Thunder Spring Trail

MODERATE 22 reviews

Thunder Spring Trail is a 3.6 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Aguanga, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round.

3.6 miles
764 feet

kid friendly



nature trips




wild flowers


no dogs

Take the 76 east and follow the signs to get to Palomar Mountain and once you get to the top, follow the signs to the State Park. Once inside the park, follow the signs to the parking lot by Doane's Pond. The trail starts there.

2 months ago

We went 5/31/2018. I loved it. It's beautiful like all the photos.
There were a couple of streams. It's very green. Surprisingly barely any poison oak/ivy/sumac. Lots of bugs, though. The trail was pretty well maintained except the Scott's Cabin Trail was pretty overgrown.
It's ten bucks to park and they take cash and checks, but no cards. The closest ATM is inthe General Store 2 1/2 miles from the ranger station.
I'm pretty sure the trail is longer than the description. We followed the map really closely and our All Trails recorder and my FitBit showed 4.5 miles not 3.6.

4 months ago

Stumbled on this trail, it’s moderate but beautiful and the two mile loop completed was great!

great loop hike, spectacular views to the west at the top of the hike

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

beautiful scenic hike but the hilly section just before/just after Scott's Cabin is completely overgrown with wild lilac and impassable. there are also several downed trees along that route and the Cedar trail headed back towards the pond.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

There's not much scenery on the Thunder Springs and Chimney Flats trails, it picks up a little once you transition to Scott's Cabin Trail. The loop is mostly either uphill or downhill and can be a bit of a cardio workout. There's sections that will be difficult for small children or the out of shape. Cell phone reception cuts out around the halfway point.

We spotted deer, chipmunks and a good variety of birds doing this loop. While pretty it isn't as impressive as the other trails this park offers.

Monday, June 13, 2016

This was a really nice trail to hike with my family, we saw a deer, peacocks, and for a grand finale my daughters almost stepped on a rattlesnake

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Took 15 Boy Scouts on a little beginner backpacking hike. Saw a few deer. Great day to get out. Had lunch by the pond.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Nice hike up in the mountain breeze and air. We saw 6 deer leaping thru the brush.

Saturday, May 03, 2014

I was pretty unimpressed with scenery. The Scott cabin trail was more scenic than thunder springs side. The only technical that made me call it a hike instead of a walk was climbing over the trees covering the trail on multiple places. Maybe before fires and high winds it was a nice place. Crazy amount of bugs, and the poison oak and stinging nettle lean into the trail to say 'hi' the whole way. It was also more like 4.3 miles for anyone who likes accuracy.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Walked it 9-22-2013. The loop out thunder creek trail and back through Chimney flats. The spring was running and the trail was in nice shape. Great for a family hike. Careful of bees on the flats. I got stung while by some bees walking back. Overall it was a nice hike. About 4 miles round trip.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Hiked the whole trail today with my two boys 9 and 10 we all had full packs with food water sleeping gear and all. We stopped by the creek to purify some water for drinking on the route and heard a turkey gobbling across the meadow which was a very nice surprise. The trail was in decent shape other than a few fallin trees which were fairily easy to navigate around. We had a couple black tailed deer trotting along beside us for a while just befor the trail turned into Scott's cabin trail which the kids got a kick out of. The best view was around the remains of Scott's cabin. Over all very fun trail. Portions of the trail reminded me of the AT near Virginia. Loved it and so did the kids. We will be back to this Park for sure. Oh and make sure you have 8 bucks exact change for the car pass or you may end up donating a 20 like I did. Trail maps are available for 2.00 as well. Good luck and remember you will lose cell phone reception for most of the route.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

This trail was one of the most beautiful I've seen in Southern California. It feels like walking through a fairy tale forest complete with hollow oaks, giant redwoods, meadows, birds and babbling creeks. There were mosquitoes near the water areas so bring some bug spray. This is a great hike, not very difficult. I would rate it 1.5 * for difficulty. Most of the trail has shade and the temp was 68 degrees while it was 88 degrees in the desert that day.

3 months ago

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8 months ago

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Monday, May 23, 2016

Sunday, November 25, 2012