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9S05 - Indian Flats

4.8/5 (11 reviews)
Aguanga, California (SanDiego County)
Last Updated: 07/08/2019

Trail Information


When looking for an amazing camping spot, look no further then 9S05 - Indian Flats, in the Cleveland National Forest. One of the many features of this trail is the oak tree shaded surroundings making for one of the ultimate California off-road camping excursions. Indian Flats Campground is at the half-way point of this 11.1-mile trail. As you approach the site the views are spectacular into the Warner Springs Valley, Lake Henshaw, and the Palomar Mountains. Indian Flats Campground is shadowed by Hot Springs Mountain, the high point in San Diego County at 6,533 feet.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

Trail Reviews

4.8/5 (11)
Rated 5/5
Visited: 12/19/2021
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Fun Trial, the Indian Flats campground is a great place to take a break, have lunch, and use the restroom. the rest of the trail north is a fun drive with some great views. If you're looking for something exciting, there is a trail up to a lookout off 9S04 - Puerta la Cruz (33.36931, -116.69835). I recommend going up and down one at a time as there is not a lot of space to turn around up top.
Rated 5/5
Visited: 03/12/2021

We only ran this trail from the north trail head to puerta la cruz. We were looking for BLM land to do some target practice. We hit it after snowy week but almost all snow was gone at 4400 feet. Im not sure if it was the clean air, water greening everything up, but it was super pretty up there. While we were there, there was a couple trucks and motorcycle that passed so i think there is a lot of traffic. We even saw a front wheel drive sedan up there. They followed us down to northern trailhead but it must have been rough. We were in 4WH and could have gone to 4WL easily if it was a little wetter. I gather from other reviews that this is the roughest section but i think any 4wd or AWD higher clearance vehicle could do this. I was bummed to see a bunch of toliet paper at cruz intersection. Please bury your waste 🙏 and pick up your trash (brass, wrappers, etc) If you dont, it makes it gross for everyone else.
Visited: 01/02/2021

We just ran this trail today. It's paved up to the Indian Flat campground, which is closed and gated now. The road is narrow and meeting someone head-on would involve backing. Fortunately there are wide spots fairly frequently. We drive a Rubicon, but I did that whole stretch of 5.5 miles or so in 2WD. The views are fabulous and you go through various eco-zones. After the campground, it's a different story - an unpaved road. Very hard ground, not a bit of sand and no rocks to speak of, but it quickly had me in 4Low going just a few miles per hour and rattling our teeth from time to time. In my Subaru Outback, I would have turned around - the EASY rating applies up to the campground, but no longer for the run beyond it. We hit a long stretch of ice on a shelf road, which almost got me me to turn around, but nothing ventured, nothing gained . . . and it was soon behind us. A few miles further and the dirt road through forest became a dirt road through some agricultural areas, then out onto Chiahuahua Road and back home. All in all, a beautiful drive, with a little fizz of adventure in it.
Visited: 08/22/2020

We are new to jeeping. We especially liked this trail because it is easy enough that we didn't feel out if our depth at all but still really felt like it was an adventure with lovely views. We walked a bit of the pacific crest trail with the pups as well. A really fun day.
Visited: 07/26/2020

Pretty easy but a beautiful ride. Camp ground was open half way it looked like. Nice way to do something this summer while social distancing is still being enforced. Nice one to do as a first run or as a solo ride.

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