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Beautiful wilderness area. Lightly trafficked. Takes between 4-5 hours to complete. Bring 6-8 liters of water and 2,000-3,000 calories.if summiting in winter bring emergency blankets in case you need to bivy at the top.

saw squirrels having sex

Morning and daytime (during cooler weather) hikes here can be extremely busy! I go at night (bring head gear or hand flashlight). When using a flashlight at night please be mindful of either sticking your beam on the trail or just turn it off until they pass (some hikers prefer using the natural moonlight). Don't shine it in their eyes! It's rude and unsafe. Once at the summit, incredible views!

hiking
2 days ago

A good workout. Very nice views.

it was great hike.

Really good hike. Has some stretches that are challenging like the last bit to the top but the views are worth it. Well marked trails too.

Nice hike with some challenging sections. The six mile loop is a combination of a bunch of different paths so I recommend running this app during your hike. You can’t just zone out and walk/run the whole thing. When you come out of the parking lot, there is a cool bridge over a canyon. You turn left once across the bridge to get to The Fortuna loop. If you want to go counterclockwise, the path off to the right is roughly a hundred yards after turning left from the bridge. If you turn right from the bridge, there are some very steep repeated climbs for a warm up.

I did it counterclockwise and enjoying hustling up the long run of steps. I definitely preferred going up those versus down. It took me just over 90 minutes to complete. There are spectacular views from both peaks. I was fine starting at 8am on a weekday in mid-November with a 12-16oz bottle of water. I passed maybe five people going in my direction and about the same going the other way.

Beautiful scenery through out the trail and ending with a beach walk back to the starting spot is a great cool down.

We did an 6am morning hike and it was perfect not too many people going up or coming down.

I love that height it's so green

hiking
8 days ago

hiking
8 days ago

Trail is EXTREMELY crowded on the weekend (even at 7 AM).
Overlooks urban sprawl.
Peak is dominated by an ugly transmission tower.
I think one star is generous.

Very nice on a beautiful day..

It was well kept and not highly trafficked.

Been hiking Cowles since 1986

We did this around 8am it was perfect timing. The fog came in later so we had some great views. It’s started to get crowded around 930am.

Went at night, the hike had awesome views of San Diego, including downtown. The trail was wide, in most parts with lots of switchbacks and fun, rocky terrain. Great hike overall!

Fantastic views. Moderately challenging depending on the level of sun and heat you're encountering. Bring more water than you need and do the hike clockwise so that the heavy incline (on the S.Fortuna side), is actually a decline.

I wouldn't reccomend the north trail for mt biking unless you like hike !bike

If you are new to San Diego, it's a great way to get the lay of the land. Expect crowds and in our case, some unusual people hiking with Bluetooth speakers playing rap music for all to hear. Other than that, great views ranging from the ocean, downtown, East County, Mexico, San Jacinto Mountain near Palm Springs and even the San Bernardino mountains way off in the distance. Enjoy!

hiking
18 days ago

My favorite part about this hike is at the top it has a map telling you what landmarks are in each direction and you can see Mexico!

great when it isnt crowded!

Got there quite early (730am) and it was very foggy on the hike up but the temps were so mild it was perfect. The include was gradual but you get a good cardio workout.

Definitely epic views.

Best part - briskly walking the beach hoping to not get my shoes wet... which didn’t happen

Great easy walk!

Beautiful! This is ranked as easy but if it’s high tide and you can’t cut across the beach, you’ll have to go back the way you came; if you’re new to hiking, the gradual inclines will get you a bit out of breath. But still an easy, breezy hike.

Beautiful views going up! Very crowded, but everyone is very nice and polite! :) There are a few people that forget their dog-potty bags sadly.
The views and trails are worth the crowds, a must do trail!

Super fun! I lived it

Great trail to bring out of state guests and friends.

Good workout, lots of up and down. We went counterclockwise and hit the stairs going up. The trails are marked with changing names. Hard to get lost, but easy to make a wrong turn. Great view from both peaks.

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