One of best parks in San Diego County
SoCal Guy E. on Elfin Forest Olivenhain Reserve Loo...
Fun trails, well maintained, natural terrain, not crowded, beautiful views
Truth be told when I tried this hike back in the spring, I made it about half way up and gave up. Take note: I am about 140lbs overweight, sadly. So, finally this fall I decided I would tackle it again. I have lost 20lbs (so far) from hiking and cutting calories. I have hiked this trail 4 times now within a three week time frame. As an overweight gal, I burn well over 1500 calories on this trail. My 3 yr old Bichon Frise goes with me every time. I love the friendly people, I like it when the mountain bikers actually do have bells. I do stop about 5-7 times going up but the hike up is worth it.
I had never hiked before and decided to take my daughters on this hike, at the suggestion of my Ironman friend, who will remain nameless. We did the mile straight up and then decided to follow a path that went way out into the hot sunny desert with miles of switchbacks and no end in sight. We kept spotting people on clifflike trails far off in the distance. We would point and say OMG THANK GOD that is not us and then an hour later there we were. Finally, we passed a woman and her dog JOGGING and she said we only had another few switchbacks to get to the top. After stopping in the doggy graveyard we had to go all the way down again. It was a great hike but hot and dry and loooonger than I had thought. Not great trail markers at the time I went.
So this hike is switched back up hill for at least the 1st Miles after that little rolling hills and flat I started at 6:30 am but the park does not open till 8am so had to park on the side of the road ..... great views I would bring water this is a good easy /moderate hike the first part is the hardest after that not to bad ..... I did the whole hike it took me 3hr to do I'm slow and took brakes to see the view .... my Fitbit said I did 7 miles .... trail is well marked I only got lost once ..... but if you go during the day there will be no shade and very hot ..... also get there early if you want a spot to park gets full quick.