Ultimate Guide: Eagle Rock San Diego

Eagle Rock

Eagle Rock is a great family friendly hike in Warner Springs. It’s great because you don’t have to squint or look at it a certain way to see the Eagle, like some other rock formations. You couldn’t miss Eagle Rock if you tried. Even better, it’s off the Pacific Crest Trail. The hiking path that goes all the way from Mexico to Canada. 

Great for all ages, Eagle Rock is a well maintained 6.4 mile hike about 1 hr and a half from downtown San Diego and North County. Like the name implies, the hike ends at a ginormous Eagle Rock. Part of the PCT, this hike is dog friendly. 

Here are the Deets

  • Trailhead: Copy and paste these coordinates into your maps app 33.272927, -116.645474
  • Distance: 6.4 miles
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Est time: 2.5 hours
  • Dog Friendly: Yes
  • Parking: Side of the main road
  • All Trails Link

The Eagle Rock trailhead is located right next to the fire station. You start off passing through a gate. Be sure to lock it properly after you enter. The gates are there to keep cattle from escaping. If you’re lucky you might even be able to spot a few on your hike! You’ll pass through 2 more gates like this. 

The first mile and a half goes along a creek with large oak trees providing you with sun coverage. In the summer and late fall, the creek is dried up. It’s great scenery nonetheless! Enjoy the shade while it lasts. Eventually the trail becomes exposed. This part of the hike takes you through flat grasslands with mountains in the distance. It’s a whole another scenery from the first part of the hike. San Diego is a special place where you get to experience so many different landscapes in the same city. Eagle Rock lives up to that. 

picture of eagle rock hiking path

Best time to do this hike is during the winter months to skip the heat. After some rain, the creek will have some water and in early spring the grasslands will be green with some wildflowers. In the summer this hike can be extremely hot, so start early! 

You’ll be able to spot the back of Eagle Rock once you’re about 2.75 miles in. Continue to follow the path until you reach the infamous rock. Once you’ve taken your photos and enjoyed the views, head back the same way you came. 

Click here for a list of other dog friendly hikes in San Diego.

Why is Eagle Rock so popular?

The obvious reason being to see Eagle Rock! Besides that there’s a few more things that make this hike popular:

  1. Easily accessible
  2. Family & dog friendly
  3. Partly shaded hike (not the easiest to come by in San Diego)
  4. Great beginner’s hike 
  5. Part of the PCT

About the PCT

Picture of eagle rock trail markers

In case you don’t know the PCT is a 2,650 mile hiking trail that goes through CA, WA, and OR. It takes about 5 months to complete the entire PCT. People come from all over the US to complete this hike and enjoy the outdoors.

Eagle Rock is just 6.4 miles of that 2,650 mile feat. The trail has PCT markers to guide you along the way. Hiking the PCT is always a unique experience. I couldn’t help but think about all the people who completed this hike.

Is Eagle Rock man made?

No. According to Hidden San Diego, Eagle Rock is not man made. It’s a natural rock formation, and an amazing thing to see. The resemblance to an Eagle is undeniable. It’s about 15 feet high, if not taller. 

Post Brews and Burgers

Whether you’re coming from north county or downtown, Julian is on the way home. Julian is home to great cideries, wineries, and breweries. Something to drink for everyone. Also famous for their Julian Pie!

If you take a slightly longer route home, passing by Escondido, I highly recommend Stone Brewery. Such great food and beers. Their outdoor seating area is awesome! Note- they are currently only taking online reservations because of COVID. Book your reservation before your hike!

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