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

Great trail! Take plenty of water !! Beautiful scenery.
Mosquito repellent is a must !
10$ fee to park

This is a challenging hike with quite a few steep inclines.

backpacking
23 days ago

Don’t count on any water at the bottom of the hike in.

Did this 9/8/17 Reviews a little late but I thought I should reiterate the warning, bring a bug net and consider long sleeves. There are several cisterns (not drinkable) along the trail that make the biting gnats/mosquitos brutal. I was just up on Tahquitz Peak and the view of High Point triggered the repressed memory. Great hike, stellar views.

Great hike and beautiful views. Really cool to see the watch station

backpacking
1 month ago

This review is more about car accessibility, dogs, water availability, and insects (especially bees).

Went on a little backpacking trip from 6/23-6/25/18. It was 80-85 degrees during the day and full sun. I brought my two very fluffy dogs with me and went 3 miles down the hill to the creek. I left the main trail and followed the trail to the left (south, downstream) one mile. One mile downstream there is a large oak perfect for climbing and very shady to set up multiple tents. And alright yes a campfire ring, but please DO NOT start a fire! Also there is a stone dam and tower and small sandy beaches to enjoy. To get there go just beyond the campsite, up and over the rocks. At the top is a lone cactus, at that point head down and walk along the creek to avoid the very steep hill down directly to the dam and tower. I saw 3 hikers total on my entire trip so a very secluded trail!!

There is minimal shade along the first 3 miles till you hit the creek. It is best to complete this portion of the hike before 930-10a. The shade is optimal then as the hill is basically west facing. The first mile or so has partial shade at least every 0.1 miles, then no shade for 1 mile, then spotty shade till the creek. It is gently sloping downhill, but nothing strenuous at all even on the way up. Took me two hours to do the 4 miles to the campsite and just under 2.5 hours back to the car. I did stop whenever the dogs wanted to and for however long they wanted. Walked at a very average pace.

Water- No water until one mile downstream (4 miles total). Currently there are several pools of water varying from 20 feet in length to only a few; they are up to 4 feet deep and are not flowing. Please be conservative and conscientious when using water to avoid washing any sunscreen, bug spray, and dish water into the pools. It is also very easy to mistakenly scoop up tadpoles, frog eggs, and fish! Critters of every size and class are trying to make it in and around there!

Car accessibility- I have a 2005 Hyundai Accent so low clearance and very compact. I did not find the road leading to the trail head to be very bad at all! Took me 50 minutes to go up and down since due to my vehicle I have to be very careful and thoughtful about how I drive up there. Definitely having a narrow car that allows me to use the whole road to avoid bad areas was very helpful and a wider car with similar clearance may have more problems.

Dogs (previous ER/ICU vet nurse here)- Do not attempt this hike if it is above 85 degrees with your dog especially between 10a-2p!! Bring bare minimum 1 liter of water just for each dog (just for this 3 mile portion) and let them have a good rest in every bit of shade and free choice water at all times. After heat, your next biggest enemy is foxtails!! Right now it is peak season and the meadow the oak tree campsite is in is filled with them! Check frequently especially deep in the toes. Dogs have died from going septic from them embedding themselves. They will creep up into the eyes, ears, nose, prepubis, everywhere!! I spent at least 6 hours removing them total. Did pick off a few mostly dog ticks (not a large prevalence of tick borne dz in SoCal), they have 2 month (out of 3 month) old Scalibor collars but they go in the water a lot.

Insects- Yes expect a constant buzz. Once a swarm finds you walking along the creek, you've got new friends. They were tolerable, but certainly disrupt mediation. The mosquitoes are not too bad just annoying flies. Far from ruined the trip for me! I found Honest brand bug spray (mostly essential oils) worked fairly well but needed frequent application. If you care about bees as I do, due to a severe allergy, then its not perfect but it could be worse. I attract bees like crazy! So I still had a few stalkers, but no stings. Wildflowers are currently in bloom the first 0.5 miles and then along the creek where there is water. The ones along the creek seemed basically too pre-occupied to pay me attention. A few got a little interested, but not for long. I felt comfortable knocking into the flowers that crossed the path even if bees were busy working on the bush. The ones to be worried about are the swarms on the little white poms in the first 0.5 mile of the trail. There are just so many bees and I believe close to a hive that they are more protective and I had quite the stalker for a while that made me nervous (...and forget my hiking poles in the car!).

