Arroyo Seco Creek to Agua Tibia Mountain

Hemet, California 92543

Arroyo Seco Creek to Agua Tibia Mountain

Arroyo Seco Creek to Agua Tibia Mountain Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"This rigorous and rewarding all-day trip leads hikers from a deep, brushy canyon to a pine-clad mountain in the southern Peninsular Ranges. Agua Tibia Mountain, the western end of a long hogback ridge known as the Palomar Range or Agua Tibia Range, supports cool forests of Coulter pine on its upper slopes and offers relief to the hikers who slog for miles up the mountain’s hot, brushchoked lower slopes. The Agua Tibia Range is one of many San Diego and Riverside County mountain masses belonging to California’s Peninsular Ranges province. Fundamentally, these are southern California’s coast ranges, which extend southward from the Los Angeles Basin for the entire length of Baja California. Coulter pine (or big-cone pine), a conifer indigenous to California and northern Baja California, forms extensive forests along the upper reaches of the Agua Tibia Range and other relatively high ranges in San Diego County. It inhabits dry rocky slopes between 3,000 and 7,000 feet in elevation, growing in pure stands or mixing with other conifers and oaks.With needles in bundles of three, it resembles the ponderosa and Jeffrey pines. However, its distinguishing characteristic is its large cones. Reaching 10 to 14 inches in length and weighing as much as five pounds, the heavy, clawed cones are the largest of the American pine cones."

Arroyo Seco Creek to Agua Tibia Mountain Trip Reports

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This is a long day hike that is very much worth it, it's one of the best in SD. The ascent is steady and moderate (it takes about 4 hours on the way up), and the view of the Southern California mountains to the north is remarkable. We went in April and the hillsides were exploding with wildflowers. Very very lovely.

As of April 2008, this area was closed to overnight camping. Also, the trail report description of the very end of the trail is either outdated, or we took a wrong turn. We never ended up shaded by pine and oak trees. Regardless, the view from the top was sweet.

Arroyo Seco Creek to Agua Tibia Mountain Photos

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Trail Information

Nearby City
3,075 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Skill Level
7 to 8 hours
Best November through May
1,625 feet
Trailhead Elevation
4,700 feet
Top Elevation
Cleveland National Forest, Palomar Ranger District, Agua Tibia Wilderness
Local Contacts
USGS Vail Lake
Local Maps

Trail Log