Agua Tibia Wilderness


The Agua Tibia Wilderness is in Riverside and San Diego counties, California. It is mostly within the Palomar Ranger District of the Cleveland National Forest.

The steep, chaparral-covered mountains give way to stands of fir, pine, and oak at higher elevations that rise above 4,400 feet on Agua Tibia Mountain and above 5,000 feet on Eagle Crag. Untouched by wildfire for what may be more than a century, some of the dense stands of chaparral have manzanita and red shank reaching higher than 20 feet.
Map of Agua Tibia Wilderness

Although light snow may fall in winter, summer temperatures often exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit and water may be hard to find. The western portion of this wilderness is dry and seldom seen.

Agua Tibia Wilderness

Established: 1975
State: California
U.S. Forest Service
Bureau of Land Management
Acres: 17,882 acres
Nearest Town:

In 2007 the Poomacha fire burned approximately 1,500 acres in the Agua Tibia Wilderness. Efforts continue to rehabilitate the burn area.


The Dripping Springs Trail (about 6.8 miles long), is part of approximately 25 miles of pathways. It receives light human use and provides the main access to the area. The trail crosses boulder-strewn Arroyo Seco Creek and climbs Agua Tibia Mountain with splendid views of the mountains of southern California.

View from top of Agua Tibia WildernessFrom the crest of the mountain, the Palomar-McGee Trail (about 5.5 miles) enters a forest, descends to Crosley Saddle, and continues south near Eagle Crag before branching off into the Wilderness.


No overnight use of pack stock is permitted.

Campfires, hibachis, and barbecues are not allowed.

Groups are limited to 15 people.

Parking fees are charged at Trailhead Parking Areas.