Explore goals - 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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hiking
closed
1 day ago

Closed today but still went on. Plenty of other people on the trail as well. Be aware of bikers. Muddy spots but easy to avoid/walk around. Great for a hot day since it’s mostly shaded trail.

hiking
2 days ago

This is a nice trail. It has some rolling hills, but not too bad. We’ve had quite a bit of rain lately, so the creek was running. It’s always nice to hear running water on a hike. This would be a good hike for families with children.

hiking
no shade
3 days ago

There’s a lot of misinformation on trail distance in the reviews. The trail is longer than described but not 14-15 miles. I hiked El Cajon Mtn today (second time) and my GPS read 11.8 miles round trip, which is consistent with my last trip up. Also, the total vertical gain is about 3,800 feet due to the trail dropping then gaining again and again. I’m a fan of this mighty little SoCal mountain due to its close proximity to SD and the ability it gives to train for its bigger brothers, or sisters, that lie north in the San Bernadinos and Sierras... minus the effects of altitude.

mountain biking
4 days ago

This is a an awesome trail!!! Period!!! This is an adventure every time I get on this trail. Fun never stops, and the challenges change with every outing...

hiking
10 days ago

Great hike, beautiful views on the way up and down. Get ready for some steep up and downs the whole way. Took 5 hours round trip, 2:45 up, 2:15 down. 2 liters of water was plenty. Would be brutal during summer, highly recommend during winter months. Peak has nice rocks to have lunch at.

Great warm up trail for either hiking or trail running. 2 1/2 miles on and 2 1/2 miles out of very easy and moderate trail hiking. Allow three hours to complete the hike both in and back.

Perfect weather for a hike today! Glad we did it probably won’t do it again. It was on our list and happy we can cross it off. We clocked “round trip” 15 miles from parking lot to summit. Highly recommend bringing your hiking poles, softened the highs and lows of the trial. Went on forever! It was a nice hike and we had optimal weather beautiful cloud coverage with a cool breeze. Nice view, in my opinion not that great of a reward for the work you put into it. Now that was a HIKE! My toes are killing me! Glad I did it... NEXT!

hiking
12 days ago

Did this hike with my two dogs. The last quarter mile is a steep scramble as the trail narrows and the vegetation is thick. Once at the top the views are great.

hiking
13 days ago

This trail is definitely no joke. I completed it yesterday by myself. You definitely want 3 or more liters of water and plenty of snacks, drink water before you arrive not coffee like me.. My phone tracked 12.7 miles in and out(I explored a bit at the top adding about .5 miles) it’s not the distance that was difficult for me, but rather the ups and downs on the way back my knees weren’t conditioned for as I haven’t hiked since about 6 months ago up At Yosemite. I completed it in jeans and tennis shoes and small back pack starting with a sweatshirt. A few areas on the way down I was wondering how some hiking boots would have helped soften the blow.

I arrived at 7:30 am and luckily they were opening the parking lot because the sign says 8am to 5pm. It was in the 70s during most of the hike, perfect weather. I can’t imagine doing this hike in the summer, you couldn’t bring enough water. I got back to my vehicle at about 1:10pm after spending maybe a half hour or so at the summit. On the way down I had to stop several times as my knees were cramping up. I didn’t experience any wild animals, just a few passing hikers on the way back down.

I highly recommend for the view and the challenge. Will be doing again in the future.

I’m nearly 65 years old and did this hike at a slow and steady pace with poles. Definitely doable if you hike regularly on hills and have good strong legs. I didn’t find it too bad...I was surprised. If you’re not use to hiking steep hills over long distances this hike will kick your butt at any age. The view at the top is the best...well worth it.

hiking
15 days ago

If you like hiking after sunset, make sure to park out on the street, or you could end up with a $52 ticket like I did. The views are great. Good workout. I would go back, but make sure to read the parking signs throughly!

Fun little hike. I enjoy getting lost. It is great until you see the plethora of houses right next to each other. I would do it again.

Going up was challenging but still OK. The 7 mile trip from the summit to the parking, man that was hard. Other than that it’s pretty much doable if you have experience trekking. Be safe out there!

It’s is one of best hikes. It has beautiful views and an awesome accomplishment!! It is very hard and I suggest you train yourself well before taking this challenge!!

This is an extremely hard trail...not just hard. There’s more than a few steep inclines and declines. At times it seems like no end! The final ascent is pretty much rock climbing for half a mile. When we went today it was cold and windy especially at the top and my hands nearly froze even with gloves. It also got kinda warm in some spots due to the fact there’s almost no shade. Nice views along the way. Definitely glad I did it, but won’t be rushing to return any time soon. Not recommended unless you enjoy climbing for hours and are an experienced hiker/runner, given this is probably one of the hardest hikes in San Diego. I’m more experienced than most and it took about 4.5hrs for total of about 11.3 miles (not the stated 10.6) at a steady rate of hike and running at some of the declines.

It is an incredible experience. Well worth it. I have mixed feelings about posting this info but think I should. I did have an experience with a large cat growling and hissing at me very close to the trail. I saw him through the brush. Obviously, I plan to not hike alone again as this is my 4th encounter with a cougar. Each time is think “ what are the odds?? “The previous hiker to pass that spot had a small dog so am wondering if the cougar caught the scent and came close to the trail which I think is rare. Otherwise, it is in my top ten.. and I have hiked in the spectacular Khumbu in Nepal. Love this hike.

great hike close by. the last 1/4 of a mile is steep and narrow. great winter hike.

Beautiful hike last1/2 mike very steep. Use you sticks and all will be fine. Watch the signage small white sticks.

Great hike. Definitely one of the best in SD. Strenuous but absolutely doable. Did not come across any slippery or risky parts. Bring enough water.

perfect

hiking
1 month ago

Surely challenging! Even though it was hard at times, it was worth it in the end. Just make sure to come well prepared.

Very unsafe hike in my personal opinion. I am in overall good athletic shape and work out 4x a week and hike at least once per month. I’ve been wanting to do this mountain for a long time and I just don’t think it was worth it. You couldn’t possibly bring enough water up there and the sun is very hot. The slippery and rocky terrain along with the switchbacks make this hike challenging and risky. I felt that I could not enjoy the scenery, the hike or my surroundings because I was too concerned for my safety.

hiking
1 month ago

My favorite route to the summit of Mt. San Jacinto. Short, but steep. Great views.

Awesome! Great incline going up the mountain. Great Cardio. I did the hike solo and felt safe. Going down the hill I chose the harder trail and it was a little rocky so I slid a couple of times but other then that it was a great hike I would definitely do it again!!

We started from the Fisherman Camp parking lot. There are only room for 4 or 5 cars. We hiked the Tenaja trail all the way to the Tenaja Falls. There are water in the steams but not at the Fall. One way distance is 4.5 miles. Round trip is 9 miles. It was a beautiful hike. We took the lower trail up and the Upper trail back.

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.

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.

trail running
1 month 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.

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.

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