Cleveland National Forest

This 25-site campground is the gateway to the Agua Tibia Wilderness. Open all year, Dripping Springs is 14 miles northwest of Oak Grove and 11 miles east of Temecula on Highway 79. Most of the units are first-come, first-served and suitable for camp trailers; 12 of them are designed as double-family sites. Amenities include tables, vault toilets and fire rings with stand-up grills.

Palomar Ranger District
1634 Black Canyon Road
Ramona, CA 92065
(760) 788-0250
Fax (760) 788-6130

The Agua Tibia was established as a wilderness on January 3, 1975. This 15,934-acre area is mountainous and cut by many deep canyons containing only intermittent streams. Vegetation is mostly chaparral with oak woodlands and some coniferous forests at the higher elevations. Elevation ranges from 1,700 feet in the canyon bottoms to the 5,077 foot Eagle Crag Peak at the southeast corner. Small pools of water in the canyon bottoms become warm in summer months and thus the name Agua Tibia—Spanish for warm water. Summer temperatures may exceed 100 degrees in the canyons and on the slopes, but are a moderate 80-90 degrees at upper elevations. Rain averages 25 inches annually and falls usually from January through April. Snow falls on upper slopes occasionally. The best time to hike is late autumn through midspring.

Agua Tibia has 25 miles of trail. Trail layout and map information can be obtained from the Vail Lake and Pechanga USGS 7.5 minute topographic maps. Trailhead parking is provided just after you turn off Highway 79 before entering Dripping Springs Campground.

Visitor use permits are required for overnight stays in the wilderness. Permits may be obtained by contacting the Palomar Ranger District.

Campfires are not permitted in the Agua Tibia Wilderness, however, fuel stoves are allowed.

Pets are allowed in the wilderness, but they must be on a leash

Be prepared for all types of weather conditions. Bring plenty of water, sunglasses, sun screen, sturdy boots and appropriate clothing.

These two trails have the same trailhead at the South end of the camping area.  The Dripping Springs Trail starts out by crossing the Arroyo Seco Creek. Within a short distance you will reach a fork in the trail... The Wild Horse Trail leads off to the left while the Dripping Springs Trail leads to the right.  Signs are posted, and the trails are in excellent condition.

Wild Horse Trail

Dripping Springs Trail

General Location: Eastern Portion of the Agua Tibia Wilderness.
Access:  Dripping Springs Campground
Length and Elevation:  9.7 miles, 1,750' to 3,930'. The trail begins near the bottom of the Dripping Springs Trail, parallels the Arroyo Seco Creek for about two miles, and gains elevation as it proceeds South.
General location: Northern portion of the Agua Tibia Wilderness.
Access: Dripping Springs Campground.
Length and elevation: 6.8 miles, 1,600 ' to 4,400'.
This trail starts at the south end of Dripping Springs Campground, crosses the Arroyo Seco Creek, and then ascends Agua Tibia mountain. Vail Lake and the San Bernardino Mountains can be seen as the trail gains elevation. Low shrubs at the bottom of the trail change to chaparral, oak woodland, and then mixed conifers as the trail ascends.

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