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

To Do Map

Amazing trail. Great views. Definitely would do it again. Take plenty of water!! On the harder side.

Amazing hike and picturesque as well. The trail are
Rough with many tripping hazards and one should watch your step, specially when descending. done it twice and were very fulfilling.

I've climbed Cowles twice, this time taking the less trafficked route, and I enjoyed it a lot more. It is very steep towards the summit and there is a lot of loose gravel. Make sure you wear HIKING shoes or boots. I made the mistake of wearing running shoes, and I slipped and fell and scraped my knee. Overall a nice hike, great for beginners like me.

best trail i have done,will definitely be back.

Great workout hike - Easy to find trailhead - trail in good condition even after rain - started right before sunrise and rock ridge trail was empty .... at least going up

Great hike and view!

This trail is more on the hard side because of its length (7.6 miles) and it’s steepness. If you or whoever you’re with isn’t in pretty good shape don’t try it. There is a long line at the potato chip rock to take a picture. Take one bottle of water per person plus snack bars. Wear hiking shoes or boots, not running shoes, due to rocks. Wear sunscreen at midday.

Even though visibility was maybe 100ft at the top, this was still a fun and challenging hike. It took my brother and I 2.5 hours to get up to the top. Hiking poles or microspikes would be recommended this time of year even though it was fairly warm in the beginning (I only had a t-shirt on until Wellman Divide). There was a sprinkling of rain from Wellman Divide to the top which then turned to snow.

Really great trail, but really exhausting for the people we brought along who don’t hike all the time. There weren’t any maps located at the trail head, but as long as you keep following the Mt Woodson Trail and don’t get led astray by other trails forking off, you should be fine. Jumping across to the potato chip park of the Boulder was a little scary for myself who is afraid of heights, but had to do it for the pic. Happy trails!

Great incline for a workout. I went on Tuesday and just a few of us in line for the photo op :) bring lots of water and protein bars.

done it a few times. great trail. make it longer by going the other way around the lake on the way back down

Great incline with beautiful views

This trail has some good climbs for training and a great view from the top. definitely less traveled than Cowles mountain

Fun day, a lot of people...

challenging and so much fun. bring plenty of water and snacks! sunscreen and hats required.

It's been several years since I visited this trail and now I remember why. The trail was full of runners and packs of cyclists so most of our morning was spent trying to get out of their way as they came passed. We started before 8:00am and there were already a lot of people on the trail. If you are looking for peace and quiet, I do not recommend this hike.

The All Trails description is right on, beautiful views. Definitely harder then I thought it was going to be though. We went on a Monday in early March, only 10 or 15 people at Potato chip. Bring plenty of water!

Great trail, in good shape.

From out of town and so glad I picked this! Ran all the trails up there but this was my favorite segment - not as heavily trafficked as the others were to get to the peak. Spectacular views all the way up and back. The trail is well marked and easy to navigate and the single track segments were just hard enough to keep it interesting. Had a great time!

Great as long as it is cool!!

This was a great trip! Although I hike often, this one kicked my butt! There is lots of incline hiking as well as stair-like supports. Definitely felt the burn in my legs and got my heart racing! P.s. once you're on Pyles Peak Trail after walking through the Cowles Mt Peak, keep a look out for a fork in the trail. We kept on the main trail but it took us too far to the left and we missed the peak. Just keep your eyes open for a right fork.

Best trail in SD by far :) definitely a hidden gem

It was a long walk with an 11 and 5 y/o but they did It!
We went on a Sunday and it was busy.
The falls were pretty and we enjoyed some of the small off trails by the creek.

A nice trek indeed. You are surrounded by nature's beauty throughout the different stages of the trail. The only thing to watch out for are the horse/dog droppings. Will definitely be back to this trail again.

Ive hiked and biked this trail on a few occassìons. Experienced mtb only and you will need to walk some. Its a nice stroll up the mountain though and it is definitly prefered trail to the top of cowels for my taste.

We went with two 7yrs old kids on a breezy bright San Diego morning. I was skeptical at first. Thinking the kids was going to whine and not make it to the goal.

We all had fun. Really enjoyed the scenery and the walk was easy for everyone.

Great hike. Rated appropriately in this app. Good hike even for senior hikers. 360 Panoramic view at the top. Not to crowded in Feb. and breeze was nice in places during the hike.

Such a beautiful view!! Go on a weekday (we went on a Tuesday) for free parking and little to no lines to take a picture on top of the Potato Chip Rock. Prepare yourself for a lot of inclines. There are many interesting rock formations. We spotted both hamburger and hippopotamus rocks along the way. When you start the hike to Mt. Woodson trail, you'll be greeted by a breathtaking lake. Also, get there early! We started the hike around 8:30am and finished around 11am (round trip). Definitely worth it!

Scary but so worth it.

I wish someone would have wrote the review I'm about to write to allow you to understand the waterfall is not accessible to little kids or Senior Citizens that aren't FIT or avid hikers. The pics had us excited to take our families on this hike and enjoy the waterfall and the wonders surrounding it from the pics that have been posted. Although, it was a nice little hike it was not possible for the little kids to access the waterfall. I wouldn't recommend anyone who's younger than a teenager to try to go down to the waterfall. Climbing down there was quite dangerous and it's easy to slip on the dirt and severely hurt yourself. I wouldn't recommend going down there unless your confident that you safe and secure. It was very disappointing to the kids because it was not safe for them to climb down on their own or even with an adult so they were not happy to have to stay up on the trail. The only ones that went down there was me and my teenage son. I'm posting a picture of what the climb down looks like to the Minature Waterfall. Good Luck!
oh and if you start to hike up an incline you've gone too far and are now on the Copper creek trail rather than the Copper Creek Falls Trail. The trail is pretty much level with very little hills and bumps along the way.

Good trail for kids. Cool waterfall not far down the path.

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