Dripping Springs Campground

Palomar Mountain
Cleveland National Forest


Palomar Observatory


Cleveland National Forest
Attractions and Activities

Visitors to the Cleveland National Forest find a variety of attractions to explore. Campers at Dripping Springs Campground are on the edge of the Agua Tibia Wilderness.

  • Explore the Agua Tibia Wilderness. Find stands of pine, oak and fir at the higher elevations. Hike the 6.8-mile (one way) Dripping Springs Trail to the summit of Agua Tibia Mountain.
  • Tour nearby wineries.
  • Hike 6.6 miles (round trip) to Cedar Creek Falls. the hike is of moderate difficulty. A $6 fee for each 5 people is required.
  • Try your luck fishing at Loveland Reservoir.
  • Join Star Parties at Laguna Mountain and Palomar Mountain.
  • Hike along the Pacific Crest Trail to Kitchen Creek Falls.
  • Enjoy the informative Kwaaymii Cultural Interpretive Trail.
  • Hike the 4.4-mile (round trip) Observatory Trail on Mount Palomar.
  • Ride your horse along the Barker Spur Trail from Palomar Divide Rd. to West Fork San Luis Rey River.
  • Enjoy the view from Henshaw Scenic Vista Observation Site on Highway S7.
  • relax with a picnic at San Luis Rey Picnic Site.
  • Visit San Diego County's Wilderness Gardens Preserve for scenic hiking and bird watching.

Key Dripping Springs Campground Regulations

  1. Fires are only permitted in provided fire rings.
  2. Water: is in short supply so please conserve it.
  3. Dogs must be on leash and attended at all times.

Dripping Springs Campground

Dripping Springs Campground is located off Highway 79 just south of Vail Lake and north of Palomar Mountain. This beautiful campground is adjacent to the Agua Tibia Wilderness. The campground includes 5 Equestrian Campsites. Riders usually head out to the south into the wilderness on the Dripping Springs Trail.

The hills surrounding Dripping Springs Campground are covered in southern California chaparral. Of the 33 sites at the campground, 9 are designated for equestrian use, 2 as tent-only, and the remainder are standard sites.

Dripping Springs Campground Basics
Dripping Springs Campground Location: Along Highway 79, north of Warner Springs, east of Palomar Mountain
Elevation: 1,620 feet
Mileage/Driving Time: 68 miles NE of San Diego - 1:15
40 miles east of Escondido -
  45 minutes
Number of Campsites: 34
Open - Closed: Open June through early March
Max. People per Site: 8 (including children)
Vehicles per Site: 2, 2nd vehicle fee $5
Pets: On leash, always attended
Campground Information: (760) 788-0250

Reservations for Dripping Springs Campground
Reservations available: year-round
Booking Window: from 7 days up to 6 months in advance of arrival
Maximum RV/Trailer Length: 27 feet
Wheelchair Accessible Sites: None designated
Campground Map: Dripping Springs Campground Map
Reservations: Dripping Springs Campground Reservations
Fees: $15 for single sites, $30 for double sites
Check-in, check-out: Noon, 11 AM

Dripping Springs Campground Amenities
Campsites: Picnic table, fire ring; no hook-ups
Campground: Vault toilets, tap water
Showers: No
Dump station: No
Attractions near Dripping Springs Campground: Set out on the 20-mile hiking loop through the Agua Tibia Wilderness. Or choose the 13-mile Dripping Springs Trail. Enjoy other hiking and running trails. Visit nearby Vail Lake Resort with fishing and boating.

General Camping Information

Not all campsites can accommodate trailers or RVs of all lengths. Check carefully on the reservation site when you make your reservation to be sure your vehicle will fit your campsite.

Carry plenty of water on hikes. Tell a responsible person of your itinerary.

Accessible Sites

Designated Accessible sites are usually reserved for people with disabilities who have a vehicle displaying an accessible parking placard or license plate.

Dripping Springs Equestrian Sites

Each of the five equestrian sites can accommodate up to 8 people and 2 vehicles. A horse corral is provided. A horse staging area is nearby.
Reservations: Dripping Springs Campground Reservations
Fee: $15

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