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

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Love this trail! It can get a little crowded but if you go early in the morning or later in the afternoon you’re usually okay. Also there’s no shade so bring plenty of water!! Both my dogs have made it all the way up and back, it’s a great workout!

Love this HARD hike but FYI the trail is closed for August due to high heat! We showed up at 6 am with tons of water and found closed sign and had to divert to mission trails. Def hike when cooler!

Nice hike, but can get very crowded. I have done this hike twice, both on weekdays mornings with a 7:30 start time. No line at the rock either time. By the time we started back down there were quite a few people on the trail. It's basically uphill all the way to the top but worth it for that cool photo. It's definitely not a casual stroll, so be prepared for a workout.

Good work out on a consistent uphill slope all the way to the top. Coming down is tough on knees and toes. But , it is all worth it! Good view and yes, the special Potato Chip rock!

For a continuous moderately paced hike, you can make it up to the summit in 1 hour. If you start right before 7 the mountain will shade you up until the last mile of the hike. Between 2- 1 1/2 mile point from the summit there seems to be an endless set of steps that are pretty challenging. Past the potato chip rock there is not much else and a radio station that ruins part of the view, but overall a decent hike.

Great hike spot if you’re looking for a quiet place to enjoy some beautiful scenery. You make the hike however long/challenging as you like with the various trails you can pick once you get to the top! Starts with. 1.5mile trek up the mountain, but once you get to the top you have several trails to pick long or short that offer lake views, ocean view, or overlooking all of Escondido’s city. Highly recommend! Grab a map from the resource center in the parking lot for a guide on which trails you want!

Nice little climb, did get very hot towards the end of the morning plus very crowded.

Good hiking

fun trail run, gets pretty steep on the climb up at a couple points but will definitely go back

So a buddy and I did this hike on 8/6/18. Not a good idea. Do not do this hike in the summer. Wait until it cools off. There is very little shade to stop in. And please for the love of all that is holy, bring more than 3L of water. You will run out. You will be miserable. The hike itself is intense. A lot of big hills, the top has a 360 degree view of nothing but mountains. The last few hundred feet are tough. Small trail through big rocks.

Awesome trail, friendly people along the way just enough incline to get a good workout

Did on a hot day. Bring a lot of water! worth it for the fun potato chip rock pictures!

Did this hike yesterday. Great challenge. Beautiful views. Had a blast!

Beautiful locale, would be amazing if the County revived it for theatre and live performances!

This hike makes you work for it. One hour up & 30 minutes down. I started before the sun and there were plenty of other friendly folks on the trail.

I hiked this trail both on Friday at noon and Saturday evening. Awesome hike up and awe-inspiring run down. My quads are on fire!!! Go early to avoid summer heat but doable (take enough water). Evening hike was the best. Approx 2-3hrs round trip. Weekday hike and evening no wait to take picture on edge aka Potato Chip Rock. Great trail will do again and again and again!!!

Very hot! Would be best early am hours. However it was a very nice work out.

hiking
19 days ago

A nice workout. It could get very hot by 12noon. Start early. Nice views at the top!!!

A challenging hike with beautiful views!!! The potato chip rock at the peak was indeed very instagram worthy..

Great workout

Extremely fun! Great flat piece for photos

You hike up Cowls Mountains and off to the side at the top you proceed to Pyles. Take plenty of water. Get there early because parking can be limited and turn wheels to curb. It took 2 hours and 23 minutes to do both hikes.

This hike is legit and very steep and tiring. Bring tons of water and be prepared for uphill both ways. We did it on 7/21/18 and one of our good Freinds had a heat stroke and was life flighted out. Be prepared.

DEFINITELY read these reviews before taking this hike!!!! It is worth it once you get to the top but getting there can be challenging especially in July when I went!!! Bring lots of water, hat, shades, and wear light clothing. Enjoy the workout!!!!

We started at the Sorrento Valley Rd Parking lot, crossed over to the North Trail at the Wagon Wheel Crossing and stayed on the North Trail until the Carson's Crossing when we returned back on the South Trail. The waterfall wasn't much of a waterfall due to lack of rain recently, but the area was still pretty. There is a lot of wildlife to see - all kinds of birds (even saw some hummingbirds in the trees at Carson's Crossing), lizards, butterflies, dragonflies, and scat from a bunch of different animals that reside in the Preserve. There is some shade, but not much so be sure to bring lots of water, a hat, sunscreen, and clothing to shield you from the sun. It is an easy hike with minimal inclines. The trail is a mix of loose sand, packed sand, hard dirt, loose rocks. There are a lot of unmarked trails connecting to the main trails so make sure to bring a map to keep track of where you are. The bathroom at the parking area is a single portable toilet. Signs at the trailhead indicate the area has ticks, but the paths are quite wide in most places and easy to stay on the trail - doesn't hurt to use bug spray just in case. We went midday on a weekday and only saw a few other people (some on bikes and some walking) - however, I can see how this can be a busy trail during peak times.

Loved this trail when I hiked it the first time. Unfortunately, I went at 7am and the trail was closed due to excessive heat. :(

short, steep, and sweet view at the top. Not many people either. Tranquillity.

hiking
26 days ago

absolutely beautiful to hike for sunrise. no shade so earlier morning hikes are best in warm months. and youll beat the giant crowds.

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