The Agua Caliente Section of the PCT extends from Highway 79 northward through oak woodlands. The trail crosses private land and past a private campground before crossing Agua Caliente Creek (seasonal flow) several times. It then contours up along the Creek before climbing east above a tributary drainage and into chaparral. Turning northward, the trail enters oak bottomlands again and begins a series of crossings of Agua Caliente Creek. At about the 4-mile point, the trail begins to climb northwest out of the creek. This segment ends as the trail traverses about 20 vertical feet above and parallel to the Indian Flats road. Watch for poison oak in the bottomlands.
Forest maps available at Palomar Ranger District Office located on Black Canyon Road in Ramona.
Directions: From San Diego, CA, Follow Interstate 8 east to Highway 67. Follow Hwy. 67 north to Ramona. Follow Hwy. 78 east to Santa Ysabel and the junction with Hwy. 79. Follow Hwy. 79 north approximately 15 miles to Agua Caliente Creek (about 1 mile west of Warner Springs). The unmarked trailhead parking is on the left along the road just west of the Agua Caliente Creek bridge. The trail crossing at Hwy. 79 is not currently marked--carefully follow the highway east across the bridge to the crossing. The northern end of this segment is reached via the Indian Flats Road (9S05). This road is accessed from Hwy. 79 about 1.5 miles west of Warner Springs. Drive north approximately 4 miles on this narrow, partially surfaced, partially dirt road along the top of a ridge. As the road turns west it will begin to contour to the south and west of a steep hillside. Within the next 0.25 mile watch for an opportunity to park along the right side of the road. The PCT is reached via a short scramble up the hill as it contours parallel to the road.
Elevation: 2,840 feet
Elevation Gain: 1,240 feet
Distance: 9 miles
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Cleveland National Forest, California
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