Hike Eagle Rock via the Pacific Crest Trail
San Diego › Eagle Rock, Pacific Crest Trail
Added by Nicole Hook
Make it yours! A short and sweet 7 miles or make it 10+ miles of slow and steady elevation gain. Explore great desert vegetation, pastures and creeks, while ending at the amazing natural Eagle Rock formation! A must hike.
With doing more hikes in the SoCal area, I've realized half the battle is just trying to find the damn trailhead. Technically you have 2 ways to enter this trail ... Start from 79 and add a very enjoyable extra 3ish miles, or start from the Warner Springs Fire Station, for a total 7 mile hike. We came in from San Diego (Encinitas) on 79 just as you get into Warner Springs. I dropped the pin on the map below at this trailhead, not if you start from Warner Springs Fire Station. You will cross over a small little bridge and see a shoulder on the right that you can park on. If you pass the glider airport, you have gone too far.
Follow a dirt trail south that will lead you under the afore-mentioned bridge. The whole trail is well maintained, with a very obvious foot path, and frequent PCT signs.
As soon as you walk in, you will be welcomed by trees and plenty of wildlife. In an area of several downed trees, we saw a group of 6 deers. Follow the creek for the first 2 miles. You will go through a campsite, and think you're in the wrong direction ... You're not 🙂 As long as you follow the creek, you're in the right direction. In addition to the campground, you will be walking amongst some great big trees which offer nice shade. The forecast for our hike was partially sunny and 65 ... While it ended up being a little warmer, the majority of the trail has full sun exposure, making it feel a lot hotter than it was. The bits of the trail with trees was very welcomed. This time of year has allowed the creeks to actually have running water despite the drought ... This area seems like it would be amazing to go through after a flash flood. There is an amazing array of vegetation.
By starting at this point, you have clocked in about 3 extra miles. You will hit the highway ... Cross the street and enter the trailhead that is to the right of the fire station, go through a metal fence and gate.
You will starting working your way into expansive pasture land with Boulder formations to your left and mountain ranges to your right. The trail is a blend of sections of fine gravel or desert-y clay and rocks. You will not directly end up at the base of the eagle Boulder formation ... It is a section of trail that veers to the left. It is not too difficult to find ... I added a picture of the view of the rocks as you come up on the trail. There is a group of rocks that looks suspiciously like a side view of an eagle, and you can see a path that leads to the back of the formation. It's a perfect spot for pictures, snacks, rehydration and relaxation.
I was also able to find great little meadow clearings and flattened areas ... Outdoor yoga, anyone??
This is an out and back trail, enjoy a slow and easy descent back to the parking area.
- Latitude 33 Blood Orange IPA was quite delicious afterwards
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A Must Do!
Started at the community center in Warner Springs. What a beautiful hike! Shady and wooded at the beginning and then it opens into a beautiful valley. This is a fabulous hike, especially during the spring time when everything is green!
Totally Worth It
This hike was incredible, the views were fantastic and it was in general a perfect hike. A small 18L pack was more than enough. I originally read that the temperature was going to be in the 80 degree range so I brought maybe a bit too much water because only about the last mile is in the sun. The terrain has some slight inclines but is an all around easy hike fit for anyone. We parked near the PCT resupply station and had access to the trailhead in less than 2 minutes. Wonderful hike, wonderful views and a stunning rock formation. It's a bit smaller than I was expecting though.
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