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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.

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!

This is an awesome spot on the Oregon coast. We saw harlequin ducks, oyster catchers, blue heron, harbor seals and a spouting whale! A must see when close to Newport.

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.

Such a sweet hike with some breath taking views right in our back yard... you get to feel disconnected from everything as if you were in Julian. That last part to get to the top gets a little tricky since it’s covered in bushes and the trail markers don’t start until you get to the rock of the summit.... the old mines and Jeep are some super cool things to check out to keep your mind distracted on your way up! I usually don’t take water but thought I should for this one and even then was really thirsty at the end after downing two liters... stay hydrated and enjoy the views!!

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

Great views and great workout both ways

Beautiful place

I love that height it's so green

hiking
6 days ago

hiking
6 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.

hiking
7 days ago

Saturday, 11/10/2018 completed The Warrior Challenge Hike supporting our Veterans Day 2018. Triumph at El Cajon Peak, signed the official Peak Log and located all 3 Geological Benchmarks. Tallied up 11.39 RT mileage and 3,936’ total elevation gains gains. 2nd time hiking the El Capitan Preserve and only made it El Capitan Peak back on 12/22/2013. 5-years later, 60-lbs lighter I now have sense of accomplishment being this is labeled the hardest hike in the entire San Diego County! So steep with numerous peaks and valleys to trek through I developed cramps again but all worth it at the end!

Great 10 mile hike!! I found this mountain to be very hard in the sense that is none stop up hill and down hill from beginning to end. It was a challenge!!! You definitely need plenty of water and snacks to replenish your energy.

Amazing views.

walking
9 days ago

Beautiful place for watching whales, surfers, birds, and maybe the best sunsets on the Oregon Coast. I’d highly recommend visiting at low tide so you can go to the beach on the north side of the point and go into the Punchbowl. Fun tide pools and gorgeous views!

Been hiking Cowles since 1986

Best bang for your one day hiking buck! Well marked informative mileage signs with elevation profiles. Only out and back trail in SD County that is up hill in both directions.

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!

About 90% of this hike is shaded which is very nice for comfort but limits the view points. I guess it was nice to change it up from the dessertous terrain of SoCal. It was also nice because I got a late start but didn’t get caught in the worst of the sun. Btw parking is rough if you get there late, I parked 0.8 miles from the trailhead.

Started out this hike with what felt like a million other people, I was not excited and kept weaving around them. Around mile 4 where it splits off to summit Wilson, just past sturtevant camp, everyone disappeared. Yay. But I was immediate joined by eight million mosquitos. Luckily I had some bug spray, if I do this hike again, I’ll bring a head net. As others have said, the summit left much to be desired. No log book, signage, etc plus people can drive there so it doesn’t give you the same sense of accomplishment.

Worth mentioning, when you get to the burned area just before the peak, there is load of poison oak? I’m terrible at IDing plants but someone told me it was poisonous and what it looked like, it was scary especially with my dog but I think we made it out unscathed.

Made it up in 4 hours and down in 2.5. Overall not a bad day but def not my fav hike in SoCal.

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
16 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!

Amazing hiking. All the trail was very quiet so you could hear the sound of nature.

we started at 7am, when the sun was nice and finished by 1pm, around 11am the sun killed us, we consumed much more water and stoped more often to rest. 2.5 - 3 liters of water was enough! :) start early, finish before the sun is up!! great hiking!

My girlfriends and I did this hike at 6am and we were back in the car by 11am. it was foggy when we reached the top so we couldn't enjoy the view. It was also freezing cold so we headed back down. It was a great work out for all of us and will definitely come back again.

I wish it would be longer but it’s still a nice stroll. Good place to get away and clear your head.

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!

hiking
27 days ago

My friend and I hiked this Saturday starting at 9:15am. It was during the October Santa Ana and now I know why I won't be hiking it in the summer months. It can get pretty hot.
We wanted to have a fun hiking distraction while hiking down so we created names for each of the steep sections that were challenging enough for worthy mention. Here are the names in descending order from the top...
1. Summit
2. Jalopy
3. Tater Tots
4. Feather Duster
5. Hey what?! WTF?!?!
6. Sarah's Song
7. Sugar, please
8. Eggsellent
9. Deadwood
10. Tardy to the Party
11. #11 (we didn't think of one)
12. Knee Break
13. Lifted Spirits
14. Beer, please

See if you can figure out why we named them!

A perfect hike that is a test of endurance rather than being a hard technical climb. The path is clear allowing for a hands free ascent. It took about 4.5 hours, if you time it right, the sunset over the coast is spectacular.

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