Explore adventures with kona - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

adventures with kona Map
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hiking
2 days ago

Hike was fun and enjoyable. Views of large rocky hills go on for miles on all sides. Signage was good. Went on a sunday afternoon so it was decently crowded but not too bad - still quiet. A lot of turns keep you winding around the hills. Watch your step - almost stepped on a rattlesnake out bathing himself :)

Went on a weekday, and there were barely any hikers or riders on the trail. Surely challenging the last mile, but well worth it!

beautiful and clean trail

I will forever have a special place in my heart for this mountain. In April of 2018 I started my new journey to lose weight. I am so proud to say by July 2018 I had lost 40lbs. I hiked and still hike Cowles 2-3 time a week and that was it. This hike is great for beginners and experienced hikers. Don’t give up in the hard areas you can do it! The view is worth it. I like to cut from the front trail to the back trail at the top for a nice steep incline at the top. Have fun!

hiking
3 days ago

14OCT2018- 65 to 68 degree(F) Good hike. A lot of view going up and down.. too cloudy when we got at the top barely see any scenic view.

it was awesome

Been living here my whole life and didn’t know this trail existed until this plastic summer, hidden from the hustle and bustle of Del Mar and Solana Beach with beautiful scenery and fun cave hiking. Pretty narrow but very kid friendly.

Did this hike in October with fall temperatures. The rating of hard I believe depends on what time of year you go and what the temperature outside is. For us we started at around 9 am and the weather was perfect. On our way back around noon it was definitely hotter and more strenuous. Bring lots of water and snacks. Very well maintained hike! The rock requires you to make a somewhat questionable jump from one rock to another. Once you do it it’s not so bad. You have to lower yourself with your arms and get your footing on the potato chip rock. To get down I slid down the side of the rock. Overall great hike!

This was a great hike.
Only advice is....be in good cardio shape for this hike, or it will kick your butt!

Awesome hike

Great trail for any age group and fur babies. I'm def not in shape and was fine. Rocky ground so my hiking boots helped immensely! Hiked Saturday around 530 pm and headed down as the sun was setting, perfect weather and time. Less ppl then the last time I went on a Sunday.

hiking
11 days ago

Great Hike! Walked up and ran back down. Great to see a Ranger on the trail. Great views once you reach the top! definitely coming back!

hiking
11 days ago

Uneventful and busy. If you are new to hiking its good though.

hiking
12 days ago

Favorite hike of all trails in Mission trails, short not too busy and will kick your butt with the steep area.

trail running
12 days ago

The good- This IS a great trail to hike and especially trail run due to a relatively moderate incline and flat stretches, and a nice 1/2 mile cool down at the end. The views are wonderful in all directions, with a wonderful spotting scope, with a mountain-identifier pointer, completed in 2017 by an Eagle Scout. The view west as you gain the mid mountain saddle is as good as it gets in central SD county; pause and enjoy because you still have half the vertical elevation ahead of you to reach the top.
The not so good- this hike has become so discovered, as so many trails have in the last decade. The long approach stinks like dog beach in OB Pee and poop from too many people not being vigilant about dog waste. I have and love my trail running dog, but c’mon people!
Verdict- go off hours, and preferably when it’s cloudy; there’s little shade,,, still beautiful and accessible.

I’m giving this a 5 because I thought it was really well marked, maintained, and quiet on a Friday morning. I took some of the side trails to keep my and my little one in the shade and keep him entertained with the water flow. This is the perfect little escape in San Diego when Julian, Romona, etc. are too far for a hike.

Great hike with beautiful views!!!

Rating this a 5 because it’s so close to Solana Beach/Cedros Ave, but you feel completely out of any city. The slot is really cool! I was wearing my 14 month old in a backpack and alone, didn’t see anybody else there, and halfway through the slot I got a little worried about how steep it might be for me. I followed my gut and turned around and went up the other side. Saw pictures on insta that some people brought their kids in there and had no problems, but didn’t want to take the chance since I was alone. Will definitely be coming back soon just to make it through or trade off watching the kiddo. I went on on weekday morning and hardly anybody on the trail, I’m sure it’s busy on the weekend though so start early or early evening for a sunset view.

Very cool trail! The trails that go under the freeway are temporarily closed while they work on the overpass. The slot canyon is strenuous but fun, great place for photos.

Excellent choice for beginners, be prepared with a lot of water, crowded in the morning

A nice close hike that had some trees near a creek but little running water. Still beautiful tho. About 500 feet from the trail head there is a nice side trail that comes back into the main one which is nice to take. I think it was called “battle trail” I logged 5.2 miles and 2.9 hours. The info center is nice and informative. Have fun

Go early to beat the crowds and heat. Took about an hour to reach the top. Pretty views, but was hoping for those rolling clouds.

Views on the peak were nice but nothing too special. First couple of miles we could still see and hear the highway. Last third of the hike was very steep and strenuous. Good exercise.

trail running
19 days ago

Used to run this regularly in college, did again while visiting friends due to proximity. Perpetually busy, worn out trail. Much better options out there!

Great avenue for trail runners and hikers itching for a workout with a sip of Lactic Acid (moderate trail not Hard). In the summer of course it will feel hard (little to no shade). I loved the inclines, the switch backs are fun as they have cleverly constructed steps from surrounding rocks (beautifully done), a trail that keeps you guessing what’s next, and the routs are easy to navigate.
Nice rest areas, great scenic views, and surprisingly they have conveniently set out several bathroom areas. No matter if a beginner or avid hardcore runner you can find it here. If only looking for a relaxing picnic with friends and family they have a nice lake, fishing, boats, lots of grass and trees. While they “rest and eat” come with me and we will run up to eat some potato chips @2100ft. (Start from the Lake don’t cheat, take plenty of water, and enjoy Poway!)

Nice hike with some challenging stretches and good views on top.

Really fun, fairly easy going hike. Just super crowded, otherwise would be a 5 star hike

The “waterfall” looked more like a watering hole, really. Definitely bring lots of water to hydrate along the way because there will be some parts of the trail that aren’t shaded.

love this place, pretty good with a weight vest too.

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