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just finished this bad boy or girl.. its was a challenge!

This is a beautifully maintained park with a small visitor center. There is a $3 parking fee, and although posted hours begin at 9:30am, we pulled into the lot before 8am and self-paid.

The lower elevation loop is a nice, easy walk through various mini ecosystems. Traffic noise is a bit of a distraction. The summit trail is very steep for the last 0.25 miles. Wear good shoes and consider hiking poles. Great views from the top, and you leave the noise of cars behind.

On our early Saturday morning visit, we ran into exactly 2 other hikers, who were very friendly.

Trails are very clean. We saw evidence of coyotes and raccoons, and saw a rabbit, several song birds, and 2 different species of lizard.

Was able to hike this in 3 hours including lots of rest breaks. I am not an experienced hiker and very sensitive to the heat. Really good challenge and cool to see the caves. Lots of dog and coyote scat on the trail.

on Viejas Mountain Trail

26 days ago

This was steep but worth the view.

hiking
1 month ago

It is hard but a good workout. It took me about 3 hours round trip. I would suggest wearing hiking boots; the trail is very rocky. Good views.

hiking
1 month ago

Good trail and easy to follow. Bring plenty of water and use sunscreen during the summer. Had my 4 kids with me (10 and under) and they were able to get to the top. It was definitely hot with minimal coverage, I’d like to do it again once it’s cooled down a bit. The views were worth the climb. The distance is a little off, it says it is 4.6 miles but we went 5.41 miles total.

Great little trail and views

trail running
1 month ago

This trail is extremely crowded in peak times such as the morning, weekends, and especially on holidays. The trail brings you up to the famous St. Margaret's cross which is both a local favorite and a bit of a tourist attraction. The view a top the trail is decent but if you want a better view of Palm Desert then try the bump n grind. Good running trail if done twice in succession.

hiking
2 months ago

It's definitely an easier trail but I wouldn't call it easy, especially if you start at the typical base. It does connect to a couple easy routes that are good for beginners and kids to do. It's shorter too than many of the trails unless you do the loops but still an excellent workout! I do it every morning.

LOVE this trail. Super easy and very very scenic. Had a little picnic here halfway through with the kids. Definitely recommend.

Great hike with an awesome waterfall to play around or near. Fun little "pool" area at the base of the falls to cool down in. Our dog loved it too. If u do bring your dog go early because of the heat....and plenty of water for you and your pooch. Hike back wasn't too bad, the last .5 mile back was probably the hardest. Only saw one snake..

Typical SoCal hike. Good workout and accurate distance. There are a few nice lookout points but for the most part it is an uncovered grind to the peak. We went in the early afternoon on a sunny day in June and it was HOT. No tree coverage but based on other reviews did not expect any. A solid hike and close to San Diego which is a plus.

It truly is one of the most unique and beautiful trails ever. It's a real oasis. When are you going to get to see that!

Beautiful views. Make sure to purchase a permit. One permit for 5 people. Bring plenty of water and food. Don't forget your hat and sunscreen lotion because there are no shades. It was easy on the way down to the water fall. Yet, on the way back was a challenging. There was a little snake in the water. Be careful. I was there last week, July 1st.

What can I say, this is a fun hike! The caves are so cool to see and u don't even think about the difficulty of the trail because of all there is to see! Beautiful views from the peak as well!

The trail itself isn't anything spectacular but does include a nice kick ass incline at the end! What is special about this trail is the park itself. It is beautifully maintained and perfect for picnics with the kids! Take a nice quick hike then let the kids play in the nicely shaded playground! Be sure to check out the ranger station as they have tons of cool animals and exhibits!

Fun but harder hike, took kids and dogs and they were good!

Nice moderate hike then gets more difficult hiking up to the peak.

Didn’t get to the falls (couldn’t get a $10 permit) but nice hike nonetheless

This was definitely a tougher hike. challenging towards the end but the view was really nice and worth the hike. only passed 3 people the whole way. if you like solitude there are a lot of options at the top for where you can plant yourself and sit for a few.

hiking
2 months ago

Love this hike! Good amount of parking, scenic mountains on the way down and decent work out on the way back. Wear a bathing suit and pack a lunch and hang near the water for a bit. I swam before hiking back to help beat the heat. There is zero shade besides down by the water so be smart. I went last week and there really was just a trickle vs a waterfall but definitely still worth the hike. Oh and get your permit - they checked mine at the tent before entering and then again after I had already done ~2 miles.

hiking
3 months ago

Can’t believe I’ve never heard of this hike it’s stunning the trail it’s self not worn down and full of nature and the views are amazing I caught a stellar sun set on my way down didn’t even see another person on the trail. Loved it.

hiking
3 months ago

it's quite the lower body burn for the first mile or so and then again, intermittently on the path. there are a few splits in the road that are not marked but you can figure it out relatively easily as the alternate "paths" don't really lead anywhere. you pass some huge homes, compounds really, so you don't really feel like it's a hike until you are near the top and the homes are in the distance. not as "scenic" as I'd hoped from prior reviews but after doing Corte Madeira in Cleveland National Forrest, there's not much that I would be wowed by. there are a lot of loose rocks so stick to the surfaces that look most traveled as they are the most secure. took us 2 hours because the first 20-30 minutes is super challenging. use this as a workout and you will love it. using it as a scenic experience, not really. we saw a total of 5 people so it's perfect for going at whatever pace you want.

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful views along with my pup and I getting quite a workout with the steep hills. Parking was good and there was barely anyone there. With that being said, we encountered a rattlesnake towards the end of our hike (we’re fine!) just make sure you’re aware of your surroundings!

Beautiful hike!! But be aware that you need a permit. They have a tent pitched at the trailhead and wont let you go past without one. The way down was easy, but the way back up was tougher. Its not steep, but if its hot the granite makes it extremely hot and there is no shade. Bring a gallon per person, youll definitely need it. The water was trickling today, but there was a decent amount in the pool. It looked too stagnant to swim in, but people were in there anyway. Id definitely do it again, or try the two trails that branch from the north and south.

hiking
3 months ago

This trail is fantastic. Beautiful majestic mountains surrounding groves of palm trees that create the sensation of being on the set of a Jurassic Park movie. The trail down to the grove has a moderate slope but is doable even with some physical limitations. Reccomend going during the fall or winter as it can get extremely hot during the summer. There is a cost to enter the park, but it is half price in the summer if you are ok with 100 plus temp. Some birds and plenty of lizards came to visit as well.

hiking
3 months ago

Getting to the waterfall was a piece of cake, but coming back was draining. The heat didn’t help matters either. Make sure you bring LOTS of water!!! The waterfall had trickling water but the pool was full. The sight was worth the hike. I would definitely come back. Overall, it was a great hike!

Went early at 7am. The hiking in/out was great! There was no creek to cross and the waterfall didn't have a lot of water but it's still very pretty! Cool weather today, out by 10:30 in the morning. Perfect day for a hike.

Get a permit beforehand. This trail is pretty easy as long as the weather is nice. There is no real climb; it is mostly switchbacks. The waterfall was awesome.

BTW... We saw a dead rattlesnake on the trail. Someone had smashed it with a rock. Yikes!

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