Agua Tibia Mountain
By: Gabriele Rau
Sierra Club HPS/LPC
Tom Hill, Mars Bonfire, Richard Withcomb, George Wysup, Virgil Popescu, Don ?, James Carden, Dorothy Danziger, Judy Humminger, Janet Yang
We started in the dark at 6:00 AM at Dripping Springs Campground. At the end of the paved road (pretty nice campground!) there is a trailboard on the left side, with an excellent map. The trail starts here, immediately crossing a stream, then going uphill with many switchbacks. We had a good pace. This is all chaparral, with Red Shank Chamise. The trail dips down to a flat area, then climbs again. There are about 17 logs one has to climb over, some brush, but not bad. Generally, the trail is good. After 7 miles there is a woodsy area and the trail meets the Palomar-Magee road. There is even a sign! This would be a good camping area, but there is no water. We got here around 9:00 AM . Then we hiked east (left) on the road. This road is more overgrown than the trail, many more logs to climb under/over. After about 1 mile we realized the hill on the left was the peak, but it had very thick brush all over. Finally we found an area and went in, but it was heavy bushwacking, climbing on bushes, not on ground, and fallen logs. There are 2 stone outcrops, the USGS marker/can in the area in between on some flat rock. We got here at 11:15. The view was not particular good, but it was clear and sunny. We signed in, some climbed the high summit rock, and 6 decided to go on to Eagle Craig. We left at 11:45, left 2 ducks and a red tape in the tree where we got out. Richard, Judy, Tom, Dorothy and I hiked back together the same trail. Now the sky turned cloudy and it really looked like rain, but when we came down to the campground, the sun was out again. 3:30 PM. That was 9h 15‘ for the 17 miles, 3200‘ gain hike.
Because of the heavy bushwacking this should be an I-rated trip. It was cool all day, good hiking weather. There was some intermittent snow on the Palomar-McGee road. Good hike, but strenuous!
The others continued on the road to Eagle Craig, they arrived 2.5 h (2 pm) on Eagle Craig. The road was fair to good according to George. To the summit (ducks), they stayed on the right side of the gully until 200 yard from the summit, which seemed easier than Agua Tibia. They hiked back to Crosley Saddle where a sign said: Dripping Springs 10 miles. This was a wide road (trail) for the first 4 miles, gradual downhill, then uphill and contoured around Wildhorse Peak, then down to the Dripping Springs Trail. George figured 11 miles from the saddle. They got to the cars at 6:40, total about 25 or 26 miles.
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