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See the Retired Peak Guides in the Archives for Microsoft Word and other versions of this peak guide.


Hot Springs Mountain


Location: San Diego County, about 4 miles northeast of Warner Springs, 140 miles from Los Angeles


Auto ClubRiverside County, San Diego County
Forest ServiceCleveland National Forest
USGS TopoHot Springs Mtn 7½
Official HPS Maps TPO file - Save to your computer then open with National Geographic TOPO!
 Viewable JPG file - Approximately 1.1 megs
 GPX file or Google Earth KML file to download to GPS units and other map software (How to use GPX and KML files)
 Routes as shown on CalTopo using the above files (How to use CalTopo)

Printable version of this route


(Entrance Fee required)
Distance: 1/4 mile round trip
Gain: 80'
Time: 15 minutes
Rating: Drive-up

Original: George Christiansen, December 2016


Note: Two 4WD vehicles are required for drive-ups from the guard gate.
  • Take I-15 south to Temecula.
  • Go east on SR 79 about 37 miles past Aguanga to Warner Springs.
  • From the service station in Warner Springs, drive 0.3 mile south on SR 79 to Camino San Ignacio Road on the left (east), with sign "Los Coyotes Reservation". Turn left on this paved road. Note your odometer and go as follows.
  • At 0.6 mile, fork. Go right.
  • At 5.0 miles, stop at a shack with a stop sign. The Los Coyotes charge an entrance fee to enter their land ($25 day use fee per vehicle in 2016). For driving up, you much check in with the Guard (8AM to 6PM daily), with two 4WD Vehicles, pay the day fee, and obtain a key to the chained entrance on the road in.
  • At 5.1 miles, fork. Turn left (north) on Hot Springs Mountain Road. The dirt road is chained a short way in after passing some houses. Note your odometer.
  • At 10 miles in from the locked and chained entrance is a large parking area and the abandoned fire lookout. Park here.


  • From the parking area, walk northeast on a faint trail 1/8 mile to the summit, which has a large rock topped by a concrete platform.
  • The register is just west of this rock. Please do not move the register up to the obvious indention in the concrete platform: rains fill the indentation and ruin the register.

Printable version of this route


(Entrance Fee required)
Distance: 10 miles round trip
Gain: 2500'
Time: 4-5 hours
Rating: Easy

Original: George Christiansen, December 2016


  • Same as Route 1 above, but from the entrance station at 5.0 miles, continue 2.7 miles additional to the Campground and Sukat Road.


  • From the parking area, walk up Sukat Road past the chained and locked entrance to the summit. Stay on the main road and you will connect with Hot Springs Mountain Road near the summit. Coming down, make sure that you stay left on Sukat Road at this fork.


The summit is within the Los Coyotes Indian Reservation. Call ahead to make sure the gate and road is open. There is a fee to enter the reservation. On 1 Jan 2017, the fee was $10 for per vehicle for day use, or hiking Route 2 on Sukat Road. To drive to the peak via either Hot Springs Mountain Road or Sukat Road the charge is $25 per vehicle, and the tribe requires that two vehicles be used in order to drive the route. Fee for overnight camping is also $25.

Gate is generally open seven days / 365, but occasionally closed. If hiking, you can enter before 8:00AM and pay as you exit. Call ahead to confirm. Please be respectful of the area and rules of entry. The area has been closed to entry in the past, apparently due to issues with visitors.

For further information and status contact:

Kerry (12/20/2016) Ranger at the Guard Shack
(760) 782-2790 Sun thru Wed

Alternate Ranger -- Thurs thru Sat

Secondary contact: (if a new Ranger is assigned)

Los Coyotes Band of Indians
PO Box 189
Warner Springs, CA 92086
Phone (760) 782-0711
Fax (760) 782-2701


The peak is the highest point in San Diego County.

History of Summit Signature

Climbing Archives

Please report any corrections or changes to the Mountain Records Chair.

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