Explore Have Not Done - 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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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!!

Great views and great workout both ways

hiking
7 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.

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.

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.

hiking
22 days ago

This was a better hike than I expected – as well as more difficult than I thought. It ended with some superb views at the summit of Guatay Mountain.

I parked at the Pine Valley trailhead and found the trailhead for the start of this hike by following Ed Rubenstein’s guidance below. Fifty meters after you find the sign, look left and you’ll see the silver gate. Once you find the gate, you’re good to go.

Follow the trail until you come to a junction of what seems to be a water run-off on the left. It’s marked by a thick brown metal fence. Take that left and start climbing in a southerly direction.
As you get near the ridgeline, the trail will change direction and you’ll start hiking west. Just keep hiking in that direction and you’ll hit the summit – but you’ll hike some descents and some steep ascents. The view at the top is worth the effort.

hiking
27 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!

hiking
27 days ago

Got a little lost, would highly suggest keeping a map close by. Great hike overall. Little hidden ponds were fun to find.

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.

Great hiking, with amazing views.

Where to park the car for hiking???

Got to where the trail should have dropped down. Found a few trail markers then complete thick brush. Nice walk along the fire road though.

hiking
1 month ago

Fun trail with great views throughout. Especially on the eastern portion of the loop!

Ok, this is a no-joke trail! There are ups and downs the entire time - most hikes you get to the top and it's all downhill on the way home - NOT this one! It is especially a hard one if it's hot like it was today. Bring more water than you think you'll need. The signage here is GREAT! you cannot get lost - especially at the top where they were every few feet leading you to the VERY top. Awesome views!

Love this trail! Very hard try and go super early because it gets hot. One of the things I Noticed is that couple times I saw glass by where the parking is. The last time I was there they broke my rear window just to steal my backpack with nothing of value.
Shady people , just be careful

I did this hike a week ago with my girlfriends and it is by far our favorite yet. There were no markings at the trailhead or anywhere along the trail. We just used previous hikers review and basically made it to the top following shoe prints from previous hikers.
We indefinitely used alot of upper body strength. Other than that the hike was not as difficult as others had mentioned.
The views were amazing starting from the pancake rock and from the cave..no wind at the top so we got pretty lucky and was able to enjoy our time up there. We will definitely come back again!

September 18th: This hike was gorgeous and challenging. I underestimated it and took only 2 liters of water. I ran out about halfway back to my car, and by the time I got fluids I was very ill. I want to reiterate a previous poster's suggestion - take at least 3 liters!! Amazing views at the top, well worth the hard work.

not for beginners

2 months ago

I enjoyed this hike it is a work out and the heat doesn't help plus I got lost long story short follow the trail up until you see a so called fence with two green metal poles and wire across go under that fence and stay on that path until you make a left to the next part of the trail to the top of the peak really nice view up top and a nice place to rest for the trek down

hiking
2 months ago

I loved this trail because it’s quiet and peaceful unlike a lot of the other popular hikes in San Diego. Make sure you wear pants!!! The path is very overgrown. Hiking boots with good traction will help a lot towards the end of the trail near the peak. We got lost for a bit since there are no clear indications of where to go. Not kid friendly because of how overgrown it is and it’s very steep at the top. The view at the top is breath taking, and I liked the solitude we had during the hike. Park doesn’t open until 9:30AM, so we just parked on the street nearby and walked over. Parking is $3.

love this trail! Quiet, not crowded at all. Good runnable trail for race prep!

Enjoyable loop and a nice distance for a fun hike. Can backpack with a permit but some of the trails have limited space. Mostly single track on pine mountain trail. Some spots near noble mountain trail.

Avoid brushing up against any brush. I picked up a few ticks on the pine mountain section of trail that I quickly flicked off.

Some nice views and Indian creek was flowing in April.

hiking
3 months ago

Love this HARD hike but FYI the trail is closed for August due to high heat! We showed up at 6 am with tons of water and found closed sign and had to divert to mission trails. Def hike when cooler!

hiking
3 months ago

This was a great hike. A good workout but not too hard. It feels way out there but really just a few minutes off the freeway. Pay close attention to the trail markers to stay on the 10 mile loop. We got lost the first time we did this and ended up hiking a total of 14 miles because we had taken a wrong turn at some point.

So a buddy and I did this hike on 8/6/18. Not a good idea. Do not do this hike in the summer. Wait until it cools off. There is very little shade to stop in. And please for the love of all that is holy, bring more than 3L of water. You will run out. You will be miserable. The hike itself is intense. A lot of big hills, the top has a 360 degree view of nothing but mountains. The last few hundred feet are tough. Small trail through big rocks.

hiking
3 months ago

Fun, beautiful hike! We saw many coyotes and rabbits! Very scenic and lots of shade. I would definitely recommend to others who are looking for a long, somewhat challenging at times, hike!

This hike is legit and very steep and tiring. Bring tons of water and be prepared for uphill both ways. We did it on 7/21/18 and one of our good Freinds had a heat stroke and was life flighted out. Be prepared.

hiking
3 months ago

This is a late review but I hiked this trail back in the winter when the temps weren't too bad. I started the hike super early before the sun came up. It took a couple hours to finish the hike but its not too bad if you start early and do it before it gets too hot. I brought a gallon of water and pretty much drank the whole thing. I saw one girl practically having a heat stroke when I was hiking back toward the car. Her friends were pouring water on her head. I probably wouldn't recommend this hike unless you are in decent shape.

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