Explore the most popular views trails near Aguanga with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Hike this trail as a child many time brings back fond memories. Much more populated now!

Great intro hike for younger Boy Scouts. They had a blast going up and back. If you have a group you can email the observatory for a guided tour.

off road driving
1 month ago

A little confusing to find the trail at first do to all the other routes that are private property , once you do it’s pretty descent. Nothing terrible high clearance 2wd rigs will have no problem with this trail. Mainly a fire ride with a few off shoots.

2 months ago

has anyone ran this in one day?

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.

Peaceful trail with lots of trees surrounding you and cute fluffy squirrels and the sound of nature and the birds is soooo nice! I wish the actual cabin was there though ! Just a pile of logs there once you get to “Scott’s cabin” Overall great experience ! It’s at the state park so for all day it’s 10$ cash. Make sure to bring snacks and water there’s a few other trials around it but it’s really nice ethier way. You’ll catch a lot of cute wild birds surrounding you, maybe even deers ! so I recommend going. Make sure to check out all the other trails too and I promise you’ll love it. Make sure to Just enjoy the peaceful sound of nature and everything around you.

Nice walk. Not too strenuous. Brought some lunch and stopped along the way. Several places along the way have truly fantastic views. Great way for a hiker to get a day's worth of walking in.

Very beautiful hiking. Especially at the partly cloudy wether.

Fantastic view and nature during and the end of this trail, we hiked in cloudy day in spring with lots of green grass and blooms around us. I recommend to try this hiking trail.

PARKING: you'll have to park within the camp ground so be sure to read the signs and not park in lots that have been reserved. ALSO - a few websites note that you need an ADVENTURE PASS to park but i parked without a pass (without researching ^_^') and luckily didn't get ticketed. However, parking at the Observatory is free - just not at the campground. :D

ANYWAY, from the campground - try to find parking midway into the campground so you're near the amphitheater...cause that's where the trail head is. You'll come across A LOT of chipmunks and squirrels (maybe even some on the road :( you know what i mean) but i think the most annoying critters are the gnats and flies - especially if you go near the afternoon.

I think i digressed. Where am I?

The hike is pretty straight forward with no branching trails (from what i remember) and with gradual inclines. I recommend hiking early in the morning (possibly around 7 or 8) to avoid the gnat swarming around in the heat. I think i saw a few deer but i could be wrong. I get my animals mixed up sometimes.

The hike seems scenic but 15 minutes into it - i started hearing a low guttural roar, which quickly intensifies and then disappear. Yeah, the trail is actually adjacent to a road that actually leads to the Observatory. Kind of kills the whole alone in the woods mood but meh.

ANNNNNYWAY, about an hour into the hike - you'll finally reach the observatory. Past the parking lot (i wish i had driven myself up there and pretend i actually did the hike - no one would know...) you'll see the museum and gift shop to the right. pretty cool stuff in there.

A little further up is the actual Observatory, which you can actually go in and read all about Hale and the telescope. Pretty cool stuff. BTW - PLUTO IS A PLANET!!!

After you've had your fill of interstellar education (btw, there's a tour you can join for cheap), hike your way back the same way you came.

Overall, pretty enjoyable hike with little human traffic. I heard there's a pretty cool night hike led by one of the rangers or employees or something. Something to think about.

We loved this hike. Somehow we turned it in to about 6 miles and the fit bit says about 112 stairs climbed. Lots or great up and down trails. Some downed trees across the trail here and there. Hope they don’t remove them. Easy to get a little of everything on these trails. E will be back soon.

4 months ago

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

There is a $10 entrance fee to the park. CASH ONLY so come prepared. The general store will do cash back if you forget but they are limited by what’s in the till. The trail to the lookout was short and moderately steep. The views would be spectacular on a clear day, but it was hazy when we went. From the lookout, the trail heads downhill and there are numerous downed trees across the trail that were fun for our toddler and made the day interesting. Overall, trail would be considered an easy outing if it wasn’t for the downed trees you have to traverse along the way.

Amazing views as always and the in the freezing temperatures much of the trees and foliage around covered in stunning icicles!

5 months ago

Trail needs some attention. Starting from Doane Pond and heading up there is a large tree across the trail, which appears to have been there a while. Hiking with the kids this was a challenge. This is the section with most of the elevation gain, and drop on the way out (if you choose to return this way). Some of the erosion controls built into the trail are loose or are partially washed out, giving the impression that this trail has not seen maintenance in some time. The upper portion of the trail is quite overgrown and rutted. Once you arrive at the Scotts Cabin Site, you will be greeted by a random pile of old logs, so set your expectations accordingly.

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

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.

Me, my husband, and our 2-year-old did this loop trail today (2/4/18) and it was amazing. Beautiful views, plenty of shade, quite a few easier sections where our son was able to get out of our hiking backpack carrier and walk himself, and we only saw 3 other groups the entire 3-and-a-half miles (that may be due to it being Super Bowl Sunday though). The weather couldn't have been more perfect, it was between 66 and 70 degrees throughout our hike (we started at 10 and got done at 12:15). We will be back frequently.

We did this hike on 2/3/18. Great views and trails through the wooded forest and meadows. Boucher trail coming down from the tower has lots of trees and logs across requiring climbing over or under. The Weir/Diane Valley loop was great with some beautiful old trees. We decided to cut off the last Chimney Loop and headed back from Diane Pond on the Scott Cabin trail. 8.4 miles on our Apple Fitness app. Very pleasant and beautiful hike. Will do it again for sure. Weather is great right now!!!

off road driving
6 months ago

This trail is easy to moderate. I saw several no trespassing signs but I spent a few hours here, spoke to several people, and no one stopped me. Plenty of amazing scenery. Only downside and why I rated this trail four stars is the litter including large amounts of glass and shell casings. Be wary in areas where you see any debris.

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.

on Palomar Divide Road

off road driving
7 months ago

Got about 2 Miles in and hit a locked gate.. there were no trespassing signs everywhere

very pretty hiking area

10 months ago

Beautiful trail, a decent amount of uphill hiking on the way up, but well worth it with the mountain views. The bugs in late September were pretty terrible with the heat, but not a big deal if you are used to the wilderness. Not hard to navigate and well maintained trail overall!

trail running
10 months ago

A very nice hike.
Parking is $10, must be cash.
I parked just past where you pay for day use on the left in the Silvercrest Picnic Area. Except the beginning the in-App map was very helpful.
From the picnic area there is a short trail at the bathroom to the road then walk left along the road and the Boucher trail is between the separated up & down roads to the Boucher fire overlook.
My hunch is it is slightly longer around 10-11 miles, but I got off trail slightly once/twice using a paper map before backtracked or pulling out the phone app.

A fun little hike with a little science to break it up. Wasn't a fan of the flies and gnats.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Beautiful trail. don't forget to bring your insect repellent.

off road driving
Thursday, July 20, 2017

My first time hitting a trail in a truck and I had an awesome experience. A little bumpy at first, a handful of tight turns but nothing too technical overall. 4x4 is not needed. Strongly recommend to those looking to explore and learn the off road scene.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Cool trail with ridgeline views of Harrah's casino below. Some parts of trail could use some TLC. Had to bend and climb through some brush.

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