off road driving
Trail is actually straightforward and easy. There is a small (well depending on your fitness) incline about 70% of the way to the Kanaka loop.
There are many cows on the trail Like some would be on the side of some steep cliffs and you'd be like wtf how did that dude get up there? He aint no goat! Anyways, this is a pretty awesome hike, one of the best in San Diego county in my opinion. I prefer this over volcan and the santa ysabel west. There is no option for a 4.5 star so I'll give it 5.
We did this hike yesterday with my 4 year old daughter. It was a nice semi-shady hike and not tons of people. We saw turkey, a bald eagle and plenty of squirrels. We tried to follow the loop shown but there really isn't a path for the last half of the loop. We will definitely be back out here again!
This was a pretty fun trail we started around 9am and finished a couple hours later. The way up was easy enough with some shady spots and a breeze which definitely helped! We took the 5 Oak trail on the way down which was nice to get different scenery but was more within the forest. There was also poison oak.
We noticed every time we got in the shade, a swarm of flies wouldn't leave us alone! That was our biggest complaint. We saw a sheriff exiting the trail just as we started with a net covering his whole head and I wouldn't do this trail again with out one of those.
Also fun, at the bottom of the hill/entrance point there a couple wineries with tasting rooms and a u-pick apple orchard.
I hiked this on superbowl sunday 2016 and still made it home to watch the game. I got lucky because it was an incredibly clear day albeit very windy with santa ana winds. It was clear enough to see the Salton Sea to the east and Catalina Island in the west. Never imagined that i could get that lucky. I posted some pictures here that just dont do it justice. Ive hiked dozens of peaks all over SAan Diego county and this is dfinetly my favorite view. You can really observe alot of different peaks from this vantage point. Highly recommend this hike for anyone that hasnt already done.
One last thing- I stayed on the fireroad all the way up but on the way down split off on the Five Oaks trail which is a very nice single track with great views from the side of the mountain.
It was gorgeous. Went out with a few friends mid-october of last year, and it was cool in the morning with lots of shade. Almost lost my hat on top of the peak, but the views would've made it worth it. Full 360° view, and a great place for lunch/pictures.