dogs on leash


trail running


nature trips


mountain biking

wild flowers

kid friendly



More trails and rock-climbing opportunities than you can shake a stick at! Trails for every level of ability, walking, running, hiking, biking and skating. Bring your kids, bring your dogs, bring your grandparents, there is something for everyone here. This park is a photographer's delight and is accessible 24/7. There's plenty of wildlife here for birdwatchers to deer-stalkers (but, please, no weapons, this is not a hunting ground). Be sure to bring your Camelback and snacks, this is wilderness in the middle of suburbia.

Quick hike but a good workout with a beautiful 360 degree view at the end! The only thing I didn't like was how busy it was, even at 7 at night. Either way it's a great after work type of hike :)

Nice trail for hiking, running. Barely any shade on trail, so plan ahead based. upon temperature. Starting with South Fortuna side to avoid steep stairs on your way back.

Very crowded but close to home. Steeper the first 3/4 mile then switchbacks and the second 3/4. Not a bad hike for being in the middle of a city, i prefer the mtns/trails by julian since i have kids and the tails are less crowded

trail running
10 days ago

Good trail, not overgrown and well marked. Secluded, wildlife is tall. Opens up during the last half mile on a service road to the top of Cowels mountain. Good for running, not to rocky. Cowels front side has much more rocks and to many people. Didn't like the top part of the service road, didn't have a nature feel to it.

This is an awesome trail especially for running :)

12 days ago

This was my first hike with my dog and it's great for beginners that are in ok shape. I started at the trail head by Big Rock Park and the incline wasn't too bad. The trail gets steeper towards the end of the trail. There are no shade areas and is light to moderate trafficked. The bonus was the dog bowls about the 3/4 mark with water for dogs. It seems to be a take some/ leave some watering hole. Overall nice hike with ok views that is an alternate lead in to Cowles Mt.

This was a pretty easy-peezy trail, mainly because it's very short. It's still quite a tiring hike, but a great quick workout to start. I wouldn't say this trail was terribly difficult. Definitely seems like a great place to get a good hike up and do some rock climbing.

12 days ago

I hiked it multiple times. Sweet memories.

Nice trail with many alternative trails. Will come back to try the different trails.

great work out trail

trail running
16 days ago

Great loop for trail running. I would recommend doing it counter clockwise so that you climb the stairs up to South Fortuna first. This will get your climbs done early and the back half is easily runnable.

The only major downside is that there are too many trails so that it can be frustrating to navigate, especially the Western part. Even after doing it a few times, I still need to pull my phone out a few times to figure out which way to go.

trail running
17 days ago

Also known as Cowles "Backside" is more challenging than the "Front Side". Much steeper in a lot of places & is less traveled ... not nearly as crowded as the "Front Side". Kinda pushes you on the way down!

21 days ago

I hiked the trail clockwise in two hours, with only two short breaks. Steep in some sections, the stairs might have been the hardest part even though I was going downhill.

This trail is heavily traveled but a great trail.

I enjoyed this trail. It's pretty quick, but the view from the top is amazing!

24 days ago

fun, populated trail. did it with children 9 and 13. not a long trail, but good incline.

Great hike/run. Bagging all five peaks in one day is the best way to truly see mission trails. Start early! You can link all five by hiking on road from the Santee side near the campground to the backside of cowles mountain.

went on a pretty hot day. it was really hot in the beginning but got a little better in the middle of the hike. the signs are really confusing and no arrows along the trail. just posted signs. we started off the fortuna trail and ended up on the Rim trail loop. the rim trail was fun. the view up there was worth it. i wouldn't go again though unless on a cool day and if they improve on the directions.