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

fun and challenging ascent. gets really hot with minimal shade so pack plenty of water

Very relaxing you can definitely hear the birds around late afternoon.Nice houses surrounding the trail,cabbage palm trail was awesome.The more you explore the better.Not too long of a trail and not too short.

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

hiking
13 days 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!

Very hot! Would be best early am hours. However it was a very nice work out.

nature trips
15 days ago

Was an awesome experience. This particular trial is located at the Nature Center. There’s ponds, wetlands, seen a couple of Gopher Tortoise, there’s a deer observatory (I didn’t see any deers on this visit), many plants and informative signs about the native plants. I will definitely return. Had no clue an area like this existed in our city. There’s some paved and off-road areas so wear approach shoes. There’s benches throughout as well to rest, and they lend binoculars for free. I absolutely loved the walk on this trial.

Coming down is harder than getting to the top. Recommend completing north, saddle and south in one shot.

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.

We started at the Sorrento Valley Rd Parking lot, crossed over to the North Trail at the Wagon Wheel Crossing and stayed on the North Trail until the Carson's Crossing when we returned back on the South Trail. The waterfall wasn't much of a waterfall due to lack of rain recently, but the area was still pretty. There is a lot of wildlife to see - all kinds of birds (even saw some hummingbirds in the trees at Carson's Crossing), lizards, butterflies, dragonflies, and scat from a bunch of different animals that reside in the Preserve. There is some shade, but not much so be sure to bring lots of water, a hat, sunscreen, and clothing to shield you from the sun. It is an easy hike with minimal inclines. The trail is a mix of loose sand, packed sand, hard dirt, loose rocks. There are a lot of unmarked trails connecting to the main trails so make sure to bring a map to keep track of where you are. The bathroom at the parking area is a single portable toilet. Signs at the trailhead indicate the area has ticks, but the paths are quite wide in most places and easy to stay on the trail - doesn't hurt to use bug spray just in case. We went midday on a weekday and only saw a few other people (some on bikes and some walking) - however, I can see how this can be a busy trail during peak times.

Love this trail

Great for a morning workout and enjoying the views.

we took the north trail on the way up and came down the South, highly recommend taking the South trail. Happy Trails

I highly recommend this hike but read the cautions below.
My fiancé and I went in April and had an amazing time. We are a young and fairly active couple and this trail was not extremely difficult but I can see how it’s difficult for others. I recommend to head out first thing in the morning as the afternoon sun is VERY hot and with the dry heat, it becomes unbearable. There’s barely no shade on the trail so when that sun is blazing, you’re completely exposed to the sun and heat. Come prepared with plenty of water and high energy food. We brought eight bottles of water each and went through 6 easily. The trail is a 1 person wide dirt trail with no barriers and minimal markers. I’m scared of heights and the trail made me uncomfortable at times when it was steep and if I fell I felt like it would be to my death of tumbling down the rocky side with minimal to no shrubs to stop my fall. Other areas of the trail were fine. As we got closer to the waterfalls, there was more shade and trees but larger rocks we had to climb over. We got to a point that we weren’t sure if we were on the right track as there wasn’t a distinct trail to follow nor markers, but then we would randomly find a ribbon on a branch.
At the end of the trail are the waterfalls, they are awesome. I would recommend to bring a swimsuit and a towel, freezing water but a great way to cool off. To get to the top waterfall you have to climb the rocks which are smooth and steep and only have a rope to help you up. Bring good gripping shoes and gloves (if you’re hands are on the sensitive side).
CAUTION!!!
So this trail is completely do able, but be SAFE. On our way we ran into a group in which one of the guys broke his leg and since there’s no signal, they had to carry him back to the car (in which there is still no signal in the parking lot and only signal after an hour drive back towards the highway). If you have a radio, I would recommend to bring a radio with you so you can call for help incase. The man broke his leg going down the old trail in which the rope was removed to prevent people from going down, sever accidents will entail if you try this. Do not rush down the ropes at the waterfall, I saw someone loose balance and almost flew into the tree and stones and would’ve broken his back or head if it wasn’t for his friend saving him from falling to his death. Like I said, be safe, go prepared, don’t be stupid, and you’ll survive without any issues.

Every easy for a first timer; mostly flat, a little damp in a few spots, but lots of animals. We saw deer, woodpeckers, cicadas, but no snakes or alligators.

Hiking boots, 3 liters of water, hat, and snacks are a good idea. You should be prepared doing this hike. It's very hot, lack of shade, loose trail, unstable ground. This is not a place for kids or dogs. The ground is 110 degrees so this could kill your pup. We had to carry a dog off the mountain before. Lots of dogs die hiking in the heat.
This is one of my favorite hikes. The new trail is as a lot easier, but I prefer the original route with the ropes. There is a total of 5 ropes to help you up and down the steep ledges. I bring gloves because it is rough on my hands.

Great trail , fully shaded lightly used lots of wildlife, watch out for alligators on the trail

I am just starting to hike and agree it is a moderate hike. Only downside was the heat, can get really hot so make sure you take lots of water and are hydrated before. On our way down to waterfall sun was out so I was pretty drained getting there, but on our way back up sun wasn't as strong and I was able to make it up easily. Took us a little under 2 hours both ways. Good hike overall.

hiking
1 month ago

Some challenging parts!

March 26th 2018 the waterfalls were flowing and gorgeous everything green and birds are chirping

amazing placer

hiking
1 month ago

Great workout and a challenging hike. Will do this one again.

loved this park. it is giant with a ton of walking trail options.

Beautiful

trail running
1 month ago

Great trail to hike and trail run! I enjoyed the scenery. Made it to Lake Poway. Relaxed at the bench, snacked, than continued with hike. Trail run my way back to staging area. Lots of trails to choose from. Will hike again =)

hiking
1 month ago

Loved this trail! One of 5 of the 5 peak challenge and my favorite. Views are great, not as crowded, challenging, great workout!

trail running
1 month ago

Lovely quiet trail, perfect for running. Would recommend parking and beginning at black mountain ranch park rather than the trailhead this app recommends (that trailhead is at one of the most confusing parts of the loop- black mountain ranch park is pretty clear)

We started at the Equestrian Circle and hit both South and North Fortuna, then came back along the perimeter trail next to the 52. That section was extremely steep and gravely. Least favorite part for sure. Hiking shoes are a must, and watch out for rattlesnakes. We saw one right in the middle of our path. Our whole route was about 8 miles round trip and took about 3 hours to complete.

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