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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Good hiking

fun trail run, gets pretty steep on the climb up at a couple points but will definitely go back

fun and challenging ascent. gets really hot with minimal shade so pack plenty of water

Did this hike yesterday. Great challenge. Beautiful views. Had a blast!

hiking
8 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.

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

Extremely fun! Great flat piece for photos

Coming down is harder than getting to the top. Recommend completing north, saddle and south in one shot.

You hike up Cowls Mountains and off to the side at the top you proceed to Pyles. Take plenty of water. Get there early because parking can be limited and turn wheels to curb. It took 2 hours and 23 minutes to do both hikes.

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.

Love this trail

Great for a morning workout and enjoying the views.

we took the north trail on the way up and came down the South, highly recommend taking the South trail. Happy Trails

on Shepherd Canyon

1 month ago

Park at Chinese community church and head down the trail.

hiking
1 month ago

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

hiking
1 month ago

Some challenging parts!

hiking
1 month ago

Great workout and a challenging hike. Will do this one again.

hiking
1 month ago

great for an after work hike. takes us about an hour to get up and down. dont underestimate it though. the last part is pretty steep and will give you a workout. watch out for rattlers.

Challenging steep hike. One of 5 of the 5 peak challenge. Not a whole lot of view but great leg without.

hiking
1 month ago

Loved this trail! One of 5 of the 5 peak challenge and my favorite. Views are great, not as crowded, challenging, great workout!

This was much more challenging than Cowles Mountain but beautiful none-the-less! It was steep with some loose footing areas. Also not as good of a view as Cowles but to have the challenge is part of the fun!

once again alltrails has a trail mislabeled. the trailhead sign lists this as difficult, not moderate. this is pretty much all uphill and probably should be classified as hard based on the park’s signage.

overall a nice hike tho, pretty views.

trail running
1 month ago

Great run/hike from the visitor’s center parking lot. Took my dogs with me but it was a little harder than I thought it would be for them (my doberman had a blast but my medium-sized lab mix struggled in a couple spots). We stuck to the trail for the sake of safety. Nice views at the top of the trail.

Well, not much to say. If you’ve already done 4 of the 5 peaks of Mission Trails, might as well walk up there and scratch it off the list. It’s delightfully steep in spots. Unremarkable summit, not much to write home about. If you’re looking for a real challenge though, try the bouldering/scrambling route from the top of the Climber’s Loop up to Kwayy Paay Peak. Great training for some of those cross country summit hikes out in the desert. Just be super careful if you go up that way!

Nice trail for skill levels. Pretty green and pleasant. Trail could be marked better.

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