Twice hiked Hellhole; March 26, 2016 & December 19, 2015 and enjoyed the terrain with a great group of friends! Both times we racked up 9.50 plus hiking mileage and each time we reached Rodriguez Peak geological mark
Me and Sherpa hiking friend, Swagger completed the Paradise and Rodriquez Mountain gigantic loop, a total of 9.6-plus miles of toughness! This was a rugged long hike. The view from Rodriquez Peak, Geological Marker was amazing! You could see how far away is the trailhead, facing south and facing north you could see Valley View Casino! We started at 0830 hours and arrived back at the trailhead around 1430 hours, after numerous breaks! When we started, we only saw about 8 hikers and only 2 (father/son) did only half of the loop!I could knock this off my bucket list!
Did this hike today and it was really hot, even at 9am. Probably 20 degrees warmer in the canyon then on top. Lots of loose rocks on the trail in many parts. The first mile is almost all down into the canyon and then the rest is up to you. Several different trail options. Other then the heat it was a nice hike. Just remember to save some energy because the last mile is all steep uphill and it's later in the day when it's hotter. Take a lot of water.
heather c. on Hellhole Canyon Open Space Preserve...
This is a nice hike with great mountain views. Ok for pets and kids. The incline back to the top is strenuous but the path in the valley is well marked and wide. The ground is soft dirt so it's easy on the feet. I recommend spring and fall due to the heat in summer months. Trail is closed in August due to the high temps.
This trail was tough in a good way. It gets awfully hot in the day even in February. We enjoyed this trail the only down side was if you come down from the peak on the west side of the mountain the trail is washed away and you can get lost. There are also plenty of snakes so be on lookout!
Tough hike but fantastic views from the top. I did this on a clear sunny day and only just had enough water to get around the whole loop. Start early if the sky is clear, the Valley Center area can get much hotter than other areas in San Diego and there is no shade after the initial walk down into the canyon.
We started this hike at 9am, weather was perfect. We did the whole 9ish mile loop in about 3.5 hrs. This trail is NOT easy. Not sure why this trail is rated easy, but is more intermediate to advanced type of trail. If you do the 9 mile loop, you will be climbing about 2500 ft. The trails are clearly marked, but there are many ruts and rocks on the trails. If you go to the viewpoints, it will add some distance, so our round trip was about 10.7 miles. The views are amazing! We didn't see any other hikers until we were almost back to the start, so I highly recommend this hike if you don't like crowds and really want to get away. There is plenty of free parking at the staging area and we even spoke to a host who gave us some advice about the trail. We didn't see any wildlife, aside from lizards, but there can be snakes, deer and mtn lions in the area. There are also shorter, less difficult trails to take for those not wanting anything too difficult, but either way, there is a climb back up to the staging/parking area at the end, so plan for that. Great, challenging hike up the mtn if you really like to be away from people and in the bush!
Dresden P. on Hellhole Canyon Open Space Preserve...
This hike is deceptively strenuous. Many times I've run across people who spend all their energy getting to the Mountain but forget that the hike back to the car is uphill too. Very little shade throughout. Don't expect the trailhead to have potable water running. Use caution and BRING WATER.