Moonlight Trail

Julian, California

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The well-traveled, somewhat-steep-in-places Moonlight Trail climbs over a rock-strewn saddle, drops into a small wash dubbed Moonlight Canyon, descends past some seeps and a little oasis of willows in the wash bottom, and finally circles back to Agua Caliente Springs. You’ll find the main trailhead at the south end of the campground. Although moonlight treks on this trail are possible, a good flashlight wouldn’t hurt after dark. True to their name, the Tierra Blanca (“white earth”) Mountains that surround Agua Caliente and the Moonlight Trail are composed of light-colored and extensively fractured granitic rock—especially, in this instance, because the Elsinore Fault is here to help with the job of slicing and dicing it. The component mineral crystals of the rocks have broken down into the coarse sand that you’ll be walking on.
Afoot & Afield: San Diego County

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Afoot & Afield: San Diego County

by Jerry Schad (Wilderness Press)

The well-traveled, somewhat-steep-in-places Moonlight Trail climbs over a rock-strewn saddle, drops into a small wash dubbed Moonlight Canyon, descends past some seeps and a little oasis of willows in the wash bottom, and finally circles back to Agua Caliente Springs. You’ll find the main trailhead at the south end of the campground. Although moonlight treks on this trail are possible, a good flashlight wouldn’t hurt after dark. True to their name, the Tierra Blanca (“white earth”) Mountains that surround Agua Caliente and the Moonlight Trail are composed of light-colored and extensively fractured granitic rock—especially, in this instance, because the Elsinore Fault is here to help with the job of slicing and dicing it. The component mineral crystals of the rocks have broken down into the coarse sand that you’ll be walking on.

©  Jerry Schad/Wilderness Press. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Julian
Distance: 1.5
Elevation Gain: 350 feet
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Easy
Duration: 1 hour
Season: October through May
Accessibility: Kid-friendly
Local Contacts: San Diego County Parks and Recreation Department
Local Maps: USGS Agua Caliente Springs
Driving Directions: Directions to Moonlight Trail

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May 2018