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Well here’s one that separates the wolves from the sheep! Been wanting to do this one for a loooong time, just waiting for the right day. Nice cool temps and overcast skies really took the edge off, and after the recent rains there was no haze and stunning visibility in all directions. I could see a snow capped San Jacinto and San Gorgonio to the north. Totally amazing.

It’s as difficult as everyone says, and it really brutalizes you on the way back. But I’d say anyone could easily do this hike with a little bit of conditioning, rugged footwear, and good timing. The real difficulty level of this trek is predicated on the weather/temperature. I would definitely not mess with this one mid July.

Took me 4.5 hours, managed to get by with 2 liters of agua, though I brought 3. Took a 30 minute break on the summit to get baked and enjoy the panorama. Don’t be afraid of this hike, go do it!

Challenging, but totally manageable. Bring lots of water. I found it to be a quiet and peaceful trail, saw few others, which I love. Great views, worth the effort.

Such a fun and challenging hike/trail run. Great workout and nobody on the mountain!

I found the ‘descent’ to be challenging in the 4-3.5 mile return section. Definitely a tough climb but wonderful views and my favorite in the SD area so far.

Such a great hike with an amazing view at the top. Easy to follow, but challenging incline. And almost nobody on the trail - which is always a bonus!

trail running
6 days ago

Great Hike, challenging Run. I’ve been to the top 3 times, this past weekend I opted to go straight at the 3 way intersection at the upper saddle. This brings you to an amazing lookout atop the face. Much more dramatic than the summit. Trail is washed out and difficult to stay on but there is the occasional rock cairn to show the way.

Excellent hike with incredible views. Be sure to go all the way to the second peak! Incredible to do right at sunset on the way down. The sign for the trail is tiny! It’s just a sticker on two metal posts across from an area to park (small pull off on the dirt road leading to the trail)

Great hike! Gets steep between miles 2-4. It can be considered a difficult hike. Bring lots of water! The summit is to the left of the sign and the trail is marked from the sign to the summit. Much harder on the way there than on the way back. Took 4hrs20mins at a moderate pace.

Great hike! Easy to moderate. Final stretch decent climb but rocky. Definitely wear hiking boots or sturdy shoes. Views are astonishing!!! Trail well maintained easy to navigate.

Love it weather was great

This hike is everything it’s said to be and more. This is cardio workout to say the least. Started at 630a and completed the hike by noon. Took a 1 hour much needed break. I easily drank 3 liters of water and it was cold for most of the hike. I saw a few folks starting late...I wouldn’t advise starting the hike after 10am. Enjoy the hike

Nice long challenging day hije front e the border to Lake Morena. Will start at Lake Morena and do a 2/3 day backpacking trip to continue the trail. Looking forward to 'chipping off' the PCT.

Beautiful scenery! More forested and green than most places in San Diego County. Like all of these trails, the difficulty is very relative. I would rate this as moderate myself. By comparison, El Cajon Mountain or Twin Peaks up north are far more difficult than this. The incline is fairly gradual and pretty much out of the way after the first 2 miles. We went on a Sunday and no one was at the ranger station nor the campground itself. There was a phone number posted at the ranger station, which I called. Two rangers came down and checked us in and took our payment. One more thing: the main recording here only goes to the lookout. You need to follow the trail to the right of the turnout to get to the peak. Enjoy!

Took the dogs today to scout out the hike. I want to get into backpacking and thought this would be a good beginner trek to take on in the future. The views were unbelievable but I had massive vertigo from the extreme cliff-side. I literally froze and had to, very slowly, turn around and hightail it back. Hoping I can muster the courage to go farther next time! Just keep that in mind if you get dizzy around heights...

