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

CA Hikes Map

Great hike and view!

This trail is more on the hard side because of its length (7.6 miles) and it’s steepness. If you or whoever you’re with isn’t in pretty good shape don’t try it. There is a long line at the potato chip rock to take a picture. Take one bottle of water per person plus snack bars. Wear hiking shoes or boots, not running shoes, due to rocks. Wear sunscreen at midday.

It was a clear day and the view from the top was incredible.

Great variety of difficulty. Car Wreck is legit hard.

Really great trail, but really exhausting for the people we brought along who don’t hike all the time. There weren’t any maps located at the trail head, but as long as you keep following the Mt Woodson Trail and don’t get led astray by other trails forking off, you should be fine. Jumping across to the potato chip park of the Boulder was a little scary for myself who is afraid of heights, but had to do it for the pic. Happy trails!

Great incline for a workout. I went on Tuesday and just a few of us in line for the photo op :) bring lots of water and protein bars.

Great hike, great view, but heavily trafficked.

Started at Top of the World Entrance

West Ridge Trail > Wood Creek > Wood Creek Trail >Wood Canyon > Nature Loop > Dripping Cave > Car Wreck Trail > West Ridge

The loops on Wood Creek are great to get off the main road and under tree cover. The hike back up to Top of the World (and Car Wreck Trail) is steep with a decent incline and rocks.

done it a few times. great trail. make it longer by going the other way around the lake on the way back down

Great hike! Just heavily trafficked. Only reason this trail gets a 4 Star. Hiking isn’t as adventurous when you have to wait at the switchbacks to let traffic pass through.

As many others said in the previous reviews a lot of people don’t know how to stay in their lane whether it’s going uphill or downhill. Definitely a steep trail but overall doable with a good amount of water and snacks.

I LOVE this hike. If you are looking to do a shorter hike with a great payoff this one is the one! We went in the middle of June and there was still snow! The waterfall at the end was amazing and full. There is a nice flat rock right by the waterfall that we had our picnic lunch at. You will get misted by the waterfall but we thought that was very refreshing. There is also a river right next to the trail for most of the way which was beautiful. I loved the sound of the rapids and how clear the water was!

Great incline with beautiful views

10 days ago

Great short hike for family/kids. Did this hike a few weeks ago with a friend trying to get some sunset photos from the summit. Took us roughly 30 mins to summit. Usually very crowded and a lot of amplified music. From the summit you get a great cityscape of San Diego and the ocean along with views of mountains on the opposite side.

Check out and follow Instagram.com/gregszymbor for photos and other hikes!

Cannot beat the view

Fun day, a lot of people...

challenging and so much fun. bring plenty of water and snacks! sunscreen and hats required.

When I was younger it was better. Way too many people now and amplified music is annoying

Great hike for beginners-moderate hikers. It’s the highest peak in San Diego and has a astonishing view of the whole county. The only con is that it’s so popular that there is a high amount of traffic during the day. 1 of the 5 peak challenge!

The All Trails description is right on, beautiful views. Definitely harder then I thought it was going to be though. We went on a Monday in early March, only 10 or 15 people at Potato chip. Bring plenty of water!

Great trail, in good shape.

I live in Ventura and have been doing arroyo with my son(4 years old) but in my mind it's more of a dog park attraction than it is prized for it's trails. have been running up some switchback in Ojai too but mugu is a great next level uphill run. perfect little pre work 3 mile dash that goes just fine with some morning weights at the gym after for that leftover fuel. great views, obviously busy on weekend, but probably just fine when those weekend warriors are back at work. enjoy.

Excellent hike!!

Great as long as it is cool!!

13 days ago

Definitely a moderate, but hiking boots and poles aren’t required. I made it just fine in my normal running shoes I usually hike in. Views the entire way were incredible!

We did it! What a work out! The views are amazing!

This hike was awesome. The 360 ° panoramic view at the top is the best.

Cowles Mountain is a great hike. It is short and sweet, with easy access to the mountain and bathrooms at the bottom.

Parking isn't bad although you can expect you will be parking in the residential area and walk to the bottom of the mountain / staging area. This is most likely gonna be an extra 1/4 mile.

The hike is over all is a bunch of switchbacks to the top with a well marked and maintained trail. Once you get to the top the views are amazing!

Trail etiquette is very important since this is a very high volume of hikers. Great hike to gauge you condition and if you are able to do some larger, less traveled hikes.

Too many people

Such a beautiful view!! Go on a weekday (we went on a Tuesday) for free parking and little to no lines to take a picture on top of the Potato Chip Rock. Prepare yourself for a lot of inclines. There are many interesting rock formations. We spotted both hamburger and hippopotamus rocks along the way. When you start the hike to Mt. Woodson trail, you'll be greeted by a breathtaking lake. Also, get there early! We started the hike around 8:30am and finished around 11am (round trip). Definitely worth it!

Had a great time! Made a quick edit of the hike.

Load More