Eagle Rock – PCT

Both day and through-hikers will be impressed by the natural rock formation known as Eagle Rock located on the Pacific Crest Trail – PCT. In the spring Sally and I camped two nights at Oak Grove Campground so that we could explore the area.

Day Hiking

Even if you are not up through-hiking the PCT yet, there are plenty of places to section hike it. We wanted to see Eagle Rock so we started our section hike in the small town of Warner Springs. This part of the trail is 6.2 miles out and back. It is a heavily used trail and you will be sharing it with lots of hikers and plenty of cows. Dogs are allowed on the trail, but they need to be leashed. Parking is across the street along the highway or at the community resource center, not at the fire station. The actual trail starts at the cattle gate next to the bridge.

If you are planning to do this hike, I suggest late fall, winter, or spring. Summer would be just too hot. There are parts of this hike that are in full sun.

The first part of the hike is through trees and you walk along a creek. The middle part is through pastures and in the springtime we saw lots of wildflowers and lizards. The last part of the trail is wide open with no shade and a lot of sun even on a cool day.

Eagle Rock

Eagle Rock is an aptly named rock formation on the Pacific Crest Trail. You will be amazed at how much it resembles an actual eagle. It looks as though it was carved by a sculpture and not by nature. We were able to scale the rocks behind the eagle and scramble up to the top for a photo. We were there during Spring Break so there was a mix of day hikers, through-hikers, and families with kids. Everyone took turns climbing to the top for their photos. After exploring the formation we found a shady nook next to some nearby rocks and let the dogs take a break from the sun.

Heading Back on the PCT

After a break in the shade, we started our hike back. In general, this is a very flat trail. There are a few inclines but I would rate this trail as easy. The only hard part is the unrelenting sun and we felt it on the way back. We saw cows on our return trip, but they were off in the distance. I have read other hiker’s accounts of cows charging them on this trail, so beware.

Back To The Car

We stopped several times to let the dogs cool off in the creek. Along the way, we saw a few hikers that had set up under the shade and were taking a nap. They were through-hikers that had got an early start and then took a siesta in the middle of the day when the sun was the hottest. We made it back to the car without seeing any snakes or being chased by cows.

Julian

The quaint town of Julian is only 30 minutes from Warner Springs. There are breweries, cideries, and lots of places for apple pie in Julian. We stopped at Julian Beer Co. on Main Street. We shared a pizza and tasted several of their beers. There is plenty of outside seating in both the front and the back. We were there during COVID so we sat outside, but there are also several different rooms to eat inside. Their pizza was great and the guys that work there are very friendly. They even made some chicken and brought it out to our dogs as a special treat.

Day Drinking at Julian Beer Co.

A Good Day

We had a great time hiking to Eagle Rock and we enjoyed Julian. After Julian, we drove back to our campground for the night. There are plenty of other trails in the area and it is the perfect location for a long weekend whether camping or staying in one of the hotels or Airbnbs in the area.

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