Bernardo Mountain Summit Trail

MODERATE 45 reviews
#1 of 3 trails in

Bernardo Mountain Summit Trail is a 7.4 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Escondido, CA that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

7.4 miles 839 feet Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

hiking

mountain biking

trail running

walking

horseback riding

lake

views

Great hike just off the I-15 in Escondido. Hike past Lake Hodges and up a mountain for views of the surrounding area. This trail is part of a network of trails from Coast to Crest so you can hike as long or as short as you'd like.

hiking
12 days ago

Nice hike, good workout and views without traveling too dar to do it.

hiking
25 days ago

I did this hike today from the parking lot at the end of Sunset Drive and it was 8.2 miles. Great long hike, very easy, with only a few moderate spots. I really appreciated this app today because it helped me find my way on a few spots that were not marked well. Will definitely do again but would not take this hike again at sunset because the view on the way up was nice but dark and long on the way back. Also there were only a few other hikers on the summit portion so that was nice.

hiking
1 month ago

Nice training hike. Started off at about 0700 with a 30 pound pack. I was able to complete this hike in 2 hrs 27 min and had 7.76 as the mileage (did not include about a 30 minute break at the top). There were lots of options to make this hike shorter or longer and plenty of people on the trail. Mostly bikers and some trail runners. I noticed at the San Dieguito Park there were other trails that head off into other directions and offer different challenges. I will certainly come back any try these trails as well. All of them are a part of the Coast to Crest Trail.

3 months ago

Was a nice hike with some challenges and some easy spots. Nice change of pace when you are tired.

hiking
3 months ago

We started our hike at Piedras Pintadas and walked across the pedestrian bridge. It was a cloudy cool day fro a hike up the summit.

3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Hike was great. Good mix between inclines and straightaways. Was terrific!

hiking
4 months ago

Nice trail with few people even on a Sunday morning

hiking
4 months ago

Great hike. Not super strenuous. I'd go so far as to call it moderate to easy. Great views from the top, and not very many other people.

4 months ago

Great mix of incline and straight always. Loved that it wasn't too crowded (went on a Saturday too)

5 months ago

Super fun, my man and I do it all the time. We get on through residential and run it, so it's much shorter.

trail running
5 months ago

It was a tough run because I thought it was a good idea to do it on a 'dry run.'

Nice view on top, however it was kinda funky going around the water thingie.

6 months ago

It was an alright hike, not too memorable, except for the views at the summit.

hiking
6 months ago

Loved the view. Thought it might be too easy at the beginning but half way through it was a good challenge. Would recommend this anytime. Take your dog with you. Cooper loved it too.

hiking
7 months ago

Great workout, you get a good little view, nothing spectacular but nevertheless a great hike. Coming back down goes by much quicker than going up. Does not feel like over 7 miles at all though. Watch out for mountain bikers :)

hiking
9 months ago

This review pertains to the entire hike from San Dieguito River Park off Via Rancho Parkway to the top of Bernardo Mountain and back. Total distance was just under 8 miles, and bear in mind I did this in mid-December when the weather is cool even at midday.

For starters: the San Dieguito River Park Rangers are pretty awesome. I got into a long conversation with Brian, a Ranger before I set out and he explained the entire breadth of the watershed especially the Coast to Crest Trail and how far along the SDRP had come in establishing the trail officially. He was even able help me identify the un-named yet beflagged peninsula that juts out into the Lake Hodges Reservoir (It's Fletcher Point, or Flag point colloquially). Anyway, hats off to the Rangers, and Brian especially.

The hike itself is typical San Diego: hilly, shrubby, boulder-y, you get my drift. Passing under the 15 was interesting but unspectacular. I do reccomend veering off trail about a mile and a half in to peruse the work of Escondido's local graffiti artists. An embankment with a grey boulder of immense size can be seen from the trail against the edge of a neighborhood. The grey boulder has been utterly destroyed, no doubt by the community developer many years ago. The pit is now filled with a rusty bicycle and shards of hundreds of beer bottles, all of which is surrounded by fairly extravagant graffiti. They've been using alot more than just spraypaint here. Take some time and take a look. If that kind of thing bothers you, ask yourself who's done more damage; the developer or the beer guzzling artisits?

Moving up the trail a small bridge erected by "Team Trailbuilders" will take you over an absolutely lovely little creek to the Bernardo Summitt Trailhead. As you follow the north side of the mountain keep an eye out below, as that creek's source is in full view most of the way. It's an exceptionally pretty valley with tall Palm and Eucalyptus trees, and I believe it houses multiple murders of crows, at least it seemed to on my way down.

Bernardo Mountain will not be necessarily easy. I reccomend bringing trekking poles to make sure you don't slip on the way back down, but most hikers won't need them. The peak itself has great views of Lake Hodges all the way out to the ocean, and during the summer would be an incredible spot to watch the sunset. I'm giving it 5 stars because it includes so much and because of the SDRP Rangers. Don't miss this hike. It's worth it.

Happy Hiking

11 months ago

nice diverse terrain and nice gain, but too narrow for mixed trail.

hiking
1 year ago

Nice view, not crowded. Road runners, quails, rattlers, and even deer sometimes by the freeway.

hiking
1 year ago

Not great views (though the lake is nice) and not great conditions, but a good place to get out and cover some miles for training. Consider adding some distance by parking at Rancho Bernardo community park south of the lake and hiking across the foot/bike bridge.

hiking
1 year ago

Strange trail. Park next to highway, walk on pavement for about a mile. Then dirt road for another mile and then get to trailhead. once on trailhead the hike is nice, not much shade at all, just FYI. The last mile or so to summit is steep and rocky but I kind of like that. Only 3 stars because of how odd it is. Lots of mountain bikers today that don't obey the speed limits set and think they have the right of way, they don't. It was over 8 miles RT from the parking area so the 7.2 must be somewhere starting near the suspension bridge. Overall, the views from the top are very nice and don't forget to sign the sheet in the ammo box at the top. I always like that touch.