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

SD Peaks Map
trail running
17 hours ago

Loved running El Cajon mountain this morning. It was a definitely a challenge with constant inclines and declines along with some rocky areas that watching footing was a must. Beautiful views. Can’t wait to go back!

Enjoyable views with a good workout on the way up.

23 hours ago

The views were beautiful, and I went mid week when there wasn't anyone else on the trail. It was however very hot, and there is no shade along the trail. Be ready to be climbing a lot, and not feeling like there's much play-off. It was fine for the experience, but I wouldn't go again.

Just beyond epic

3 days ago

Great hike, did the round trip in about 1hr 45min. Definitely bring some water with you, it was heating up at about 11am when I was on my way back and I was glad I was able to drink some water while I was at the top. Amazing views from the top, even saw a Coast Guard helicopter flying around below me.

Keep your eyes on the trail, I was distracted by the view and came within a couple feet of a rattlesnake crossing the path, I just backed away slowly and gave him the right of way.

7 days ago

Not much traffic and wonderful views

Excellent, challenging with a good, somewhat flat break and wonderful views from the top

10 days ago

Beautiful hike in the beginning, but after you hit the summit and then decend it gets incredibly rocky and tough. Climbing up the south side of the mountain after camping in the valley was really tough for me.

At the bottom of the valley go past the gate and walk approximately 2 more miles and hit a small waterfall. We heard tons of frogs and had a delightful sleep amongst them. But let me repeat, hiking up that south side of the mountain was really tough. Worth it to sleep among the frogs and waterfall however. I gave this a three star only because I found this hike so difficult.

13 days ago

Been wanting to do this one for awhile now, finally got to it! Reviews below are very accurate: the washed out dirt road is a monotonous pain in the ass, albeit a good workout, all the way to the base of the summit. It does indeed get fun, scenic, and challenging as you make your way from the road junction up to the summit. The boulder climbs are rad, the summit is really cool and rewarding. The climb up to/down from the cave that leads to the summit is super sketchy. It actually kind of scared the shit out of me! Definitely be skilled in climbing and go with a friend. A slip and tumble in that particular spot could be catastrophic. I think there's an alternate route to the summit, I'll definitely be looking for it next time. Definitely still go do this hike though, it's a must.

13 days ago

This hike is challenging but worth it. The only thing I would strongly recommend is bringing plenty of water and sunscreen. There is a sign at the beginning of the trail with recommendations on the amount of water to consume on this hike. We went on a day that was a little too hot and brought 5.5 liters of water and that wasn’t enough for the both of us. We ended up rationing water the last 1.5 miles of the hike. There is not a lot of shade to give yourself a reprieve from the sun and I ended up getting sunburned really badly. The hike has a steep incline on the way up and plenty of incline on the way back as well. In final, plenty of water, snacks, and sunblock.

13 days ago

I found it really hard but I made it....I did puke at the end as it was very challenging for an old guy like me. Tough hike, only take it on if you ready to work.

Beautiful trail to do on a semi cloudy day, the last 100 yards require minimal bouldering. The rocks on the summit are big enough to lay down and enjoy the breeze with your shoes off. Recommend poles for the descent.

13 days ago

Did this hike last minute by myself. Great hike! The directions on All Trails doesn’t tell you the exact address of the trailhead. Use Google Maps to get the exact address. Great mountain hike to train for bigger mountain hikes like Mt. Whitney and Mt. Elbert. Very scenic and never crowded which I loved! Be careful going down. A lot of loose rock. Loved seeing the American Flag at the top and sitting on the big rock on the summit admiring the view. Took me about 2.5 hours out and back. Highly recommend this hike!

Definitely a tough, “up hill both ways” kind of hike. The views from the top of the peaks is quite impressive as you gaze out toward the sea. Bring a hat and lots of water as there is little to no shade. An early start is key, especially in the warmer months. Concur on having footwear with ankle support and good traction. If the parking lot is full, you can park along the road without issue. It just adds a bit more distance to your overall trek. A friend and I did this hike (~13 total) under 5hrs with rest stops and breaks at the top of the two peaks.

