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Well maintained hike. The abundance of fall colors was great along the way. No complaints. It’s a nice hike, especially this time of year.

Beautiful hike, but do it early to beat the heat and the crowds!

great trail. good elevatipn. great views. cant get lost either.

a lot of people, met a barefoot hiker who is cool. not too many people would stop and talk though.

This hike is always my go to. Its quick enough to do before work or before errands and always has beautiful views. I occasionally run this trail too so its good for leisure or for a more intense workout! I never get tired of it and it's good for all hiker levels :)

This hike is definitely worth it. It’s also worth paying the $10 to park. They have excellent, well maintained facilities at the lake, and the trail is also very well maintained. If you are a trail runner this is ideal because the path is relatively smooth and even for the first stretch, then when it gets steep there are rock stairs or rock gardens. There was not one place that was sketchy to navigate.

I’d call this a moderate hike because while somewhat long and a bit a steep at places, you never question your life or abilities. Hard hikes, I think, should have you second-guessing your ability to complete them. This hike never required any thought. It was smooth.

Also, I thought I’d be showing up “late” when I started about 7:45am on Sunday, 12/9. It wasn’t crowded at all and I had long stretches to myself. There were a few groups going up but not too many. And while I didn’t take a picture, there was no line do so. Definitely more people on the way down (coming up), but there were a few large groups. Bottom line, don’t stress if you are not there at sunrise, you can still get some alone time in. And there’s a lot of shade in the morning. It took me about 1:20 to get up and 50 minutes to come down, and I ran part of the way down.

If you need a hike to really kick your ass, try El Cajon Mountain. Even if you don’t go the full 11 miles, it is challenging and up hill both ways!

Did this hike for the second time today and it is always fun and a really nice view. The first time we went, it was definitely a lot more difficult since the other trail down was much much steeper, but it is permanently closed now. I assume that was for safety reasons, but now the trail is a lot easier so I was a teensy bit bummed out about that. Not a huge deal though, still a wonderful and beautiful hike!

This was actually 6 miles. No water in the falls, but as everyone else has stated, still worth the hike. It’s just beautiful at the pool!

This is actually a 6 mile loop well maintained trail. The water was barely flowing from the top of the waterfall but the bottom reservoir was full. The landscape of the waterfall was simply beautifully and well worth the hike.

Fun trail and hike with good views. It's a pretty easy hike if you do any real hiking.

was beautiful can wait till spring hopefully when the water is flowing still so amazing!!

Trail was well maintained and the folks up front checking permits were so helpful and friendly. It heated up on the way back which was close to noon in December, so bring plenty of water as they recommend. It was more or less a hike through the desert. Overall a good work out. I was told snakes were around, I didn’t see any (amen).

hiking
5 days ago

Beautiful view! People of all ages can do this one. It's the perfect hike as part of a day trip. Swing by Julian after for apple pie and cider.

I went in the morning of Dec 1, 2018 after some good rain. Still no water, but a great time as always. My Garmin watch clocked at 5.09 miles round trip. A bit of bouldering at the falls to get to the top but nothing too hard. The new path around the part where you used to climb down and up the hill made this trail easier in a good way. As always make your own way and be safe.

great for learners, or getting back into shape, or just getting better. great view of San Diego, beautiful sunsets. Easily accessible. pleanty of parking, and places the eat nearby. Downfall is it's often crowded, people think theres maintaneance to pick up their already bagged dog poo and bust leave it on the trail (stupid!) theres zero shade (sucks in the summer), and natural vegetation suffers from frequent human activity (comparing to the rest of mission trails, even during the dry season theres still some green, but hardly on Cowels) a pro to that, is less wildlife (snakes in particular)

Definitely a good hike that wears you out on the way up....as long as you hike the side starting at the lake. Will definitely hike again soon.

9/10/18
I enjoyed this hike very much! Easy, fun switchbacks, well maintained trail, however lots of hikers on the weekend. Astonishing views at the top of the summit! The space at the top is very small and can get crowded quickly. My guy and I did a quick walk thru than found a quiet spot on a rock away from the crowd to enjoy our view and snack. Please be mindful to share the space at the top of the summit for others to also enjoy the beautiful view. No need for you to hang out there 20min to talk about BS as others are coming thru. And please keep your dog on a leash. Parking $10 Paso Picacho Picnic abs Campground.

It’s an amazing hike is not that hard but take a lot of water with you

Went early Thanksgiving AM this year. It was drizzling and foggy so there were few others on the trail. It was getting crowded on my way back, with big groups coming through. I recommend doing this early. I’ll go back when there’s better visibility

Nicely managed hiking trail but will have to keep your dog on leash the entire time. Updated note that contradicts the recreation.gov website is that you do not have to bring a print out of your permit if you have the digital version. They accept digital permits, they just haven’t updated their website to reflect the change yet. Happy trails!

Nice hike up with combo of mild-moderate inclines, flat areas to recover, and rewarding views at the top. It didn’t feel crowded with people/dogs to the point that it slowed me down. I didn’t bring my dog because of some stories I heard about overheating, wildlife issues, and fights with other dogs. I guess I could see a fight occur where the trail is tighter in spots (same way up/down) and dogs would come in contact with each other. That said, all dogs were well behaved when I was there and the trail was impeccably clean.

monster workout. great views. facilities at the bottom. The description and all trails is incorrect it is closer to 8 Miles not 6.9

one of the first hikes I've done best hike I've done. easier and easier as I go. running down is always the best. had 1 time where I saw a baby rattlesnake but other than that it was good lots of foot traffic but amazing hike.

Really cool spot!!! So many trails and so much to see! I highly suggest checking out!!

i love the trail, it is a little bit hard but the view is amazing

The first 3 miles is down hill (easy), but heading back is challenging. I recommend bringing your hiking poles. The waterfall is currently dry, but the bowl still has water. Lots of fresh animal dropping, so be alert and careful. We started at 7:15, started to warm up after that so bring plenty of water and sunblock.

I lost myself in the water at the end and loved every moment of it. The route we took was the 6 mile route: we parked, walked straight ahead, continued for just over 3 miles, walked down to the water, hung out, chilled and walked back the same way we came. This was a nice "recovery" hike after doing a more challenging one a few days prior. This was long but definitely worth it. Give yourself a few hours though because walking 6 miles takes some time! Lots of shade but there are a few points where there isn't any.

As with many other reviews, this hike offers AMAZING views and photo ops. Definitely gets crowded because its such a family friendly nature walk. I was very disapointed with the lack of respect I saw for the trails and signs. Although we only saw about 5 people out of the 100s there this morning, it's definitely important to remind one another that rule #1 is respect the trail. People die from not respecting the trail. I saw 2 gentlement ignore "unstable cliffs, please stay back" signs just for a photo op. I also saw a group of about 5 young adults climbing up a rock for a photo op (which everyone was doing) but there was a clear path to climb up and signage to not trespass the way they chose to climb. We told them not to do it but we all need to be respectful so that these trails will last for future generations also.

If possible, find parking near by! Its $25 per car to use their lot!

hiking
18 days ago

I know I'm biased but this is one of my favorites! Yes it can get busy but nothing like Torrey Pines. The views up top are gorgeous and every time Ive been there everyone is considerate and friendly. Ive been at 6am as well as 10pm. Previous reviewers mention being courteous with head/flash lights because some of us do much better with night hikes in the moon light.

Definitely take water. If you go during sunmy hours there is no shade throughout the hike so plan accordingly (hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, etc). I am definitely a "slow but steady" hiker and it takes me about 1 hr to the top and about 40 mins down.

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