Explore Future 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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Great night hike!!i

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!!

Lovely trail, excellent views. The most challenging aspect of it is the elevation gain, but if you have a lot of hiking experience, I definitely wouldn't rate it as moderate. It's a good trail for less experienced individuals or those just getting into hiking!

Great views and great workout both ways

Beautiful place

Was a good hike, surprised how fast it went at a waking pace.

We went to the top for the view and came back through the canyon. Fun finding calcite pieces. We had a lot of fun on this trail.

Nice trail with a gradual climb for about the first half of the hike up then switch backs finish to the peak give a paced workout to the summit. Well groomed trail and fantastic panoramic views at the top with picnic tables and perch points let you celebrate the trek up Iron Mountain. I didn’t bring or need walking sticks as the trail rocks are easily maneuvered.

I hiked this trail on a Sunday. The parking lot at the trail head was full. The only downside about this trail is that almost everybody starts and finishes at the main entrance and there is one path shared for hiking up and down so the traffic got pretty heavy at times and we were paced by the number of people (and their dogs). I like when there is some dispersion of hikers and trail options that let me hike at my own pace. I love people and I love dogs, I’m not complaining about that, I’m just pointing out that there was traffic on the trail. Maybe a weekday hike would be a quicker pace for this trail. 4 stars, I will hike this trail again!

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
5 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.

I am a recreational day hiker and this is one of the prettiest hikes I have ever been on. The views going up the last mile are just outstanding.

Amazing views.

More challenging than described . Disappointed with the final lookout.

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.

I went with a group of kids! They kicked butt and I almost gave up:). But here I am, planning to go back! It was beautiful at the top and a couple people in our group went back to run the path... It was quite rocky at points and hiking boots would have been a good idea. Sunny- bring LOTS of water and a hat. Great place to see the neighborhood!

hiking
12 days ago

Planned on running it but ended go hiking due to all the mud. It was still worth it and had amazing views.

Beautiful scenes with an element of adventure and climbing. we loved this quick and easy to get to trail.

Good work out

This was one of the best hikes! Highly recommend it

What a special “canyon niche” this is, in Solana Beach, of all places! Must enter thru North Rios Street - San Elijo Lagoon. Definitely, a “one way” short “climb, with a few unexpected photo ops along the way.

trail running
16 days ago

It's sooooo beautiful! just be careful, it can be really slippery!

Amazing hiking. All the trail was very quiet so you could hear the sound of nature.

Awesome views for sunset

We took the rangers recm and followed the route she suggested. The trails took us thru various terrain. We were covered under the forest canopy of giant oak and cedar trees. We even came across a few deer and the greatest find was coming upon a fallen giant oak tree. It was at least 15 feet on its side above our heads.

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!

hiking
19 days ago

Nice relatively short hike. It gets pretty muddy so I'd recommend good shoes (probably not sandals). I'd bring hiking poles for the way down if you have them but definitely not necessary. It took about an hour to get to the top and over an hour coming back down. I went in the morning and the peak was covered in clouds (and rain) but it cleared up by the time I got back to the bottom. It was still a beautiful hike on the way up despite the clouds at the end. If you're lucky enough to have a clear day, the views should be spectacular. Oh and a bonus if you're planning to call a ride share service for the ride back to town: nearly the entire trail has cell coverage.

I love this trail, especially in the Fall. I bring my labrador and we have a great time.

Pick up you dog s**t and trash you filthy animals. Don’t bring your aggressive dogs on trail; otherwise it is a nice stroll.

We did hell creek trail to horse thief loop, about 4 miles. Beautiful hike, steep downhill in, step uphill out. Clean well maintained trails.

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