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To do Map

Very busy and a lot of rock hopping


I love this hike- flat enjoyable path around lake to gradual incline to pretty steep hike as you get to the top- Im older so I find this challenging enough for exercise- always see quail and roadrunner or two with nice view of lake- love it!

10 days ago

This was a fun trail!! I highly suggest doing it in reverse so that you can camp at the meadow area. This was about 7 miles from the start going in reverse otherwise if you do it the way it suggests it is about 3.5-4 miles into the trail. It is really pretty and although you cannot see far you are surrounded by mountains

11 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.

11 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.

11 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.

Amazing trail! Once you get passed the overcrowded cowels mountain trail, you pretty much have the whole trail to yourself. I barely ran into 4 people all together. Great inclines and declines. The last .25 mile to the peak is a nice challenge for any hiker. Absolutely loved this trail- definitely coming back!

5 Peak challenge completed

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.

Nice damn and oh damn! My legs hurt.

Not crowded during midday. Some rocky sections but mostly towards the top. Views of other mountains and rooftops of houses.

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.

finished 5 peak challenge with this peak. to me it was the most diffucult

20 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!

23 days ago

Disappointed at first because it was a Tuesday and surprisingly busy. The moment I hit the pyles peak trail I crossed paths with one person and had the rest to myself!!! I found my zen and was ready to head back. My Apple Watch gave me 6.15 miles

23 days ago

I looked for a trailhead from the top as I drove up not wanting to deal with all the traffic on the roads. I did see a trail down the steeper part of the hill but did not notice any other options. If I had this trek I would have spent some more time looking off the northeast side. I wanted to do a quick down-and-up, will investigate this further next time.

23 days ago

Loved hiking along the water rocks. Hiked it with the kids and they loved it!

25 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!!!

26 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)

27 days ago

I got to Pyles Peak by taking a trail leading to Cowles. If it wasn't for the 5 peak challenge, I would have avoided Cowles all together because it is so crowded, even at 630am. Pyles Peak trail is so quiet and beautiful! The last stretch is a nice climb but well worth the view!! We ended up having the summit to ourselves and only passed a hand full of people along the trail. I plan on coming back but taking the backside trail that avoids Cowles. Not a ton of shade so arrive early.

Great Trail! Almost no people.

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.

1 month ago

Good hike and away from the crowds at Cowles. Moderate hike and highly recommend. Just over 2 hours from start to finish.

There is a trail....
You have to walk down the memorial and you will see a steep dirt area that leads down. As you head down the steep decline you will see a brown dirt trail. Its a great trail making you get your hand dirt!

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.

1 month ago

I really enjoyed this walk it was peaceful and not a lot of road noise for the most part my two small children enjoyed it as well. There isn’t a whole lot for them to do because all along the trail are signs for rattle snakes beyond the trail so I did not allow them to go stomping into the brush. And it’s kind of annoying that they allow cars to drive on the path to get to a fishing spot on the other side of the lake. I’m not a huge fan of walking so close to moving vehicles with me two small children. Despite all that it is still a very nice 5 mile walk very peaceful.

Wide open spaces. This is a very leisurely walk.

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