck truck trail) its a few miles of boring road walk but the road is nice and wide. Only a few downed manzanitas block your path but you can easily go around them. To the right and down the hill you can see High Point truck trail snaking up and eventually you'll meet up with it. Stay to the left and continue up the hill. The road gets steeper and winds around the hill with a view of a peak across a narrow draw. At the top of the peak is the Fire Tower but you can't see it yet. After more climbing the breeze kicks up and feels great. The fire tower finally is visible as you reach Deer Flats. This section is one of the few flat sections on the hike so take advantage of it. You'll eventually travel along a nice shady section of oak canopy and this the road junction where the Palomar Divide Road T's off to the left and you'll stay right. Soon you'll be heading around the summit to the right as the divide road heads toward Palomar Observatory's private property line and a locked gate. Don't worry, you'll see a white pipe gate heading up to the top of the peak and the Fire Tower. You get great views of the Hale Telescope and other ones off in the distance and you make one final turn to the top. I looked for a summit benchmark but didn't find one. There also is no summit sign, just a bolt sticking out of a rock near the fire tower. On the far side is a group of trees and an old building foundation that begs to be explored. The breeze blows pretty good up here and since you're not climbing anymore it brings on a chill. I had a good hike but it is steep and exposed. It was 78 degrees when I reached the car at 2 pm and it felt like 90 in the lower sections. I would not do this hike if the temperatures were over 80 unless you love the heat. Near a bend on the fire road you'll see the first pine tree. Its a bit one so you won't miss it. To the left of it back in the bushes is a water pipe with a faucet knob. I twisted it and a good gushing of water came out so this is a good water source if you are getting low either up or down. The water flowed dark brown at first but after a few seconds of full flow it cleared up. I would definitely use a filter as I wouldn't trust it. It is a long hike and felt every bit the 14 miles and 3600 feet of gain. On the way down the steep trail sections the footing is slippery and I almost took a tumble 3-4 times. My knees were also aching from the pounding and that's when you realize just how steep this trail it. I am glad I finally did this hike but probably would not do it again, there are other, easier ways to get similar views.

hiking
2 months ago

Completed this on a beautiful Saturday morning. Couldn’t find the actual parking location and ended up driving up the dirt road a bit which ended up taking a 1/2 mile off my distance. First 1.8 miles is a steep trail that is both rocky and narrow. Definitely the part of the trail that gives it it’s “hard” rating. After the initial climb, it’s a moderate 4.5 mile hike up a grated fire road. Nothing too difficult beside gaining 2000 feet of elevation in that distance. Beautiful views of Vail Lake, San Jacinto, Big Bear, and Baldy on the way up. Scrub brush, Manzanita, Oak, and Pine trees. The summit has a fire lookout tower and Palomar Observatory is nearby. Great views from the top. Overall, a hike that has some great views, especially on a clear day. Total time for me was just under 4 hours. Only saw 12 people on the trail on a Saturday.

hiking
bugs
no shade
2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Good hike, reviews are accurate. First 2 miles steep once you hit the fire road get easier.

fue una caminata donde empezamos con lluvia

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