Didn’t have time to go past the Jeep today but took a 35# loaded backpack in an effort to train for Mt Williamson and I have to say that is definitely the toughest hike I’ve done in the area so far! A hat would be a good idea, as I kept sweating all the sunblock off and ended up quite burnt.

20 days ago

Enjoyed this more than I expected to. Good solid 8 miles on my gps. Very similar to the style of El Cajon Mountain, but shorter. Many ups and downs. Not a straight ascent, then descent. Not much shade, but nice scenery. The last 200 yards is not for everyone. Scrambling on hands and feet. Pretty steep.

This is a very difficult hike. Not for a first timer. Wear appropriate shoes, preferably with ankle supports. I ran out of 3 liters of water just as I neared the parking lot. Bring snacks as well. Check out the free Museum at Barona after the hike. It's just a little further up the road and has a lot of the native and natural history in it.

There are a couple of different offshoots from the main trail as well. Check out the "mines" (shallow holes in the rocks) for a nice shady break. They're only a few hundred feet up the hill from where the sign is. This is probably the best strenuous rated hike this close to the city.

Great hike. It is a challenge. No walk in the park. Well maintained. Limited shade so, do this hike early in the morning. It gets hot quickly. Save the water for the return because you will need it. Stay on the left most of the time. There is a market with a hiker sign on the right, don’t take it. This is probably at the 1.5 mile mark. Beautiful view from the top. You have to scramble to get to the top. Very cool and intense. You can spend a good time checking out the rocks and view up there. Few people in trail. 8 miles for me.

22 days ago

Fun little hike. Once you get past the PCT trail and on to the main trail up to Monument Peak it can get very narrow with overgrown hedges. I would suggest wearing pants and something long sleeved that you would mind getting hung or brushed up against some branches. Otherwise, a very good time. View from the top is great. Rated moderate, but I would call this an easy one.

23 days ago

Wow this hike is hard! I would highly recommend not doing this hike when it’s warm out. I took 2.5 liters of water on a 75-degree day and ran out with 4 miles still left... so definitely bring a lot of water. The inclines on the way back will break your heart each time they come into view, but the sense of accomplishment from this hike is so worth it!

27 days ago

This is a very challenging hike and is worth to do. The first two miles are not too bad, but after those two miles it gets very steep. So be ready!! Make sure you bring plenty of water and few snacks. There are a few shaded areas on the trail so you can take a break. The views are amazing!!!

28 days ago

This was very fun hike to do. The last quarter mile to get to the top is where the fun starts. You have to climb rocks/jump and walk into narrow spaces to get to the top. The views are amazing!! This hike is a must.

Great hike with plenty of beautiful views. Pretty difficult combination of length and elevation fluctuation. Bring plenty of water, some food to fuel the second half, long sleeves for wind, sunscreen and a hat to cover your face. Some people even had walking poles. If it’s not tough enough try running it! Have fun!!! (Took about about 4 and half hours with a couple stops and some light running mixed in on the way down)

Fun hike.

Parking lot now closes at 7pm. I waited until after a nice rain which made the views spectacularly green. The DG was perfect for a good foot hold - no sliding especially going down those granite slopes. I brought 3L of water - drank most of it on this cool day which was perfect. I'm not an expert hiker...nor in fabulous shape, but I made it. It was a challenge both physically and mentally. I took many many breaks having to snack to keep me from shaking and feeling weak. Took me almost 7 hours. This was a "one and done" for me cuz this hike nearly brought me to tears! lol.

Beeeeauuutiful. At the first juncture stay on the right then at the second one follow the tall brown arrow sign. The views at the top really hit your soul.

1 month ago

This was my first time doing this trail and It wasn’t that bad. It took me about 2 hours to do it.. The views were amazing!! I saw the sunset on my way down and couldn’t stop taking pictures. I highly recommend this trail.

Nice, changing hike. I brought 3L of water and drank it all by the end, even on a nice, cool day, so be prepared with plenty of water for the tough assend to the top. The gates closes at 6pm so park outside the gate on the side of the highway if you might be cutting it close on time or you're car will get locked in for the night.

Had a fun hike with the family and dog. Amazing views to the ocean

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