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Morning and daytime (during cooler weather) hikes here can be extremely busy! I go at night (bring head gear or hand flashlight). When using a flashlight at night please be mindful of either sticking your beam on the trail or just turn it off until they pass (some hikers prefer using the natural moonlight). Don't shine it in their eyes! It's rude and unsafe. Once at the summit, incredible views!

Love everything about this hike.

it was great hike.

Beautiful scenery through out the trail and ending with a beach walk back to the starting spot is a great cool down.

We did an 6am morning hike and it was perfect not too many people going up or coming down.

hiking
5 days ago

hiking
5 days ago

Trail is EXTREMELY crowded on the weekend (even at 7 AM).
Overlooks urban sprawl.
Peak is dominated by an ugly transmission tower.
I think one star is generous.

Very nice on a beautiful day..

Beautiful hike. Difficult but worth it! Start early park closes gates strictly 5pm

Perfect to test our skills

A nice little jaunt that earns you a great ocean view at the end! It seemed more difficult than moderate and good hiking shoes are a must.

Been hiking Cowles since 1986

We did this around 8am it was perfect timing. The fog came in later so we had some great views. It’s started to get crowded around 930am.

Went at night, the hike had awesome views of San Diego, including downtown. The trail was wide, in most parts with lots of switchbacks and fun, rocky terrain. Great hike overall!

Definitely more than a moderate. Wouldn't say it's an expert though. Went with shoes but some locals said not to use em. I'd say they would've made it harder in spots. Definitely not suitable for kids or dogs. Also be careful, there's a nude beach right down the beach from the end of the trail.

If you are new to San Diego, it's a great way to get the lay of the land. Expect crowds and in our case, some unusual people hiking with Bluetooth speakers playing rap music for all to hear. Other than that, great views ranging from the ocean, downtown, East County, Mexico, San Jacinto Mountain near Palm Springs and even the San Bernardino mountains way off in the distance. Enjoy!

hiking
15 days ago

My favorite part about this hike is at the top it has a map telling you what landmarks are in each direction and you can see Mexico!

trail running
18 days ago

Grew up here running and biking this trail. It is almost always beautiful, and is very fast terrain good for longer training runs. Sunset is the best time to go.

Got there quite early (730am) and it was very foggy on the hike up but the temps were so mild it was perfect. The include was gradual but you get a good cardio workout.

Definitely epic views.

Best part - briskly walking the beach hoping to not get my shoes wet... which didn’t happen

Beautiful! This is ranked as easy but if it’s high tide and you can’t cut across the beach, you’ll have to go back the way you came; if you’re new to hiking, the gradual inclines will get you a bit out of breath. But still an easy, breezy hike.

Pretty street

Beautiful views going up! Very crowded, but everyone is very nice and polite! :) There are a few people that forget their dog-potty bags sadly.
The views and trails are worth the crowds, a must do trail!

Great trail to bring out of state guests and friends.

Really well-maintained trail, nice variety in pathways, and beautiful views. Go AS EARLY as you can get there to enjoy some sense of solitude and beautiful light along the way.

For runners, a great place to practice decision-making for when to walk up steeps and when to run- and as a bonus, BOMBING downhill fun all the way.

We wanted to get out of downtown to get a short hike and Cowles Mountain did fit the bill. This trail is less than 1/2 hour away from downtown in the approximately 7,000-acre Mission Trails Regional Park. This is an easy to moderate trail and family friendly. The trail is very open with no cloud cover and is pretty dusty. It is also quit busy. As the park is in the rural San Diego area you never quite feel that you are in the wild. Great 360 views from the top. Add a couple of side hikes to increase the miles and visit the very nice visitor center in the park. If we had more time, we would have driven further out of town to experience the SoCal back country, but is was good for what it is billed. A couple of good park rules that I appreciated. No external music is allowed and no radio controlled devices. This means that someone is not allowed to pull out their drone at the top. This seems to be a very annoying trend even on back country hikes.

Nice trail. Beautiful views!

Second time on this hike. It can be sketchy at points. Great short hike.

Beautiful beach trail. Keep an eye on the tide though if you’re planning on walking back on the beach.

Parking was the only issue, so get there early. The trail was nice & easy with amazing views. The trail by itself took about an hour.

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