Explore Upcoming Adventures - 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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hiking
2 days ago

Surely challenging! Even though it was hard at times, it was worth it in the end. Just make sure to come well prepared.

Awesome hike. Bring sunscreen. Also there are no trail markers. So download the map and use your GPS when coming off the peak.

Very unsafe hike in my personal opinion. I am in overall good athletic shape and work out 4x a week and hike at least once per month. I’ve been wanting to do this mountain for a long time and I just don’t think it was worth it. You couldn’t possibly bring enough water up there and the sun is very hot. The slippery and rocky terrain along with the switchbacks make this hike challenging and risky. I felt that I could not enjoy the scenery, the hike or my surroundings because I was too concerned for my safety.

Want something more exciting than cowls mountain this is a butt kicker. You will fill it in your calves and it’s not going out that’ll get you. The way Back feels never ending.It may be a short hike but it sure feels long. And once you get back the end of piles you have to go back down cowls but that’s easy. All for all it’s a great hike for intermediate hikers and adventurous people I like. Remember to take adamant water.

Well here’s one that separates the wolves from the sheep! Been wanting to do this one for a loooong time, just waiting for the right day. Nice cool temps and overcast skies really took the edge off, and after the recent rains there was no haze and stunning visibility in all directions. I could see a snow capped San Jacinto and San Gorgonio to the north. Totally amazing.

It’s as difficult as everyone says, and it really brutalizes you on the way back. But I’d say anyone could easily do this hike with a little bit of conditioning, rugged footwear, and good timing. The real difficulty level of this trek is predicated on the weather/temperature. I would definitely not mess with this one mid July.

Took me 4.5 hours, managed to get by with 2 liters of agua, though I brought 3. Took a 30 minute break on the summit to get baked and enjoy the panorama. Don’t be afraid of this hike, go do it!

Challenging, but totally manageable. Bring lots of water. I found it to be a quiet and peaceful trail, saw few others, which I love. Great views, worth the effort.

I found the ‘descent’ to be challenging in the 4-3.5 mile return section. Definitely a tough climb but wonderful views and my favorite in the SD area so far.

Great trail. Highly recommend hiking poles as the ups and downs are pretty tough. Went in early December, weather was cool and overcast and even got some rain at the end. Start early! Almost lost the trail recorded here near the top, but we made our way to the top by scrambling up some gently sloping boulders. Wear good treaded sneakers. Excellent, wonderful colorful views of the surrounding mountainside. Bring some snacks, enough water, and help for your knees and a change of clothes for the end of the trip and you'll make it!

trail running
14 days ago

Great Hike, challenging Run. I’ve been to the top 3 times, this past weekend I opted to go straight at the 3 way intersection at the upper saddle. This brings you to an amazing lookout atop the face. Much more dramatic than the summit. Trail is washed out and difficult to stay on but there is the occasional rock cairn to show the way.

This is definitely a cool weather hike. It gets the most indirect approach award. I got turned around near the peak and a fair amount of bush wacking. All and all great views after a rainstorm.

The last 500 ft up to the summit changes into mild rock climbing . Splendid views.

Great hike! Gets steep between miles 2-4. It can be considered a difficult hike. Bring lots of water! The summit is to the left of the sign and the trail is marked from the sign to the summit. Much harder on the way there than on the way back. Took 4hrs20mins at a moderate pace.

hiking
16 days ago

This hike is everything it’s said to be and more. This is cardio workout to say the least. Started at 630a and completed the hike by noon. Took a 1 hour much needed break. I easily drank 3 liters of water and it was cold for most of the hike. I saw a few folks starting late...I wouldn’t advise starting the hike after 10am. Enjoy the hike

I did this hike a couple of weeks ago. This hike requires bouldering and is a full body workout. Wear good shoes and prepare to pull yourself up and through some large boulders. There is some decent incline on the trail. The view at the peak is beautiful. The wind was blowing strong that day and it felt great to stand up there and take in the view.

If you are looking for a challenging hike or if you are training for something strenuous, this is the hike for you! This trail doesn't relent until about the last mile before getting back to the parking lot. It is either up or down and quite steep in some areas. I highly recommend using hiking poles for this trek as I found them to be really helpful on the sections that were steep and / or slippery. Also recommend bringing electrolyte packets along with a lot of water. I felt quite satisfied to complete this one!

this was a fun hike. got to see a bunch of cows as well.

Such a sweet hike with some breath taking views right in our back yard... you get to feel disconnected from everything as if you were in Julian. That last part to get to the top gets a little tricky since it’s covered in bushes and the trail markers don’t start until you get to the rock of the summit.... the old mines and Jeep are some super cool things to check out to keep your mind distracted on your way up! I usually don’t take water but thought I should for this one and even then was really thirsty at the end after downing two liters... stay hydrated and enjoy the views!!

Great views and great workout both ways

hiking
1 month ago

Saturday, 11/10/2018 completed The Warrior Challenge Hike supporting our Veterans Day 2018. Triumph at El Cajon Peak, signed the official Peak Log and located all 3 Geological Benchmarks. Tallied up 11.39 RT mileage and 3,936’ total elevation gains gains. 2nd time hiking the El Capitan Preserve and only made it El Capitan Peak back on 12/22/2013. 5-years later, 60-lbs lighter I now have sense of accomplishment being this is labeled the hardest hike in the entire San Diego County! So steep with numerous peaks and valleys to trek through I developed cramps again but all worth it at the end!

Great 10 mile hike!! I found this mountain to be very hard in the sense that is none stop up hill and down hill from beginning to end. It was a challenge!!! You definitely need plenty of water and snacks to replenish your energy.

It was well kept and not highly trafficked.

Best bang for your one day hiking buck! Well marked informative mileage signs with elevation profiles. Only out and back trail in SD County that is up hill in both directions.

Great hike! Probably best to do in spring when every thing is green. Nice rolling hills! Not much shade

Beautiful hike with lots of ups and downs. There are a few steep spots that will get the lungs burning. Lots of great views along the way. Probably best in the spring because of wildflowers or after rain as there is a creek.

we started at 7am, when the sun was nice and finished by 1pm, around 11am the sun killed us, we consumed much more water and stoped more often to rest. 2.5 - 3 liters of water was enough! :) start early, finish before the sun is up!! great hiking!

My girlfriends and I did this hike at 6am and we were back in the car by 11am. it was foggy when we reached the top so we couldn't enjoy the view. It was also freezing cold so we headed back down. It was a great work out for all of us and will definitely come back again.

Super fun! I lived it

Beautiful hike. Too bad people aren’t more conscientious about their litter.

hiking
1 month ago

My friend and I hiked this Saturday starting at 9:15am. It was during the October Santa Ana and now I know why I won't be hiking it in the summer months. It can get pretty hot.
We wanted to have a fun hiking distraction while hiking down so we created names for each of the steep sections that were challenging enough for worthy mention. Here are the names in descending order from the top...
1. Summit
2. Jalopy
3. Tater Tots
4. Feather Duster
5. Hey what?! WTF?!?!
6. Sarah's Song
7. Sugar, please
8. Eggsellent
9. Deadwood
10. Tardy to the Party
11. #11 (we didn't think of one)
12. Knee Break
13. Lifted Spirits
14. Beer, please

See if you can figure out why we named them!

A perfect hike that is a test of endurance rather than being a hard technical climb. The path is clear allowing for a hands free ascent. It took about 4.5 hours, if you time it right, the sunset over the coast is spectacular.

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