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hikes to complete Map

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

15 days ago

Rock climbers loops was amazing as well as thrilling. Perfect if you're trying to increase your endurance. Wonderful park, with a hike for any age group.

Quite an intense hike. Great for beginners. Rock climbing is an add-on feature of the hike.

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

1 month ago

The straightaway in the map is a series of steep incline and declines. The curvy portions navigate around the elevation to make it easier to work with.

trail running
1 month ago

Great run/hike from the visitor’s center parking lot. Took my dogs with me but it was a little harder than I thought it would be for them (my doberman had a blast but my medium-sized lab mix struggled in a couple spots). We stuck to the trail for the sake of safety. Nice views at the top of the trail.

love this trail. nice, quick, challenging hike.

on Big Rock Trail

1 month ago

a great way to go to the top of Cowles Mountain without all the traffic. A good workout fairly steep in places lots of stairs to climb. Go early it gets hot! the only reason not five stars is because it's pretty dusty in the summer months.

I started at Tecolote Nature Center and made it as far as Balboa Ave. The portion of the trail between Mt. Acadia Ave. and Balboa was new to me, and I liked it a lot. Large trees, views of the stream, and pretty even terrain - nothing like the steep hills between USD and Mt. Acadia Avenue parallel to the golf course. One thing to note is that at one point the trail doesn’t match up with the map. From a fork in the trail, you can only go left (walking north), as the right is closed for revegetation. A short distance after that, the trail turns sharply right, away from the trail drawn on the map and joins up with the trail that was originally the closed one leading right from the fork (see my screenshot of the map). Not a big deal though, since this part of the trail is well marked, and off-limits areas are cordoned off.

2 months ago

This is in a national park and you have to pay to get in. I wish I would have read this before driving out here without money on me. Maybe another day.

DO NOT follow the “getting there” directions (do not turn left down chihuahua or go down any dirt road), just keep following the original road all the way down to the fire station, and park at the information center. Trail is on THE SAME SIDE OF THE ROAD as the fire station on the right hand side when facing the building, NOT the side of the road with the info center and PCT sign. Also keep in mind this route approaches the rock formation from behind, so be on the look out for the trail split once you hit 3.2 miles! Be sure to bring plenty of water, direct sun is a killler for 2/3 of the way there/back.

Eagle rock itself was super cool!! There isn't much shade cover on this trail, so next time I'd try not to go on a really hot and sunny day. The trail was pretty empty when we went.

2 months ago

Peaceful trail with breathtaking views. Information signs about local wildlife and a few WWII-era structures keep the trail interesting, as do the natural surroundings themselves. I saw birds, bees, and even a small snake slithering across the trail. And the exposed yellow sandstone in one spot is really pretty. The all-downhill, then all-uphill factor makes it exhausting near the end, and I don't care for the very upper part that's just a paved road. But the bottom part of the trail is lovely. As for being wheelchair/stroller friendly, I wouldn't consider this trail to be suitable for either one. There is a short, paved panoramic loop behind the lighthouse that is accessible, but personally I wouldn't bring my stroller on this trail. I did bring my 2-year old twins with me but preferred to carry them both for short stretches rather than push 2 kids in a stroller uphill for a mile. And one more thing to consider: be prepared for no shade. I went on a cloudy morning, and it was perfect!

The eagle stone itself is pretty awesome. The hike is rated moderate but it was pretty easy in 85 degree weather. FYI, there's absolutely no shade starting from the half way point to eagle stone so bring lots of water.

2 months ago

Very well-maintained trail, hard to get lost. The first 2/3rd you'll have some shade. The last third is straight exposure through grassland. The approach is behind the rock formation so it doesn't look like anything special. Got warned by a rattlesnake chillen by the rocks, so be cautious. Really easy hike.

Great hike. Definitely on the difficult side of moderate. Lots of climbing. A great local hike. Good training hike for a bigger hike.

