Steep hike. The climbs are steep enough that coming down is delicate regardless of how sure-footed you are. Two false peaks will try to drain your resolve. Half mile to the summit is a bit of a bushwhack. Cliffs are another mile+ past the fork at the saddle before the summit. ATT LTE nearly the whole hike. Great to be away from crowds of hikers though. Budget 5 hours at least to hike the trail. Gate closed at 630pm on Sunday in October.
difficult from an endurance standpoint. amazing workout and spectacular views! reserve energy for the hike back. hike on a cool/cold day as there is very little shade. bring lots of water (a few liters minimum per person) and bananas will help if you experience cramping. hiking poles and good tread shoes will be helpful as well. For me this is the toughest hike in the San diego area, but also the most rewarding. enjoy!
Hiked this in JUL/AUG.. Loved this hike because it was a challenge! It was a major workout... The steep and rocky inclines and declines were throughout so it was uphill basically both ways and a lot of rock climbing lol... Many people had a rough time.. Bring a lot of water and a snack... Enjoy the burn and reapply sunscreen frequently! You will fell accomplished after! Get there early!
Annett P. on El Capitan Truck Trail
Hiked this for the first time today. Lots of incline-decline. Didn't get all the way to the top, hit with a little heat stroke. Definitely bring lots of water, and take advantage of the shade where you can get it. Beautiful views and a really quiet trail, breeze is nice towards the top.