Afoot & Afield: San Diego County: 282 Spectacular Outings Along the Coast, Foothills, Mountains, and Desert

Afoot & Afield: San Diego County: 282 Spectacular Outings Along the Coast, Foothills, Mountains, and Desert

by Jerry Schad, Scott Turner

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Overview

Since 1986, Jerry Schad's Afoot and Afield: San Diego County has been the premier trail guide for hikers, backpackers, and mountain bikers. It describes routes ranging from brief, family-friendly hikes to multiple-day overnight trips in remote regions of the backcountry, providing equal weight to the scenic and recreational value of each trip. Each route features at least one or more significant botanical, cultural, or geological highlight with detailed information about what makes each one significant. The book's lengthy history as the preferred hiking guide for the region creates trust and recognition in its readers, while the variety within the book caters to a wide population of recreational enthusiasts.

Current co-author Scott Turner has fully updated the book by re-hiking each of the routes contained within the book and adding (up to) 30 new routes to ensure that information for each trip is fully current.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780899978024
Publisher: Wilderness Press
Publication date: 02/20/2017
Series: Afoot & Afield
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 512
File size: 34 MB
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About the Author

Jerry Schad was the author of 15 books before his death at age 61 from kidney cancer.

Scott Turner has been exploring the Southern California backcountry for more than a decade. He lives in Vista, CA, with his beautiful wife and temperamental cat.

Read an Excerpt

Eagle Crag

  • Distance 16.2 miles (out-and-back)
  • Hiking Time 11 hours
  • Elevation Gain/Loss 3,800'/3,800'
  • Difficulty Strenuous
  • Trail Use Suitable for backpacking, dogs allowed
  • Best Times November–May
  • Agency CNF/PD
  • Recommended Maps USGS Aguanga and USGS Vail Lake
  • Optional Map Cleveland National Forest’s A Guide to the Agua Tibia & San Mateo Canyon Wilderness (does not cover entire route)
  • Notes Navigation required, moderate–difficult (near the top) terrain, bushwhacking
This out-and-back route across Cleveland National Forest lands on Palomar’s north slopes traverses some wild and lonely country—in fact, some of the most remote territory found anywhere in Southern California. The destination is Eagle Crag, a granite outcrop upon which you can sit with dangling legs and contemplate the sheer drop of 1,000 or more feet below you. Be aware that the route begins outside the Agua Tibia Wilderness, and is only partially mapped on the U.S. Forest Service topographic map/brochure for Agua Tibia Wilderness.

On the way, you’ll cross a number of small streams that may flow in winter and spring, particularly during wet years. Remember that this water must be purified for drinking purposes.

Start off by descending sharply on the Cutca Trail into the shady depths of Cottonwood Creek, 0.5 mile. Climb to a saddle at 1.2 miles, then descend slightly to the Aguanga Trail junction at 2.1 miles. (The poorly maintained Aguanga Trail, which goes north, runs into private property near the Riverside County line.)

Continue over rolling terrain, through chaparral and oaks, crossing Long Canyon and two of its tributaries. These streambeds occasionally have water until early summer. Nearing Cutca Valley, you strike Cutca Road at 5.0 miles. Walk 0.4 mile north on the dirt road into Cutca Valley, then resume westward travel on the Cutca Trail. The valley, with its flat, open spaces, is a good spot to spend the night if you’re backpacking.

Rise out of the valley, cross the signed Agua Tibia Wilderness boundary, and follow a shady ravine with a seasonal, trickling brook. Sword ferns on the bank flutter in the cool and languid breeze. Switchbacks take you up to a junction with the Palomar-Magee Trail (7.6 miles), which is the old roadbed following the Palomar–Agua Tibia crest. From this junction, or from another point 0.2 mile west, you may make your bid for Eagle Crag. This involves a short, steep, cross-country climb through a ravine. Before the ravine reaches the crest, turn right to pass through thick and scratchy chaparral vegetation. Much of this vegetation burned during the Poomacha Fire, and large thickets of poodle-dog bush mingle with the skeletal remains of manzanita and other chaparral species. The rock pile at the apex of Eagle Crag’s sheer south face offers a dramatic platform for a vista unparalleled at any other site in the Palomar area.

DIRECTIONS
FromI-15 at Temecula, exit at CA 79. Drive 18 miles east on CA 79 to reach the hamlet of Aguanga, at the intersection of CA 79 and CA 371. Continue on CA 79 for another 0.3 mile to reach a paved access road into the Rancho California RV Resort on the right. Head south on this road, which continues beyond the resort entryway as Forest Road 8S05/High Point Road. Drive a total of 5 miles south on this mostly unpaved and occasionally very rough road to the signed CUTCA TRAIL on the right. Note that Cleveland National Forest closes the road during and immediately after inclement weather.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Overview Map

Preface

Introducing San Diego County

Health, Safety, and Courtesy

Using this Book

Overview of Hikes

The Trails

Best Hikes

Recommended Reading

Local Organizations

Agencies and Information Sources

Index

About the Authors

Customer Reviews