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

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Mountain Center, California Map
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hiking
1 day ago

Hiked this trail into Tool Box Spring campground. Awesome weather and great views of Garner Valley going up and down. Like others said, a bit anticlimactic in terms of views at the top, but still a fun trail all around. I would consider this trail moderate.

hiking
16 days ago

This trail was fun and a pretty good challenge. I'm an avid hiker, but I would definitely not classify this trail as "easy". Definitely more "moderate" as it has a gradual (and at some points steep) incline all the way to the top. Also, it's about 200 yards from the parking lot to the start of the trail, and then the actual trail is 7 miles round trip.

About 2/3 of the hike in it becomes shaded, but even in the sun the hike was enjoyable. We hiked it in 85 degree weather and encountered only 3 other people. The top of the hike is a bit anti-climatic and doesn't have a great view, but there are great views throughout the hike.

Would highly recommend this hike.

Currently closed due to fire damage

off road driving
1 month ago

Very nice scenery, but the trail was super easy not moderate. A motorhome can easily make it through! I was expecting a few challenges for the jeep, but it was a dusty fire road with lots of ruts and bumps that made 5 miles seem like 10 miles.

hiking
2 months ago

It was hard to tell the difference between this hike and Apache but from what it appears on the trail they are the same hike that leads to a plateau- you can choose to go Left and hike Apache or Right and hike Spilter. We went up to the fork and stopped for lunch and our GPS gave us 11.3 miles. Went on 6/9/18 and it was a nice hike. One review stated there was a waterfall which is really a trickle of drops and hardly a waterfall. The beginning of the hike starts fairly mild and without shade, trail is sandy and not much incline. At the stream which is around 4 miles in it begins to incline steeply and there is a lot of brush and shade as the foliage is thicker here. The trail gets much more narrow and rocky. Excellent views at the top. Much of the trees were burned so the underbrush is thriving now. Great hike.

Great trail, for as far as we could make it. Rookie move to 1) start at 11am in June ack! too hot! 2) not have proper footwear.. flip-flops? duh and 3) wanted to walk, but ended up carrying my 3.4 lb Yorkie with me (see reason (1)!
ah! lesson learned but! I will look forward to a Fall or early Spring do-over

3 months ago

Not too challenging. Moderate is a fair assessment . View doesn’t change much and oh, keep an eye out for snakes. Saw a few..

Finally finished this trail after hiking it twice (time constraints) beautiful hike and well worth getting to the picnic and camping areas at the top. BEAUTIFUL change of scenery as you progress through this trail.

hiking
3 months ago

Not an easy trail. Trail is well maintained. Bring lots of water on a hot day. Great view. Flannel bush in bloom, beautiful!

off road driving
3 months ago

Well maintained truck trail to the top. If you want a real adventure continue driving to Rouse Hill and beyond, down the mountain following a steep ridge. You'll end up driving through a citrus orchard on the way down to the 74. The road from Rouse Ridge to Rouse Hill is a little bumpy but everywhere else is really nice. The section from Rouse Hill to the 74 is the most scenic part of the drive. (Thomas Mountain Truck Trail to Forest route 5S15 to Forest Route 6S13 to the 74)

Never seen such a variety of flowers, plants and trees in one area. Purples and yellows and reds. Just gorgeous. For a couple miles, I wondered why it was rated hard....once you hit the small lovely waterfalls it inclines steeply. Wonderful hike!!

hiking
3 months ago

One of my family's favorite hikes! It's beautiful, and we only ever see a few people.

Great hike - very peaceful and beautiful views! My family and I were alone on a Saturday. We only passed one other family who was on their way out when we started.

hiking
4 months ago

Hiking past the locked gate up to Toro Peak is trespassing onto Santa Rosa Indian Reservation Land. It is clearly marked on the gate. Please have some respect for Native Americans. You can hike up Toro Peak West and North without trespassing.

4 months ago

Great hike but I would rate as moderate! Fantastic views. Next time I hope to have more time to explore once at the top, it's so pretty.

I just love this trail!!!! Haven't hiked it since the fire but, from what I am reading It seems to be open! I am beyond excited!

hiking
5 months ago

Great trail for beginners. Was my first hike and although I didn’t finish, I was quick to go back and try again. Plenty of great views throughout the trail. A bit rocky in areas but otherwise safe for kids. Will return

Nice leisure hike. Brought kids ages 5-17 and they all enjoyed and were able to walk up no problem.

hiking
6 months ago

That past review was today 3/19 and a perfect day temperature round trip from pinyon 6 plus hours We were retracting where my sister took the wrong turn. Could happen to anyone. Happy trails

Beautiful yet markers are not always clear especially in washes be careful and aware of your trail. My sister got lost and we live in this area and it can easily be as dangerous if not paying attention. Otherwise absolutely worth wild. Spectacular for locals as well as visitors

Not a easy trail and I’m a novice. Moderate for sure. Trail gets rocky and narrow at times. Beautiful views. 2.5 hrs to top and I’m in shape. Take water and snacks. Worth the hike.

hiking
6 months ago

Fantastic hike and easy with beautiful views

hiking
6 months ago

Great hike with great views with some steep inclines toward the top. Most of the trees sadly have been burned down from the recent fires. But still worth the views.

backpacking
6 months ago

Fantastic hike with Onyx I will be comming back many more times

hiking
6 months ago

Abundance of colors, clearly marked trail, very pleasant hike. There are a few heart pumping stretches but for the most part, a nice steady hike on gravelly surfaces, with plenty of plant life and rewarding vistas. The sign for Horse Thief Creek seems to have been removed, but I followed signage for the Cactus Springs signs trail and just stopped at the Creek. There weren’t many birds or flowers early March, even at the Creek. The drive up and back down from Palm Desert offers stunning view of the valley and distant mountains.

trail was great, awesome view from the side of the mountain, trail is wide enough for 2 people to walk side by side for most of the trail.

nice hike in. No overgrowth as stated by others. Meet a great couple with kids. My fog loved the hike as much as I did. Will come back again. This is a hike you should be Waring hiking boots and pants

7 months ago

Does anyone know if a regular four door car would make it on this dirt road?Thank you

hiking
7 months ago

We were a group of 7 adults who hiked this trail Feb. 1st. They charge $6 per person to enter the park for day use, which was fine, we just weren't expecting it, so be sure to bring some cash to get in. It's a large campground with many camping spots, but the park was virtually empty the day we were there. The hikes go off the campground and into the mountains. It's a lovely area but the trails are very, very poorly marked and in many places not marked at all. The map they give you is not useful for the hike. We wandered off the trail a few times and were only saved by our All Trails app. Of the 3 cell phone service providers between us, only one of them got cell service in the area to access the app. The trail was a steady but very gradual incline up. We did not go to the end of the trail as we were encountering lots of deep ruts likely from recent rain. The trail was not wet, but the ruts were fairly deep in spots. We enjoyed our day and the scenery is really lovely. For the price to get in, they need to do a much better job marking the trails and then you wouldn't need an app, or map.

hiking
7 months ago

Did this hike on 1/26/18 for the first time since the Mountain fire. Have done it a few times in the past including a shuttle starting at the Zen trail and over Apache. Always have loved the Spitler trail for the variety of foliage and views, especially from the PCT into the desert. The burn was devastating. Almost nothing left behind. The only living trees were on the upper east slopes of Spitler
A little looking about to find the use trail to the top.
Still a worthwhile hike that I would recommend. PCT closed toward Apache.

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