Popular short hike, but can be very hot.
A short and easy hike on a nice trail. I was back to my car just after the sun came up. Went on to hike Viejas, El Cajon, and Black Mountain for a full day of SDC peaks.
Climbed on a Sunday afternoon, beautiful day but it was definitely a warm one. Stay away from this peak on hot days because-just like the rest of the county-there is absolutely no water! Don't bother going down to three sisters waterfall this late in the year either, hardly any water flowing from what I could see. Eagle peak is still a great and not too challenging hike, so I definitely recommend it on a day under 90 degrees, just remember it can be hotter up there than it is closer to the beach.
I lived in SDCE. This peak is very visible from the SDCE. It is about 5 miles as the crow flies, sitting in the middle of a bowl formed by Gower, Volcan, Cuyumaca, and El Cajon. It is very striking from this angle.
It is about a 45 minute drive to get there, via Santa Ysabel and Pine Hills.
After looking at it for years and having traveled all the access roads numerous times, I eventually got around to hiking it, via the W Ridge, from the junction of the Cedar Creek road and the Eagle Peak road. It is a typical chaparral bushwhack with routefinding. This got burned over in 2003 (Cedar fire) and then again in 2007 (Witch fire) so the chaparral was not very dense at all.
When I was last in the SDCE (August 2010), they had marked out a new trail from SDCE (Thornbush Way/Love Lane/Gower Truck Trail) down to the San Diego River and connecting to the Cedar Falls trail.
Short easy hike. Trip Report
Boulder Creek was pumping and Three Sisters thundering! Felt like I was hiking in Ireland it was so green. Beautiful, short hike. Spent more time driving from El Cajon than I did on the trail!
After Gower. Short hike, cool views. Been here once before on a 3 Sisters/Devil's Punchbowl hike.
Thanks for the excellent descriptions Charley!! Don't know how I would've found the trailhead coming from the north if I didn't have your directions. The climb and hike with my dad was excellent. Headed down to the falls first, were going to find the Devil's Punchbowl but decided against it. Then we climbed cross-country from the falls up to Peak 3042, bushwacked down to the trail and then up to Eagle Peak. Enjoyed the trek!!
Photos of My Eagle Peak Trip
The most challenging part of this walk is staying alert to poison oak, though it wasn't much of a bushwhack as of May 2007. There is a clear and well-ducked use trail leading to the summit. Golden eagles are sighted here regularly, and San Diego Horned Lizard is common on the peak. Highly recommend combining this with a trip to Three Sisters Falls in the canyon below. It's also possible to ascend this peak via the west ridge, from Cedar Creek Falls.
Started at the diablo state park entrance and hike up to the summit in the heat. Got into some poison oak but technu solved that also i had a hard time going up i had the worst pair of shoes possible for hikin (skate shoes) overal it was a good hike.
Thanks to my inability to distinguish left from right (don't worry, I double checked everything I wrote in the route description), the first time I went up the ridge, I ascended the 3000-ft mound to the ESE, which I later dubbed MisPeak. The bushwhacking *did* seem a little more difficult than Jerry Schad described in "Afoot and Afield...".
Anyway, that misadventure scrubbed on account of wife (the bushes were whacking her more than she was whacking them), my second attempt at navigation gave much better results and the really satisfying discovery that hardly anyone ever finds the summit log. Some peaks in San Diego county are so regularly visited the logs look like phone books, so it was nice to find a neat mountain that takes some effort to achieve and pays off with a unique perspective on the life blood of the region (the river).