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Ascent of Agua Tibia Mountain on 2018-01-14

Climber: Richard Hensley

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Sunday, January 14, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Agua Tibia Mountain
    Location:USA-California
    Elevation:4779 ft / 1456 m

Ascent Trip Report

Report modified. Since writing the following, I have been informed that Kelly has been clearing a lot of brush on this trail. Subsequent reports indicate the trail is in much better shape thanks to her. It'll grow back, so get this one while it's good.

Original Report:
The Dripping Springs Trail came to my attention in Stienstra & Brown's book California Hiking. It is indeed a great trail. It's mostly like a railroad grade, but slightly steeper, and well-cleared of brush; rarely level or steeper. Great for setting an aerobic pace.

But it all changes after the sign that you're now on the Palomar-Magee Trail. This is a good place to don your bushwhacking gear. Thanks to Leroy's report, I came prepared. Despite being too warm, I wore a long-sleeve rip-proof shirt, light gloves, a cap to deflect branches, and sunglasses (in the shade) for eye protection. Hobbits would love this trail. But if you're taller than 4'6", be prepared to walk hunched over, and 6'ers add bent knees. Other places it was all across, and the best way was to raise my forearms across my face, and "rope-a-dope" through. But having a good trail below the brush still made it a lot easier than an off-trail bushwhack. These 40 minutes went by quick. As you're ducking through the brush, look for a fallen cairn on the left marking the start of the use trail. Starts really bad, but most of it gets better.

Surprisingly, there's a 25x25' dirt clearing near the top, making a nice campsite. And the finish is a nice class 3 scramble up a 14' monolith. So you get a good look around, from San Diego to off-shore islands to San Gorgonio.

With the techniques down, it only took 25 minutes from the top to the clear trail.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:3722 ft / 1134 m
    Total Elevation Loss:3722 ft / 1134 m
    Round-Trip Distance:16 mi / 25.8 km
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack, Scramble
    Weather:thick ci; viz 75mi; lgt wind; warm
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:3462 ft / 1055 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 3202 ft / 976 m; Extra: 260 ft / 79m
    Loss on way in:260 ft / 79 m
    Distance:8 mi / 12.9 km
    Route:Dripping Spgs Tr; Palomar-Magee Tr; use trail
    Start Trailhead:Dripping Springs lot  1577 ft / 480 m
    Time:4 Hours 9 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:3462 ft / 1055 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 3202 ft / 976 m; Extra: 260 ft / 79m
    Gain on way out:260 ft / 79 m
    Distance:8 mi / 12.9 km
    Route:reversed
    End Trailhead:Dripping Springs lot  1577 ft / 480 m
    Time:3 Hours 5 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip


 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Richard Hensley
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Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. Peakbagger.com accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

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