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**If you start this hike before dawn, please read**

Immediately after the first "Trail" sign, do not follow the wash of the creek. The trailhead is ACROSS the wash. In darkness this sign is almost impossible to see. There are footprints along the wash that make it look like a trail, but again, do not follow the wash. Cross it. I made this mistake and ended up hiking 6 miles before we came to the conclusion that we were off track. One of the park rangers told me she had met many other people who made the same mistake. You can still coordinate your GPS location on the trail map even when you don't have service.

The next weekend (Sep 22) we went again and took the right trail. This was a gorgeous, scenic hike! The hardest of the Six Pack of Peaks but also very rewarding. It took us 5hr 4m to summit and 3hr 30m to descend. I used about 3L of water along with refilling some at the campsite on the way down.

hiking
1 day ago

Definitely an accomplishment! Great to be at the top above everything else. Make sure to take the little spur to the right at the saddle around 7.3 miles. Great views and rest before the toughest part of the climb.
We started at 630 on friday and saw only a few folks going up, summit about 1215, return took a little under 4 hours. Saw more filks on the way down, but i would not suggest a day hike starting after 7.

Peaked on 22nd Sept. It was a perfect day with barely any winds. Another group who summited last weekend faced 60m/hr winds at the top.
Parking: Start early and you won't have a problem. we started at 3am.
Water: Took 2 litees. Filled twice at High Creek. used clorine tablets to purify.
Trail: Tricky point at the beginning when we cross the riverbed. We had someone who had done it before with us to help us navigate this part in dark. Before descending to the riverbed, shine your headlamp pointing straight ahead until u see the reflection from the trail sign on the other end. Then walk towards that reflection to get to the right trail.

I found the beginning 1.5 mile climb not as difficult as the last 4 miles after High Creek.

Saw 2 guys with serious hunting equipment on the trail between Vivian and High Creek, hunting deers! I talked to the ranger and found out, the hunting season is on but they were not in the destinated hunting area. If u see something say something. Don't hesitate to question and report folks who seem out of place. Their arrow can hit any hiker if they hunt in non designated areas.

Again: This one is not for me. Won't do it again. Too long and Peak not as interesting. Glad to get it checked off my bucket list!

I gave this trail a 4 Star because we miss the turn to the trail entrance . Right before wt the fork It should of been mark better after the trial head, we walk straight on the rocky sand along the waterfall for 1.5 miles until ran into a girl who went for 2-3 miles out and realize she was lost . So after all that we end up with 20.3 miles
Moderate, not too hard. You can bring 3-4 frozen water bottle is enough. Depend how you hydrate, plus a jacket , it can be really cold around September.
It’s a beautiful trial !!

Ok, this is a no-joke trail! There are ups and downs the entire time - most hikes you get to the top and it's all downhill on the way home - NOT this one! It is especially a hard one if it's hot like it was today. Bring more water than you think you'll need. The signage here is GREAT! you cannot get lost - especially at the top where they were every few feet leading you to the VERY top. Awesome views!

Water update for Vivian Creek trail:
I just completed this challenging but rewarding hike September 22-23rd. Plenty of water available at Vivian Creek Camp, no water available at Halfway Camp, and plenty of water at High Creek Camp. So do not do what I did and safe yourself of 12 extra unnecessary pounds of water.

It was my first time here and I loved this hike! This is one of the most beautiful hikes I’ve done in California! It’s more of a 4-mile trail, round trip. Definitely start this hike early in the morning to take advantage of the shade!

Love this trail! Very hard try and go super early because it gets hot. One of the things I Noticed is that couple times I saw glass by where the parking is. The last time I was there they broke my rear window just to steal my backpack with nothing of value.
Shady people , just be careful

First mile, high elevation gain and tires you out but rest of walk to Lake Hodges overlook is so worth it! Creek is on way in/out of trail next to parking lot. I got a late start at 1030am and was done by 1pm

trail running
3 days ago

One of the most peaceful and scenic trails in all of San Diego. Anyone can do it, and everyone will break a sweat (so long as you take the stairs from Blacks up to the Gliderport!)

If you’re visiting and are looking for a scenic hike with ocean views — this is it. Just don’t forget to check out the huge luxurious “1%ers” mansions while you’re there!!

hiking
5 days ago

I started at 8.00am from Humber Park and this trip took a total of 10 hours taking it easy. I carried 4 liters of water and was well hydrated at the start. My pack weighed fifteen pounds. Note that the trail signs assert a round trip fo 15.6 miles. This is an awesome hike with the most spectacular views you could wish for. If you are reasonably fit this hike should not be difficult for you - slow and easy wins the day. The epic stuff begins at Wellman’s Divide. I was fortunate to see in the meadow below two Deer; stationary and staring at me the way they do. The foliage becomes dense and lush and the fall colors were starting to fire up. I was surprised to see that Wellman’s Cienega still had water though it was a divided, wide, weak stream but enough to gather if patient and use. It was perfect weather for hiking; cloudless, clear and warm and the perception was that you could see forever. I met only three hikers. It amazes me that on such a beautiful day the trail would be so deserted. To cap off a perfect day I drove highway 243 from Idyllwild as the sun was setting. Absolutely stunning landscape.

September 18th: This hike was gorgeous and challenging. I underestimated it and took only 2 liters of water. I ran out about halfway back to my car, and by the time I got fluids I was very ill. I want to reiterate a previous poster's suggestion - take at least 3 liters!! Amazing views at the top, well worth the hard work.

Love this hike!
Good exercise. Great View. Close to home.

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
9 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
11 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
14 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
15 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.

hiking
17 days ago

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
18 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.

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