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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!

hiking
2 days ago

Great challenge! On Sept 14 there still was a trickle of water at High Creek; I could have packed 4-5 lbs lighter. I did drink about 4.5 liter - in full sun it still was warm at the top. I saw about a dozen other hikers on a Friday. Weather was great, views were fairly clear, and it was another glorious day on the trail.

This trail is awesome and only lightly used until you meet up with the Iron Mountain Trail. Love training from this TH.

on Stonewall Peak Trail

hiking
4 days ago

9/13/2018: Short, sweet...perfect. We planned to come here for a sunset hike, but we misjudged midweek traffic and an unusually busy workday for me, so it ended up being a sunset/night hike. We arrived at 6:15 PM on a Thursday afternoon (an hour later than planned). Paid $10 and parked at the Paso Picacho Campground lot (if you’re arriving later in the day like we did, be sure to bring exact $$$, since there isn’t an attendant later in the day to provide change. One could argue that you don’t NEED to pay the honor system pay envelope “after hours,” but who wants to chance it? Not me; I have no idea where Park Rangers check the lots later in the day. And who wants to be that person anyway?) Walked across the 79 to the trailhead and embarked on the ascent. The “hardest” part of this easy hike is in the very beginning. Once you’re past that initial hump, the rest of the hike will be easy switchbacks, with a fun section at the very end “scrambling” up the rock faces (there are railings the entire way at the top, so fear not. It’s easy).

Made it to the peak in about 45 min, exactly at 7:00 PM to catch the sunset (with a couple short breaks along the way for photo ops). We made it back to the car by 7:30-45. It was full dark by the time we made it back down to the parking lot, so we took it slow coming down (good thing we had headlamps to help us along the way). The headlamps attracted a bunch of flying insects, so be sure to bring bug spray if you’re doing a night hike. It won’t stop them from flying towards the light, but it will keep them from landing/crawling on you.

We came across just two other hikers and a bunny on the way up, but otherwise, it was quiet and peaceful (save for a rattle from the brush we heard earlier in the hike, but didn’t see the critter itself). Overall, would highly recommend as a midweek sunset/night hike. The stars were drop dead gorgeous on the way down. It was absolutely worth the drive.

I love this hike!

not for beginners

Eine meiner besten Erfahrungen.
Der Muskelkater war es Wert

hiking
7 days ago

Nice short hike with some great views. There are a few breaks from the sun as you pass through some valleys, but there is a lot of exposure. Not a lot of traffic which is always nice.

hiking
8 days ago

- PROS -
1. Some of the most beautiful panoramic views of surrounding San Diego.
2. Much less foot traffic than other popular nearby hikes (Mt. Woodson, Iron Mountain). I saw maybe 10 other people on a Sunday morning.
3. Great workout, with plenty of climbs. Definitely a solid Moderate.
4. Very nice ample free parking and bathrooms at the start
5. Well maintained trail, albeit small rocks here and there.

- CONS -
1. The section between Secondary Summit and Black Mountain Peak is CLOSED. I noticed this was mentioned back in Feb. 2017, and apparently it is still under restoration now in Sep. 2018. This makes it a bit of a pain to hike a loop. I went counter-clockwise, following the posted route. Once I got to Secondary Summit, it should just be ~0.4mi uphill to Black Mountain Peak...but it's closed. So I needed to backtrack to the short nighthawk trail connector, at which point it joins Miner's Ridge Loop. From there, I went up to Black Mountain Peak, and then followed Miner's Ridge Loop all the way down.
2. The entirety of Miner's Ridge Loop is a wide service road from the antennas at the top. This was fine, just be aware that it isn't quite as "natural".
3. Not much clear signage. However, I just used a GPS map on my phone whenever the trail split and didn't get lost. I had cell service and 4G during the entire hike.

