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

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Elevation, all the way!!! it's a nice hike, went by fast, easier running down than going up, but it was great!

Took the dog with us, it was rough the stairs to go all the way up makes it seem like you made it but no it's still less than a mile left lol. over all it was a good workout, awesome.

Keep to the center of the ridge to stay on “trail”. A machete would be dope. Avoid during snake season. If you are scrambling/pulling V0- boulder moves and see bolts or anchors right next to your face you know you are living life picante. Have fun!

Easy practically flat trail. Beware lots of bike riders, some are nice enough to let you know they are coming close. Busy on the weekends. Nice waterfall at the end of the trail to refresh yourself in.

Best groomed trail in SanDiego. You’ll definitely get your personal best running down the mountain. . My New favorite SD Trail. Can’t wait to extend this route to Pio Pico RV Resort and back. Perfect for an Ultra Marathon

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!!

I have been seeking this one trail through two other apps... This one directed me to where it begins. Easy to use.. More info...more detailed so my limited sundown closure trails are now my daylight pleasure trails...

Great views and great workout both ways

Cowles is heavily trafficked and lots of dust in the air. almost nobody after connect with Pyles

Fun hike for any ages.

I thoroughly enjoyed this hike. I didn’t realize any challenge because I was far too busy enjoying the beautiful views, streams and weather. It was very quiet and provided an amazing peaceful hike I would definitely recommend this trail .

hiking
8 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.

This is a pretty quick hike but it can be steep in spots which is great for me since I'm an experienced hiker. The view from the top is amazing.

Excellent

It was well kept and not highly trafficked.

first time hiking this trail. its relatively a short hike but has steep inclines towards the summit. easy to find parking and the trail is dog friendly. not a lot of shade and the summit can get a little crowded but overall great views at the top! not very crowded either. i ran into maybe 30 people the whole time on a saturday morning.

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.

amazing views into mexico. good for beginners but there are spurs off the main trail for some more experienced wheelers. its easy to get lost which can be fun/annoying. definitely recommend.

Great Hike! Lots of other hikers! Some parts are a little tough and steep, but rewarding view at top make it worth the pain. Not a lot shade, cover up or have sun screen.

Beautiful hike and breath taking views at the top! Plus, a great workout.

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.

Super fun! I lived it

hiking
27 days ago

Proper challenge for beginners :)

hiking
28 days 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.

Not sure why folks are saying that this road is "paved" -- it is not. Not any part of it. Most of it is well-graded gravel, but it is not paved. The views are stunning. Most of the road is narrow, single lane, with not nearly enough turnouts for passing. I'm glad that the only opposite traffic we encountered was a motorcycle. We started at Pio Pico (brown gate), went up to "Doghouse Junction" (the intersection at the top), then went out to the NE (towards Hwy 94 at Engineer Springs). It was not obvious or easy to figure out which of the many roads at that end led out to 94 and we took several wrong turns. See the attached map with notes. Some roads are in good shape and you get to within feet of where you need to be, but there's a locked gate. Other roads deteriorate badly.

Stock 4Runner TRD Off Road. Didn't air down. Used 4 High for most of the road, but used 4 Low for a steeper downhill section--just so as not to ride my brakes.

Great hike!!

trail running
1 month ago

Good mid range trail, but for a beginner trail runner, like myself, it is a doozy, especially for first 2+ miles. Be ready for a workout. My only gripe is the trail is poorly marked later in the loop as there are many junctions and I spent a lot of time guessing wrong. I would go to my AllTrail app but it was having it's issues (or at least my GPS was.)

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