Explore the best forest trails near San Diego with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.
Alicia V. on Cowles Mountain Trail
It has a very nice view, but it's always crowded here.
Beware!!! I was hiking at 4:30pm this afternoon with my 5 yr old and 2 yr old. We heard, then saw, a large rattlesnake about 18 inches away from my 2 yr old. We were in the middle of the trail and the snake was just off the trail in the tall grass. I'm extremely upset, as I am an avid hiker and have never encountered a rattlesnake on this trail in the past. With the amazing rain this year the canyon is lush and green and just perfectly serene. Unfortunately, I won't be taking the kids back here anytime soon, as they love to retrieve sticks and this easily could have been a fatal afternoon for my youngest, who weighs 25 lbs. That being said, grab your thickest boots and a walking stick and enjoy this trail, maybe leave the dogs and kids at home. The waterfall is beautiful right now and despite danger for the littler ones, it should not be missed.