Things I was glad I brought or wished I had:
- Bug spray
- Visor > sunglasses
- Sunscreen
- Chapstick
- Hiking poles- lots of loose gravel and small rocks on the trail that poles help balance and stabilize you
- Comb to help remove foxtails from dogs
- Way to clean water

Things you don't need:
- sleeping pad- quite comfy on the bed of oak leaves, not worth the weight

One heck of a hike, We were not expecting the 6.5 hour time gauge .... but the breaks were MUCH needed during the steep start as well as for the beautiful high point stop.

BRING WATER/ TAKE BREAKS DURING HEAT

backpacking
2 months ago

I just returned from my first backpacking trip and Barker Valley was the perfect choice. I received the recommendation from a friend and it did not disappoint.

Some notes: There was still a couple of feet of water left in the stream. It was hot during the day (95 degrees on the hike back up the 1,000 ft incline) and surprisingly cold at night. The bugs were pretty bad; make sure you bring a citronella candle for camp.

I did this overnight trip alone and the most striking thing about Barker Valley was how away-from-it-all it was. I didn't realize there were places so secluded left in San Diego County; no cell reception and there was no one else out there. It was exactly what I wanted in a backpacking trip.

The best part was seeing the Milky Way in all its glory; I haven't seen it in years.

DO NOT follow the “getting there” directions (do not turn left down chihuahua or go down any dirt road), just keep following the original road all the way down to the fire station, and park at the information center. Trail is on THE SAME SIDE OF THE ROAD as the fire station on the right hand side when facing the building, NOT the side of the road with the info center and PCT sign. Also keep in mind this route approaches the rock formation from behind, so be on the look out for the trail split once you hit 3.2 miles! Be sure to bring plenty of water, direct sun is a killler for 2/3 of the way there/back.

Eagle rock itself was super cool!! There isn't much shade cover on this trail, so next time I'd try not to go on a really hot and sunny day. The trail was pretty empty when we went.

The eagle stone itself is pretty awesome. The hike is rated moderate but it was pretty easy in 85 degree weather. FYI, there's absolutely no shade starting from the half way point to eagle stone so bring lots of water.

hiking
2 months ago

Very well-maintained trail, hard to get lost. The first 2/3rd you'll have some shade. The last third is straight exposure through grassland. The approach is behind the rock formation so it doesn't look like anything special. Got warned by a rattlesnake chillen by the rocks, so be cautious. Really easy hike.

The road is open as of writing this, we spent two nights on this trail over Memorial Day Weekend. Wonderful trail with incredible views. Some key notes:

Water: The stream has plenty of water to filter.

Fire: Camping stoves only at this point.

Bugs: Experience a few no-see-ums in the shade, but nothing drastic or unbearable, and we didn't have spray.

Fishing: Not sure why All Trails says you can fish it, there are no fish in this stream.

Make sure to get a pass from the Forest Service, it's free and very very easy.

Full review is here and directions on how to plan: https://www.arborcreekoutfitters.com/single-post/2018/05/30/Barker-Valley-Spur-Trail---Cleveland-National-Forest

Fun easy well maintained trail. That starts in shaded oak trees then breaks out into a plains area with a cool rock formation at the end. Nice scenery only a few people. Saw pretty good size coyote in the mid of the day

A must see up close !

Hiked this trail with my dog earlier today and it was great. Trail starts off in a forest section with shade and a stream. You can get a view of some cows along the way as well. Trail then opens up to expansive views throug yt? out a valley that eventually leads to Eagle Rock. Not much shade here. Met some interesting people along the way including a group of guys from Australia do the PCT. All in all, this trail has everything. Easy trail and well maintained. Will definitely be back!