If you are looking for a challenging hike or if you are training for something strenuous, this is the hike for you! This trail doesn't relent until about the last mile before getting back to the parking lot. It is either up or down and quite steep in some areas. I highly recommend using hiking poles for this trek as I found them to be really helpful on the sections that were steep and / or slippery. Also recommend bringing electrolyte packets along with a lot of water. I felt quite satisfied to complete this one!

hiking
21 days ago

There were a few spots on the hike where the paths veered in different directions, and you had to find your way. We ended up going up one path and going down a completely different one. I really enjoyed the small cave we found too. Not sure how far it goes but if you crawl in, it opens up a lot. The views were panoramic from any direction. Definitely a great hike!

hiking
24 days ago

Loved this hike. Good workout with panoramic views at the top. Someone took away the flag and left just the pole. Wear good supportive hiking shoes, lots of loose rocks. Will be back to this one again

Such a sweet hike with some breath taking views right in our back yard... you get to feel disconnected from everything as if you were in Julian. That last part to get to the top gets a little tricky since it’s covered in bushes and the trail markers don’t start until you get to the rock of the summit.... the old mines and Jeep are some super cool things to check out to keep your mind distracted on your way up! I usually don’t take water but thought I should for this one and even then was really thirsty at the end after downing two liters... stay hydrated and enjoy the views!!

Great views and great workout both ways

Good workout for sure. Took about 3 hours with a few breaks throughout. The trail terrain changes quite a bit from dirt, to moss, to rocks. Definitely wear good shoes. Didn’t think the views were outstanding. Don’t think I would hike this again.

hiking
29 days ago

Saturday, 11/10/2018 completed The Warrior Challenge Hike supporting our Veterans Day 2018. Triumph at El Cajon Peak, signed the official Peak Log and located all 3 Geological Benchmarks. Tallied up 11.39 RT mileage and 3,936’ total elevation gains gains. 2nd time hiking the El Capitan Preserve and only made it El Capitan Peak back on 12/22/2013. 5-years later, 60-lbs lighter I now have sense of accomplishment being this is labeled the hardest hike in the entire San Diego County! So steep with numerous peaks and valleys to trek through I developed cramps again but all worth it at the end!

Great 10 mile hike!! I found this mountain to be very hard in the sense that is none stop up hill and down hill from beginning to end. It was a challenge!!! You definitely need plenty of water and snacks to replenish your energy.

Best bang for your one day hiking buck! Well marked informative mileage signs with elevation profiles. Only out and back trail in SD County that is up hill in both directions.

we started at 7am, when the sun was nice and finished by 1pm, around 11am the sun killed us, we consumed much more water and stoped more often to rest. 2.5 - 3 liters of water was enough! :) start early, finish before the sun is up!! great hiking!

My girlfriends and I did this hike at 6am and we were back in the car by 11am. it was foggy when we reached the top so we couldn't enjoy the view. It was also freezing cold so we headed back down. It was a great work out for all of us and will definitely come back again.

hiking
1 month ago

My friend and I hiked this Saturday starting at 9:15am. It was during the October Santa Ana and now I know why I won't be hiking it in the summer months. It can get pretty hot.
We wanted to have a fun hiking distraction while hiking down so we created names for each of the steep sections that were challenging enough for worthy mention. Here are the names in descending order from the top...
1. Summit
2. Jalopy
3. Tater Tots
4. Feather Duster
5. Hey what?! WTF?!?!
6. Sarah's Song
7. Sugar, please
8. Eggsellent
9. Deadwood
10. Tardy to the Party
11. #11 (we didn't think of one)
12. Knee Break
13. Lifted Spirits
14. Beer, please

See if you can figure out why we named them!

A perfect hike that is a test of endurance rather than being a hard technical climb. The path is clear allowing for a hands free ascent. It took about 4.5 hours, if you time it right, the sunset over the coast is spectacular.

Great hiking, with amazing views.

hiking
2 months ago

I have done the hike several times. It is a great hike. Full spectrum of high and low desert ecosystems (evergreens, foliage, lakes, plains, desert, etc.). Feels like a little slice of Colorado in San Diego.

Did this hike in late September, 2018. The weather was very cooperative with mostly cloudy skies. I’ve been hiking with a full pack for training and decided to camp in a boulder field at about 6000 feet elevation on the PCT section. There are several small tent sites just below the peak as well as a couple on top. I left my rain fly off and dozed off to the stary skies. Even though it was a Saturday I saw only one group of about 4 or five walk through that evening. What a great experience! After a short 3 mile down grade hike back to my car I enjoyed a great breakfast at the Blue Jay cafe before heading home.

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