Explore Need to Hike - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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hiking
15 hours ago

Love this HARD hike but FYI the trail is closed for August due to high heat! We showed up at 6 am with tons of water and found closed sign and had to divert to mission trails. Def hike when cooler!

we really enjoyed the tide pools, cactus and knowledgable rangers

Pretty nice, very easy. Keep an eye out for the rattlers

Great hike spot if you’re looking for a quiet place to enjoy some beautiful scenery. You make the hike however long/challenging as you like with the various trails you can pick once you get to the top! Starts with. 1.5mile trek up the mountain, but once you get to the top you have several trails to pick long or short that offer lake views, ocean view, or overlooking all of Escondido’s city. Highly recommend! Grab a map from the resource center in the parking lot for a guide on which trails you want!

Good hiking

So a buddy and I did this hike on 8/6/18. Not a good idea. Do not do this hike in the summer. Wait until it cools off. There is very little shade to stop in. And please for the love of all that is holy, bring more than 3L of water. You will run out. You will be miserable. The hike itself is intense. A lot of big hills, the top has a 360 degree view of nothing but mountains. The last few hundred feet are tough. Small trail through big rocks.

hiking
12 days ago

nice easy hike. At the end of the hike there's huge rocks and boulders you can navigate through to take in the beautiful views that stonewall peak has to offer.

Very enjoyable hike. Wildflowers, butterflies, interesting bugs. Absolutely no one else on the trail on a weekday afternoon, so nice and isolated feeling. I wanted to stay and enjoy the incredible 360° view from the very top, but it was so incredibly windy, I thought I would be blown off the side of the mountain. Gorgeous.

hiking
14 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.

Very hot! Would be best early am hours. However it was a very nice work out.

a nice, easy hike. good for a trail run, for sure and very pretty.

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

Extremely fun! Great flat piece for photos

This hike is legit and very steep and tiring. Bring tons of water and be prepared for uphill both ways. We did it on 7/21/18 and one of our good Freinds had a heat stroke and was life flighted out. Be prepared.

We started at the Sorrento Valley Rd Parking lot, crossed over to the North Trail at the Wagon Wheel Crossing and stayed on the North Trail until the Carson's Crossing when we returned back on the South Trail. The waterfall wasn't much of a waterfall due to lack of rain recently, but the area was still pretty. There is a lot of wildlife to see - all kinds of birds (even saw some hummingbirds in the trees at Carson's Crossing), lizards, butterflies, dragonflies, and scat from a bunch of different animals that reside in the Preserve. There is some shade, but not much so be sure to bring lots of water, a hat, sunscreen, and clothing to shield you from the sun. It is an easy hike with minimal inclines. The trail is a mix of loose sand, packed sand, hard dirt, loose rocks. There are a lot of unmarked trails connecting to the main trails so make sure to bring a map to keep track of where you are. The bathroom at the parking area is a single portable toilet. Signs at the trailhead indicate the area has ticks, but the paths are quite wide in most places and easy to stay on the trail - doesn't hurt to use bug spray just in case. We went midday on a weekday and only saw a few other people (some on bikes and some walking) - however, I can see how this can be a busy trail during peak times.

short, steep, and sweet view at the top. Not many people either. Tranquillity.

hiking
25 days ago

This is by far probably one of my favorite hikes! The view from the peak is just spectacular! We hiked it later in the day in the heat so we had the trail and peak to ourselves. There is little to no shade on this trail so if you plan on hiking during the warmer months be sure to bring lots of water, sunscreen, a hat, and clothing to help shield you from the sun. It is a fairly short trail and the elevation gain is minimal making this an easy trail. The trail intersects with the PCT about 0.6 miles in so you can add more mileage to your hike if you choose. There are no bathrooms near the trailhead, but the visitor center isn't too far down the road. Saw lots of lizards, butterflies, dragonflies, and birds - did not see any snakes but I'm sure there were some around given the terrain.

Gorgeous. Go at low tide and spend plenty of time at the tide pools.

Long but easy, good for a run

Some very modest hills, but otherwise a flat walk (or run) up Penesquitos Canyon. A small waterfall at the mid point provides some scrambling opportunities as well as a place to cool your feet. A fairly easy hike, but little to no breeze in the canyon, so not a good option on hot days.

hiking
26 days ago

This is a late review but I hiked this trail back in the winter when the temps weren't too bad. I started the hike super early before the sun came up. It took a couple hours to finish the hike but its not too bad if you start early and do it before it gets too hot. I brought a gallon of water and pretty much drank the whole thing. I saw one girl practically having a heat stroke when I was hiking back toward the car. Her friends were pouring water on her head. I probably wouldn't recommend this hike unless you are in decent shape.

hiking
26 days ago

Very easy trial. Small incline at the beginning-maybe a tenth of a mile and that’s about it. Lots of switchbacks and the views all the way to the top were amazing. Loved the stairs leading to the summit. However huge infestation of termites at the summit. So definitely didn’t hang out at the summit for too long. They flew and landed all over my friend. The views at the summit are definitely worth it. It was beautiful. We went early enough we didn’t see any snakes at all but we were definitely definitely wary and watching out for them. Definitely do this hike. You won’t be disappointed.

The views are amazing. I don't think it was a mile.

It was a fun hike with my wife and our first trail in California. The scenery was beautiful.

A tough one. Specially in the summer time. Took 5:50” heat definitely a factor. 4.5lt, barely enough. Nice views up top. Save energy for the return leg since you will find steep hills. Would recommend trekking poles and an early start.

PARKING: limited parking in the dirt lot that opens at 8AM so i recommend getting there a little early to claim the prime spot.

THE HIKE: locating the trail head was a bit difficult for me since there were multiple trail heads at the start. choose the right one or you'll end up by the river with no where else to go (whisper: saw a lady doing yoga posses on this very short trail and i awkwardly walked backwards as though i just saw a bear)

Anyway, the hike itself is very well maintained and saw a few rangers making rounds making sure that people are leashing their dogs and making sure poops are in poop bags. I went during the weekday so didn't notice a lot of human traffic (perfect for my introverted self). HOWEVER, the reserve does offer guided hikes and as i was heading back, a swarm of (i kid you not) 20 children were running past me and 1 chaperone absentmindedly staring at her phone.

You'll go through some slight inclines and declines but overall, the hike was bearable. The dam (which i mistook for the lake) is pretty cool but definitely make your way up to the actual overlook for breathtaking views!!! i guarantee you're hiking mind will feel the euphoria of gorgeous scenery. Take your time taking it all in, too! It was nice being the first and only one at the overlook.

I would say this is one of my favorite hikes in the area. Warning though, there's very little shade so either go super early to beat the heat (especially during the summer) or be prepared and slather layers of sunblock. Also be careful for random animal droppings. And bugs.

hiking
1 month ago

Great short hike.Strenuous effort to give you a workout. Short enough to do anytime.

Tough as it's made out to be. I hiked it when it was a high of 75 and felt like it was 90. I went through 4 liters of water and could have used more.

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