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The views are amazing but this is a very busy trail. Going down it definitely seems easy and the trail does go all the way down to the ocean with beautiful views all the way. I definitely didn’t realize how steep it was until I was in the way back up. The smooth sandy trail is too set and carved out for my taste but I assumed it was for safety and preservation I would definitely hike here again.

Great hike to chat with friends while getting some nature time on :)

Beautiful hike with a moderate amount of steep sections

great hikers and viewers.

hiking
14 days ago

Oct 28, 2018. We hiked today with kids 10, 11, and 13yo. It was a wonderful experience! We started around 4pm and finished 6:15pm. Taking a lot of pics is what slowed us down. Next time we will hike in the morning :)

Great early fall hike. Beautiful pastoral vistas. Wild blackberries are just ripening...yumm :) Saw a bobcar at 2 in the afternoon, very cool. highly recommend this hike

hiking
14 days ago

nice good hiking area...there's a $10 parking fee and the office accepts card if its open.

We took the rangers recm and followed the route she suggested. The trails took us thru various terrain. We were covered under the forest canopy of giant oak and cedar trees. We even came across a few deer and the greatest find was coming upon a fallen giant oak tree. It was at least 15 feet on its side above our heads.

hiking
15 days ago

This is a scenic and relatively easy desert hike. We didn't see any rams but it was still worth it. To avoid the heat, I began at around 4:30pm and got back at around 6:30 (fall time). It got dark fast so bring a headlamp or flashlight if you go in the late afternoon / early evening. And of course, bring at least 2 litters of water per person (the park recommends 1 gallon per person, but I don't think that's necessary unless you're going during the day on a hot day, which I wouldn't recommend anyway.

We did hell creek trail to horse thief loop, about 4 miles. Beautiful hike, steep downhill in, step uphill out. Clean well maintained trails.

A fun, quick hike in a nice forest with a few lovely viewpoints. We went in the later afternoon and it was perfect; lots of shade, no bugs, not too busy, and got back to the car in time to enjoy the sunset on the way down the mountain. The trail is well-maintained with a gentle but constant uphill grade, interspersed with steeper rollercoaster parts which makes it a little more interesting. We got to the top a little bit too late to enjoy the observatory, but that wasn't the reason we took the hike so it wasn't a big disappointment. All in all, a great little hike.

Awsome hike. I posted a 36 min video on YouTube of the full hike. Do search "hellhole canyon preserve full hike 9.25" if you want to see what it is like.

Really great hike in Julian with beautiful fields. Also a great one for dog lovers!

No water right now but super nice hike.

Great hike any time of the year!

This was a great trail: clearly marked, well-maintained, and provided a diversity of landscapes, vegetation, and wildlife.

hiking
23 days ago

This was a great trial however at the time we hiked it there wasn’t much water. The alternate route on the way back is more up hill than the main route. But we did it because I like to do ‘ loop’ trails (it looks better on Strava.lol). Also there is a $10 fee when you enter this part of the park.

East to get to, great views, and more shade than I had expected. However, there were a lot of flies and gnats flying into my face than I preferred. I've done this hike twice and the experience was the same both times.

It was beautiful! Weather was a cool 54 degrees. I saw 2 solo hikers the entire day. The trails were maintained and easy to follow.

We hiked this trail on Sunday, 10/14 with 4-adults and 3-kids (ages 12-14). On the way to the trailhead, you will first reach the State Park gate where you will need to pay a $10 fee to enter the Park. There is a small building there with the ranger, and inside are some really nice stuffed examples of the local wildlife. The parking lot is very, very close, on your left. There is a bathroom building there with nice flush toilets and a picnic ground.

The hike starts down the paved road for about 300 yards, then enters the dirt trail. One thing I liked about the trail system is that it is mostly very well marked. If you are unsure where the trail transitions from the paved road to the dirt (it’s a funky 5 way intersection), then just check google maps street view, the street view shows it all, including down the trail, it’s pretty cool.

The trail goes thru some really nice oaks, and up a long hill, coming to a nice lookout at the Boucher Fire Lookout Tower. Be sure to ask any fire watch attendants for a tower tour. We did, and it was super cool for the adults, and the kids tolerated it just fine.

Back on the trail, and you’ll find a trail that is at this time very well maintained. They must have done a recent clean up and trimming all along it.

Warning, there is ALOT of poison oak in the area. None posed a problem along the trail at this time, but you need to be weary of it and educate any kids. Due to being fall, the poison oak was easy to spot, as it’s a beautiful red color.

Second warning, a tick tried to come home with us, but lost its life along the way, before it got to bury its head in my wife’s arm.

Wildlife: plenty of birds, saw lots of lady bugs in one meadow, and I mean lots... like a gazillion. Saw a group of 4 deer crossing the trail about 100 yards ahead, and In the last 1/2 mile or so, a small fox crossed the trail and posed upon a tree stump for us. It was super cool.

We liked the trail very, very much. I would have given it 5 stars, but downgraded it to 4 stars due to the poison oak and the hitchhiking tick. For a 3.4 mile trail, it gave a good workout with lots of beautiful scenery.

Great hike, so beautiful, amazing scent of cedar and pine throughout.

great trail. one of my favorites. I hike it all the time.

The trail is easy to following and just beautiful... that said, this is a HOT hike. I am a well-acclimated desert dweller and heat is not a problem for me, also I am an avid hiker. This was just over 3 miles of what I would consider an easy walk, but even I got a little over heated in this sunny canyon. I am only saying this so that people may take the warning and carry enough water... the park suggests no less than 1 gallon per person and I would certainly agree with that. With the proper supplies, this is a lovely walk with some very interesting geology! Saw a huge herd of Big Horn. Loved it.

first hike of our season. It's a burner. I'm way out of shape and this trail prove it. It's great in the am hours.

Not open Tuesday Wednesday or Thursday?!?
Insane

Good hike that’s clean and taken care of. I carry a toddler in a backpack and it’s easy to manage and lots of spots to stop and enjoy the view if need be.

I really enjoyed this trail and the views are soectacular!

A must see. This hike sealed the deal for me and my move to San Diego.

I give this trail a 4+. The beginning is easy and shady even after leaving late.(10AM) The middle is moderate, but the last mile or two is tough. November through March is the best time for this hike. Views we're hazy but impressive.

hiking
1 month ago

Used to hike here all the time when I was in high school.. I should go back and hike it again!!

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