Awesome hike! A good portion of the trail is shaded & some water was available. Be careful what you leave in your car, saw a black bear in the parking lot.
Just like everyone else has said, that first mile and those last couple miles to the peak will get ya. To me, all the miles in-between were relatively easy & enjoyable. For a bit I forgot I was in SoCal, it looked like the Pacific Northwest. On the way back, those miles were long, probably because I wanted back to the car.
My pup and I started at 715am & got to the peak at 145pm. It seemed to take everyone we talked to about 6-6.5 hours to summit. The way back took about 4.5 hours.

Awesome. Definitely not a hike if you’re looking for solitude, but beautiful and not too strenuous. Nice views from the peak.

Good hike with great views. A bit windy up the top of the creator. Some steep parts, with stairs and rope climb. Took about 7hrs to complete but so worth the view

Great trail and a good workout. Maps available at the trailhead. I took the route clockwise, so I hit North Fortuna first and came down South Fortuna. It was a little hard on the knees going down those steep stairs after the South Fortuna peak. Also towards the end it wasn't totally clear where I was supposed to go, lots of 4-way intersections, but I think as long as you head in the right general direction you can't get lost.

The "Getting There" is inaccurate - you shouldn't go to Equestrian Circle for this trail head. But if you click on the "Directions" it leads you in the right place. Just type in 11441 Clairemont Mesa Blvd to your GPS.

hiking
11 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.

I’ve done this hike to the peak of Mt San Jac three times. I always enjoy it. Great views. Bring at least 3 liters of water and food to keep your engine running. At altitude above 6,000 feet, I typically drink about a cup of water every 45 minutes. I got altitude sickness on the Mt. Whitney trail once...This hydration schedule has worked for me!

One of my favorite hikes.
Gorgeous views, not strenuous but you feel like you went on a hike when you're done.
Completed without complaint by kids 5-12.
Pros - Nice workout, beautiful views, pretty campground at the beginning.
Cons - I didn't feel comfortable taking the 5 year old and 7 year old up the rocks to the peak (I've been called paranoid), although I didn't see any, there was a lot of chatter about rattlesnakes by other hikers.

love it. beautiful view. cool weather.

Hard hike more or less uphill for a bit over 9 miles. Water available at Vivian Creek and High Creek Camps (Sept 03, 2018). You don't need a Wilderness Permit for a day hike (but they are highly recommended to help with trail management and S&R if something goes wrong). Wilderness permits are required for all overnight hikes - they're available from the Mill Creek Visitor Center on the way in. Rangers were checking overnight permits on Sept 02, 2018. Wind can be very strong and very cold at the top - make sure you bring warm clothes!

hiking
14 days ago

Excellent hike. Not to hard and view at the top is great. Short hike but great gain at the end, as far as the final visual reward. I have done it 3 times now and will do it again.

#5 of our six pack. Perfect weather. Beautiful hike. Distance 12 miles Elevation 3110. Departed from the tram at 9:30. Peaked at 2:00. Back at the tram by 7. Took Hiking guy's advice and left our backpacks by the hut to make it easier to scramble up the rocks at the peak. Incredible views - contrasting desert vs forested mountains. Got off trail on the way back which added an extra mile. Thank goodness for Alltrails!

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.

Hiked it this morning....would be greatly challenging for a beginner and I’d say a moderate hike for more experienced hikers. The trail gets steep (stairs) but isn’t horrible. The views can be decent on a clear day....downtown San Diego and Coronado bridge can be easily seen from the summit. All in all a good time to be had for all.

hiking
15 days ago

Great hike. Relatively speaking, there is more shade here than in most trails in this area. Gentle grade most of the way up; the handrails at the top are very helpful. In contrast to posts a few weeks ago, we didn’t see any termites at the top - just great views in every direction. Would recommend this hike.

At 82 degrees, a little hot; but this is a fine trail with varied terrain and lovely views north to Palomar and east to Volcan Mt. The cattle have been “grandmothered” in so don’t be disturbed by them. We did it years ago in the spring, which is indeed better.

We saw 5 squirrels on this hike! 10/10 would definitely recommend!

Legs were shot day after, what a workout!

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.

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