Explore San Diego - 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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Great work out! The views were amazing of San Diego! Good cardio as well! We chose to take the harder trail path definitely a great work out! Would love to do again!!

mountain biking
2 days ago

Not an easy ride. Hard up and black down. Gotta send it on alot of trail. Lots of drop drop drop drops. rocky steep. Gotta charge hard or risk getting off.

great trail. good elevatipn. great views. cant get lost either.

hiking
3 days ago

This was a wonderful hike with some amazing views at the end. You can park on the side of the road, there is enough space for about 5+ cars depending on how close the cars park.

The hike starts off fairly flat, then just goes up at a consistent rate to the top. The trail is easy to follow and well maintained.

Will definitely come back and do this hike again.

enjoyed it 12-9-18 not as crowded as Coweles will do it often although walking down the service road to reconnect with big rock can be dangerous

a lot of people, met a barefoot hiker who is cool. not too many people would stop and talk though.

nice easy climb, gorgeous views at the top. unpopulated.

Good stuff

Such a fun and challenging hike/trail run. Great workout and nobody on the mountain!

6 days ago

Awesome trail to walk my dog! Don't see allot of ppl. Really enjoy this trail

walking
7 days ago

Peaceful walk and beautiful scenery. The trail is blocked off towards the end of the trail right now it seems. It is also easy to lose the trail if you're not paying complete attention. But overall it is a lovely way to spend some hours.

A really nice hike, moderate in length and fairly flat. The oasis at the end was beautiful and peaceful.

So 1st part of this trail is just a steep but short hiking trail. The rest of it is for climbers only. While the visitors center heavily discourages bouldering and blazing your own trail, many have done it *cough cough for thrills, and at the top theres a cool circle of rocks that people have put together. You could get to the nearest peak from there, but again it requires trail blazing so be careful (snakes) and mindful (there are unofficial trails, but minimize your foot imprint and dont trample, also dont smoke ANYTHING) *not that I have smoked in mission trails, just seen it and it makes me shudder thinking of one cigarette butt or flying pipe ember can just set a whole place ablaze, so just dont!!!

great for learners, or getting back into shape, or just getting better. great view of San Diego, beautiful sunsets. Easily accessible. pleanty of parking, and places the eat nearby. Downfall is it's often crowded, people think theres maintaneance to pick up their already bagged dog poo and bust leave it on the trail (stupid!) theres zero shade (sucks in the summer), and natural vegetation suffers from frequent human activity (comparing to the rest of mission trails, even during the dry season theres still some green, but hardly on Cowels) a pro to that, is less wildlife (snakes in particular)

Good workout! My steepest trail yet in SD. Hiked up with my dog for the sunset and ran (mostly) down.

Nice hike up with combo of mild-moderate inclines, flat areas to recover, and rewarding views at the top. It didn’t feel crowded with people/dogs to the point that it slowed me down. I didn’t bring my dog because of some stories I heard about overheating, wildlife issues, and fights with other dogs. I guess I could see a fight occur where the trail is tighter in spots (same way up/down) and dogs would come in contact with each other. That said, all dogs were well behaved when I was there and the trail was impeccably clean.

An awesome trail for running, and working on steep inclines!

one of the first hikes I've done best hike I've done. easier and easier as I go. running down is always the best. had 1 time where I saw a baby rattlesnake but other than that it was good lots of foot traffic but amazing hike.

18 days ago

Easy to follow, fire/utility road is main trail. Some good elevation swings make it challenging!

Great hike, though just a bit too busy on the weekends. Keep in mind that dogs can’t make it through the slot since you have to climb up a ladder at a certain point.

Easy comfortable hike. Cool in the afternoon.

Started early, 8 am and it was chilly/breezy (November). Great hike for beginners since the trail isn't too steep. I only saw 5 other people when I was coming down from the peak. The peak is amazing when on top of the boulder with fantastic views in all directions (very windy, so glad I had my sweatshirt to put on at the top). I started on the Upper Descanso Creek trail to get to Oakzanita trail... will do this again but take the fireroad down for a longer hike (working my way up to longer hikes).

hiking
19 days ago

Short but sweet! This is a fun trail that’s pretty technical. We went at 8:00am on Friday and only saw a few other hikers on the trail and a few rock climbers at the crest doing their thing. The trail is quite narrow though so if it was crowded I don’t think I would have enjoyed it much.

Great view at peak for watching SAN DIEGO’s downtown sunset .

hiking
19 days ago

I know I'm biased but this is one of my favorites! Yes it can get busy but nothing like Torrey Pines. The views up top are gorgeous and every time Ive been there everyone is considerate and friendly. Ive been at 6am as well as 10pm. Previous reviewers mention being courteous with head/flash lights because some of us do much better with night hikes in the moon light.

Definitely take water. If you go during sunmy hours there is no shade throughout the hike so plan accordingly (hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, etc). I am definitely a "slow but steady" hiker and it takes me about 1 hr to the top and about 40 mins down.

walking
19 days ago

We went to Sunset Cliffs to take a walk, get out in natural and enjoy the sunset. I knew I wasn't there for a challenging hike. This was a post Thanksgiving recovery hike since I was dealing with many blisters from a previous hike...this was perfect! it provided incredible views and allowed us to climb and explore so we could be kids again for a little bit.

As of Thanksgiving 2018 this trail is still under construction but it did not hinder our experience in any way.

It’s nice to run down the trail and walk back up.

hiking
20 days ago

What the other reviews said is very true: 1) Trail is not well marked. 2) Clockwise side is easier to locate trail. 3) Going down clockwise is a challenge finding the trail but doable with the app. Now with that said the view is really nice at top and no crowds. If doing again, I would just go up the clockwise route, and then just turn around and come back the same way.

Great training hike for other, more rigorous hikes. The trail gives you a great aerobic workout in a relatively short span. It can easily be combined with other trails such as North and South Fortuna. When combined with several other Mission Trails Regional Park trails or when doing the Five Peak Challenge, I begin with this one because it is steep in spots and can wear you down fast. If you haven't hiked this trail in the last five years, much maintenance has been done that has improved the overall quality of the trail.

hiking
21 days ago

Excellent hike with great views! Park at campground and pay $10, nice to have bathrooms. Good mix of shade and sun on trail. Great views of Lake Cuayamaca. We hit Lake Cuayamaca diner after for lunch, always good!

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