Explore finish by beg of Oct - 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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For a continuous moderately paced hike, you can make it up to the summit in 1 hour. If you start right before 7 the mountain will shade you up until the last mile of the hike. Between 2- 1 1/2 mile point from the summit there seems to be an endless set of steps that are pretty challenging. Past the potato chip rock there is not much else and a radio station that ruins part of the view, but overall a decent hike.

The ocean is my only medication!

Nice little climb, did get very hot towards the end of the morning plus very crowded.

fun trail run, gets pretty steep on the climb up at a couple points but will definitely go back

Awesome trail, friendly people along the way just enough incline to get a good workout

Did on a hot day. Bring a lot of water! worth it for the fun potato chip rock pictures!

Did this hike yesterday. Great challenge. Beautiful views. Had a blast!

Easy Hike and Beautiful Views!

This hike makes you work for it. One hour up & 30 minutes down. I started before the sun and there were plenty of other friendly folks on the trail.

hiking
15 days ago

A nice workout. It could get very hot by 12noon. Start early. Nice views at the top!!!

A challenging hike with beautiful views!!! The potato chip rock at the peak was indeed very instagram worthy..

Great layout but the dry climate over the past few years has forced all of this once beautiful flowered reserve into hibernation. A few cactus blooms were evident but the rest of the coastal vegetation is mostly dry green or dead brown. The long beach strut concludes at a climbable rock formation extending into the sea, the hill climb up is a good short walk with some new erosion barriers and steps, and the ocean views get better and better at each level. Torrey Pines despite the current sad hiatus of beautiful plant growth remains one of America and California’s most stunning sites.

a nice, easy hike. good for a trail run, for sure and very pretty.

Great workout

You hike up Cowls Mountains and off to the side at the top you proceed to Pyles. Take plenty of water. Get there early because parking can be limited and turn wheels to curb. It took 2 hours and 23 minutes to do both hikes.

So beautiful. Well worth it. It was our first hike we’ve ever done in San Diego. We hiked with our 10 month old in a hiking carrier and there were only a couple spots my husband needed help. Loved it.

DEFINITELY read these reviews before taking this hike!!!! It is worth it once you get to the top but getting there can be challenging especially in July when I went!!! Bring lots of water, hat, shades, and wear light clothing. Enjoy the workout!!!!

Loved this trail when I hiked it the first time. Unfortunately, I went at 7am and the trail was closed due to excessive heat. :(

hiking
23 days ago

absolutely beautiful to hike for sunrise. no shade so earlier morning hikes are best in warm months. and youll beat the giant crowds.

This is an amazing hike but NOT FOR THE SUMMER! I went with a group of 6 including myself and we left way too late. Should note it was the end of July at 10am. Moderate hike but the sun is what killed us. Legit almost thought I was going to pass out. If you go during the summer don't bring your dog, and bring a crap ton of water!

Long but easy, good for a run

hiking
24 days ago

Attempted to hike this midday during the heat, but due to the temperature and lack of shade on the trail we ended up detouring to Ramona Overlook and then back to the parking lot. Make sure to bring lots of water and sunscreen/hat - for the two of us we had about 5L of water and consumed most of it on our 4+ miles. Once you leave the small area of trees by the parking lot there is essentially no shaded areas on this trail. The views are beautiful! Would definitely do this trail again either earlier in the day or on a cooler day. There are non-flush toilets in the parking lot.

Awesome! Worth it when you get to the top

Some very modest hills, but otherwise a flat walk (or run) up Penesquitos Canyon. A small waterfall at the mid point provides some scrambling opportunities as well as a place to cool your feet. A fairly easy hike, but little to no breeze in the canyon, so not a good option on hot days.

Extremely hot, and no shade at all. Wait for half an hour for the potato-chip photo. Good workout but too hot.

Close to UCSD and beautiful!

Fun trail for anyone any day.

Great hike but it’s rated hard for a reason. I am an avid hiker and it was challenging. If you are looking for a less strenuous hike, start in Ramona. On a positive note, it is BEAUTIFUL & a great workout.

Trail is super easy and it is under construction. The pass is closed however if you look hard enough you will find a hidden trail, scale down the edge of the mountain and it leads to a rope, climb down that rope and you have a beautiful beach that is secluded and private and all to yourself. That was the best part!

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