Eagle Rock is perhaps the most aptly named rock formation I have ever encountered. Found along the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) just a few miles from highway 79 in Warner Springs, this awesome pile of granite bears an astonishing resemblance to an enormous raptor with outstretched wings. As an added bonus, this short stretch of the PCT travels through a startling variety of landscapes, including a gorgeous riparian oak-lined creek, exposed chaparral expanses, and rolling grass-covered hills. There is something in this hike for everyone!
Knowing we had a long drive, we got an early start and reached the Warner Springs just before eight o’clock. We parked off the roadside across the street from the fire station. The PCT crossed the road here, and there were marked gates on both sides of the road. Our journey would take us southbound, so we crossed the street and found the metal pipe gate on the southwest side of the fire station.
At .25 mile we passed through another metal pipe gate. Just beyond, the California Riding and Hiking Trail (CR&HT) branched off to the left, providing an alternate route for through-hikers to reach town. We continued straight.
In just a few hundred feet we encountered another gate. We ignored the incongruous “No Trespassing Sign” (there is an easement for the PCT/CR&HT trail), passed through the gate, and followed the trail to the left.
The trees began to thin somewhat, leaving us with clear views of the surrounding area. As the trail unfolded before us, I couldn’t help but daydream about hiking the entire Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada.
The trail wound on and on through the open fields. We had been finding plenty of cow poop along the trail, but so far hadn’t encountered any cattle, and were beginning to wondering if we’d see any at all.
Eagle Rock indeed!
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Take 67 north to downtown Ramona where it turns into Main Street and then 78 East. Continue on 78 East for approximately 14 miles, then turn left onto 79 North. Follow 79 North for approximately 13 miles to the Cal Fire Warner Springs Fire Station on the right. Park on the side of the road opposite the fire station, where there is a wide gravel shoulder. map
|Total Distance:||6.5 miles|
|Difficulty:||Easy – Moderate|
|Total Ascent:||988 feet|
|Dog Friendly?:||Leashed dogs allowed|
|Bike Friendly?:||Bikes not allowed|