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First mile, high elevation gain and tires you out but rest of walk to Lake Hodges overlook is so worth it! Creek is on way in/out of trail next to parking lot. I got a late start at 1030am and was done by 1pm

An easy in canyon walk. Very crowded but beautiful.

Love this hike!
Good exercise. Great View. Close to home.

The creek was beautiful and had more flow than I would have thought for this time of the year. The trail was rocky most of the way up but you just have to pay attention a bit. I couldn’t believe it when I got to the top and I found toilets and a water fountain! Are we spoiled or what—-:-) I’ve never seen that before!

Excellent hike, both vertical and mileage!

One of the most amazing places I have been in my life do the back land hike if your tour guide offers

We did tour with a guide because you can’t do it without a guide. I wouldn’t call this a hike. It’s pretty time consuming due to the amount of people in group tour and picture taking time. But if your in the area this is a MUST SEE! It will take about 1.5-2 hours tour time. But it’s 100% worth it!

hiking
15 days ago

hiking
17 days ago

Stars only for easy hike with good payoff with a nice view of San Diego, otherwise very crowded with people with horrible trail etiquette. Speakers blasting music, trash not packed out, people not staying on trail and ruining surrounding brush.

The back side is more preferred. Not nearly as crowded and is more demanding.

Smashed this hike wearing 60lbs of body armor....it gets very crowded, get there early. It is an easy hike that would be great for a beginner who is unsure about their skill level. The views are nice from the summit and you’ll feel
Like you’ve accomplished something.

It was a decent hike up, but definitely super crowded. I was there by 8 & there were still a bunch of people already on the trail.

hiking
22 days ago

good trail for beginners

Awesome trail! Full of happy helpful folks!

This is a very nice trail for children. There isn’t any incline, and there’s great scenery and wildlife to entertain kids.

Great for photos but you are packed in the canyon like sardines.

Definitely enjoyed this hike - good mix of inclines, not too strenuous, very scenic. Tons of different trails so you can make it a longer hike if you want.

Great hike with spectacular views of San Diego. You can also jog or run the path leading to the summit. It’s great for kids, groups, dogs and runners.

First time hiking this mountain while I visit SD. Not bad at all, but the haze in the sky was depressing. Maybe smoke or just pollution, but not too clear for looking into the distance. Pretty views all around otherwise and I guess not too busy for a weekday morning. Yay vacation! A good little workout just enough to get the blood pumping. More moderate than difficult that the signs advertised. More trails to check out in the area.

walking
1 month ago

Guided tour through the canyon. Amazing views, worth every dollar.

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!

hiking
1 month ago

awesome trail front side I good start then move to side service road and then for extra distance use big rock,, I come here at least twice a week for cardio workout

Great trail, was packed by 9am. Ground was like stepping on marbles and feet went out from under me. Beautiful view all the way up

spectacular
we did it with our 4 year old
she loved it
bring enough photo memory

hiking
1 month ago

I hike the service road 4-5 times a week. Great hike and I love it. Amazed how much trash is left behind and people with dogs off leash. Just posted a picture of a rattlesnake I saw last week. Please leash your dog so they don’t get bitten and I better not catch anyone leaving trash.

Just took this trail down to West Fork Campground. The way back up is pretty difficult even for a couple of experienced hikers. If you’re looking to take this to West Fork as a shortcut instead of the trail from Red Box, consider the fact that there are more places to rest on the red box trail. The way back up this way was extremely rocky, full of obstructions and annoyingly steep. Not to mention, there’s very little shade to protect you from the summer sun.

If you happen to go all the way to West Fork, the water’s clean enough, but of course, use your own judgment.

hiking
1 month ago

I don't really consider this a "hike", but rather more of a walk down stairs, into a canyon that offers you some of the most memorable views in your life. In fact, the only way to enter the canyon is through a tour. If you are a nature lover of any kind, this is a must-do.
As the information above shows, you are not allowed to enter this canyon without a Navajo guide and a permit. Permits are cheap (under $10), and then the price of the tour. It's a large parking lot, so unless you're there in peak season on a weekend, you'll not have too hard a time parking.
The tours are grouped of maybe 20-25 people at a time, with a Navajo guide who offers you details about the canyon and the surrounding land along the way.
Again, you are not allowed to just part and walk down into the canyon. This is for your own safely because if you are in the canyon when it rains, you will drown. Sounds dramatic, but it's true. The guides let you know that only 1 inch of rain above-ground will flood this 80 ft deep canyon. So, heed the warning to never sneak in. Plus, it's about respect. This is tribal land that we're privileged to walk on. So, don't grumble about the fee or that you can't wander around alone. The guides will give you ample opportunities to stop and take pictures.
For those who aren't into hiking, are disabled, or don't exercise regularly, the only way down, into the canyon is by climbing down narrow, grated stair cases.
Fair warning, too, about the amount of tourists here. LIterally busloads. I've been twice, once in October, where there was minimal wait time (maybe 10 min max). The second time I went, I visited in mid-July, around 10am. The wait to get into the canyon lasted 45+ min as you stand outside in direct sunlight. There were hundreds of people standing, waiting for their tour group to enter down into the canyon. And because you're standing in direct sun, there were a few people in line when I was there who fainted. No joke. So if you're not acclimated to desert heat and don't have 2+ bottles of water, DO NOT GO IN THE SUMMER.
Otherwise, this will be one of the most beautiful things you ever see.

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

All of the camps have potable water and are well spaced. I carried a water filter but did not need to use it.

Lake Ranch Trail is very overgrown but easily passable. No issues with ticks despite the high grass. Other trails are all very well maintained and appear to have been cut back recently.

This was a really enjoyable walk, lots of variety and overall not too difficult. Primarily shaded just the short beachfront section has little.

I went anti-clockwise to try and get down the water with reasonably early morning light. Additionally it’s always nice not to be stuck with a heavy uphill right at the end. I’d swap the short jaunt to the lake for a walk down to Alamere Falls. It’s worth a quick look but expect it to be busy.

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