Made this hike earlier today with my 12 YO daughter it was fantastic, ran into many PCT thru hikers and they have helped solidify my daughters love for hiking. Great trail and we even met a couple on horseback, will definitely be back to experience this trail again!

trail running
3 months ago

Great trail run for ultra training. The old creek section is super steep and I had to hike more then run for the first 2 ish miles but once you reach the top of Old Creek and get on the fire roads the rest is runable. It took me about 2 hours and 50 minutes but I paused my watch at the top for a bit a took in the views. There were horrible gnats as mentioned but it was off and on for short bouts of time. Will definitely do it again.

I loved this trail. The varying trees, plants, and flowers in each section of the hike were delightful to look at. The cows were cute, the trail was relatively quiet, and Eagle Rock looks just like it’s namesake. I did this hike on a Sunday and at one point had the rock all to myself for around an hour. Highly recommend!

Awesome hike. If you are doing the hike on Spring or Summer you must make it a priority to bring a bug net to cover your face. There are just so many bugs around the trees and pines. Met two older hikers who shared their most amazing adventures in the mountains of California.

Just backpacked the entire Section from April 13 through April 23, 2018. Incredible trail; so much variety! It’s important while backpacking to always be aware of the most updated water reports.

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful trail and well maintained, pretty much flat with minimal curve. Round trip took less than 2 hours. I would rate this as easy. Eagle Rock is a must see if you just moved to California. Gorgeous!

Delightful short hike, only an hour drive from San Diego.
Easy parking, adequate signage. Once above timber line, view is spectacular over the open valley to lake Henshaw and Palomar mountain.
On a warm day the breeze from the SSW will be most welcome once in the plateau and on a cold winter day plan on a warm jacket.

hiking
4 months ago

Great hike! In love with this area. Outstanding place to park at the welcome center across the fire station! WOW! Take many pictures!

hiking
4 months ago

Thanks to big bro Marty for turning me on to this gem of a hike!

Nice hike, first mile or so follows a seasonal creek and walk through shady oak trees. Next couple of miles is out in the open with expansive views, can see Palomar Observatory, Lake Henshaw out in the distance. Eagle Rock formation is amazing and happy to see no graffiti. An added plus on this trail, it is part of the PCT - hiked this on April 12 and met lots of PCT hikers. They were from everywhere....Denmark, UK, all over US - very interesting chatting with them and hearing their stories. Would not want to do this hike when hot because a lot of the hike is in open area with sun beating down on you! Rate this hike on the easy side rather than moderate. Highly recommend this hike!

hiking
4 months ago

What a FUUUUN hiiiike!!! I would rate it EASY. Make sure to bring lots of water to hydrate and use sunscreen. ENJOY!!!!

The road was open on 4/7/18. Lovely hike down. Plenty of water in the creek. Great camping with no bug issues. The last steep descent to get to the first pool below the little dam seemed too scary at first, but after getting to the little beach by crossing above the dam and fighting through the brush, I found I could climb up the steep section, and so we went back that way. Then we spent a wonderful afternoon down among the cascades. We swam across the big pool next to the little beach down there (not the beach by the dam), and then waded to the drop off and looked down! Cool. I had climbed up the ridge to the right of the dropoff to see if there was a way down and around, but didn't see anything likely. Took us 4 hours to hike out after an active day. My girlfriend's first backpack trip. A success!

off road driving
4 months ago

Beautiful place for a relaxing drive. Went on a Friday afternoon and had the mountain to myself. I never saw another person all the way out and back. Paid $10 for a day pass and the officer drove up and opened the gate for me to go up Hot Springs Mt. Road. Only needed 4wd for one small section.

hiking
4 months ago

Stunning views especially in the spring with all the wild flowers. Cows along the trail! Saw a rattlesnake also. Various terrains with shade and a nice strong breeze.

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