2 months ago

This trail is ok. It seems to be better as a bike trail than hiking trail but I liked it well enough. If you follow the loop as shows the brutal part of this hike is the Downhill parts. Watch your footing as it’s pretty steep. There are a few steep inclines but overall the trail is pretty flat other than that.

Beautiful, varied terrain! I started my hike at the USD entrance about a mile west of the Visitor Center and headed north from there. There's a broad dirt road that runs under the power lines, straight up and down through the hills, and there's also a well-marked hiking trail that winds its way through the terrain, skirting the steepest parts of the hills and hugging the golf course. The straight dirt road is good for an intense leg workout, but I think the marked hiking trail is more scenic. The two trails are periodically connected, making it possible to switch from one to the other. The next section of trail through trees and along a stream was beautiful and peaceful. At one point, the trail became hard to follow, and studying my recording afterwards, I realized that I had missed a turn and ended up off the mapped trail when I decided to turn around. My total distance was just short of 5 miles, but I could easily have made it shorter or longer; the possibilities are endless. This park is a local treasure!

Walked east entrance from entrance on Genessee, plenty of shade under the scrub oak canopy, walked up and out near Golf Course at Osolo St. will do it again

2 months ago

Very short but beautiful hike. No shade at all so on sunny hot days bring your shade with you. It’s an out and back that is all down hill out and uphill back. Then you have to add the road that you hike down that you then get to hike back up to the lighthouse. It’s all good in the end. The views are spectacular and worth the workout. Benches are placed along the trail so you can take a rest if you need to. Bring water!

Súper este Trail

One of the best mission trails hikes. That stair climb is a challenge but it’s very rewarding and great views. This says moderate and overall probably is but the stair climb is one of the hardest in the mission trails area in my opinion. Take your time and be safe as always!

Fun easy well maintained trail. That starts in shaded oak trees then breaks out into a plains area with a cool rock formation at the end. Nice scenery only a few people. Saw pretty good size coyote in the mid of the day

A must see up close !

This was our first family hike and we absolutely loved it!! We live a few minutes away and now this will be one of our favorite hikes for sure. Edward (5) did increíble. Ashton (3) not too much but daddy was able to carry him they both very happy.

3 months ago

PARKING: you can park in the visitor center lot, the side of the road that leads to the visitor center, or the side of the road within the gated entrance (not sure when the gates open but i imagine 8AM?) it was pretty crowded when i was returning from the hike (around 9AM) since there's free guided nature walks on certain days, so definitely keep that in mind. BTW - i highly recommend visiting the visitor center as they have small interesting exhibits ^_^

HIKE: the hike is pretty straight forward with some branching trails at the start but they inter-connect with the main trail. there's incline and declines but they aren't too drastic UNLESS YOU PLAN ON ROCK CLIMBING/BOULDERING!

Funny thing - i tried to boulder my way up to the top and almost fell. so be very careful and have the proper equipment when attempting. I only had climbing shoes but. But i'm also a novice LOL.

Anyway, you can choose to not boulder and just continue the hike.

It got pretty packed early in the morning so if you're looking for quiet serenity - i'd advise to come around 7AM since there were already a bunch of humans by 8AM. and since the park offers free nature walks, that just adds to the human traffic you'll need to navigate around.

overall, i'd say this was enjoyable and the scenery was very nice. i just wish i'd made it to the top but i'll need to up my climbing skills.

This trail was amazing and the view was worth the hard climb! It was the perfect weather yesterday as well!

This trail was an excellent workout. There’s a lot of steep trails so I’d be wary of what footwear you decided to don. A large portion of the trail as mapped out on the app is roads they must use for utility vehicles to access the high lines in the canyon. For a unique experience I recommend taking some side trails, if you have time. At the very top of the marked trail on the app (I took the right at the fork), there’s an area that continues north and then loops back around to marked trail. It adds about half a mile to the trail, but it’s very scenic and takes you through probably the most shaded area in the entire canyon that has a trail. There’s also a nice creek down there (mostly dry stagnant water) that I snapped an excellent photo of my dog near

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