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

visited Map
VIEW FULL MAP

Beautiful wilderness area. Lightly trafficked. Takes between 4-5 hours to complete. Bring 6-8 liters of water and 2,000-3,000 calories.if summiting in winter bring emergency blankets in case you need to bivy at the top.

Morning and daytime (during cooler weather) hikes here can be extremely busy! I go at night (bring head gear or hand flashlight). When using a flashlight at night please be mindful of either sticking your beam on the trail or just turn it off until they pass (some hikers prefer using the natural moonlight). Don't shine it in their eyes! It's rude and unsafe. Once at the summit, incredible views!

it was great hike.

Great hike with wonderful views of DTLA.
Hollywood sign right there to take it all in.
First couple of miles will have you huffing and puffing as it’s a pretty steep incline.
After that you’ll be treated to the views on your way to the sign.
Enjoy!

We did an 6am morning hike and it was perfect not too many people going up or coming down.

hiking
7 days ago

hiking
8 days ago

Trail is EXTREMELY crowded on the weekend (even at 7 AM).
Overlooks urban sprawl.
Peak is dominated by an ugly transmission tower.
I think one star is generous.

Beautiful little hike however no water in the creek right now but still beautiful. I got 4.8 miles. When the trail turns sharply to the left it climbs quickly. If you take the left trail near the Y you would have an easier time of it but I enjoyed the climb. You are supposed to pay a fee but I tried calling twice and also tried the internet URL but not functioning which also happened to another couple. A nice day out and about.

Been hiking Cowles since 1986

Went at night, the hike had awesome views of San Diego, including downtown. The trail was wide, in most parts with lots of switchbacks and fun, rocky terrain. Great hike overall!

Awesome views of Downtown LA & the SGV!

If you are new to San Diego, it's a great way to get the lay of the land. Expect crowds and in our case, some unusual people hiking with Bluetooth speakers playing rap music for all to hear. Other than that, great views ranging from the ocean, downtown, East County, Mexico, San Jacinto Mountain near Palm Springs and even the San Bernardino mountains way off in the distance. Enjoy!

hiking
17 days ago

My favorite part about this hike is at the top it has a map telling you what landmarks are in each direction and you can see Mexico!

Beautiful views going up! Very crowded, but everyone is very nice and polite! :) There are a few people that forget their dog-potty bags sadly.
The views and trails are worth the crowds, a must do trail!

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

trail running
29 days ago

Ran it today around 4 pm. Temp. was about 85 but with no humidity to speak of it was pleasant enough. Also, with the sun being rather low there was shade from time to time. FYI, if you do it clockwise, the first 2.5 miles or so is a steady climb.

We wanted to get out of downtown to get a short hike and Cowles Mountain did fit the bill. This trail is less than 1/2 hour away from downtown in the approximately 7,000-acre Mission Trails Regional Park. This is an easy to moderate trail and family friendly. The trail is very open with no cloud cover and is pretty dusty. It is also quit busy. As the park is in the rural San Diego area you never quite feel that you are in the wild. Great 360 views from the top. Add a couple of side hikes to increase the miles and visit the very nice visitor center in the park. If we had more time, we would have driven further out of town to experience the SoCal back country, but is was good for what it is billed. A couple of good park rules that I appreciated. No external music is allowed and no radio controlled devices. This means that someone is not allowed to pull out their drone at the top. This seems to be a very annoying trend even on back country hikes.

Nice hiking, excellent cardio, caution with the snakes

beautiful and clean trail

I will forever have a special place in my heart for this mountain. In April of 2018 I started my new journey to lose weight. I am so proud to say by July 2018 I had lost 40lbs. I hiked and still hike Cowles 2-3 time a week and that was it. This hike is great for beginners and experienced hikers. Don’t give up in the hard areas you can do it! The view is worth it. I like to cut from the front trail to the back trail at the top for a nice steep incline at the top. Have fun!

Great hike for our family. Kids are 12, 11 and 8. They had no problem . . . A little candy along the way didn’t hurt. It was 4.7 miles and took 1hr50min. A steep section in the loop was the only difficult portion.

it was awesome

hiking
1 month ago

this hike is actually 7 miles! .9 miles from the trail head to the beginning of the loop. Beautiful !

Great hike for those looking to get into shape or simply get their feet wet in the world of hiking. The trail hits you immediately with an uphill climb but one you finish that the rest of the hills on the trail become child's play. There aren't many shade spots so a visor and sun protection is recommended for those with sensitive skin going in the day. Trail opens at 9 and parking gets filled really fast. I usually park uphill a little past the trail entrance and walk down there's no permit required.

mountain biking
1 month ago

Pretty good trail..

mountain biking
1 month ago

Nice trail

hiking
1 month ago

I will do this hike again. Mostly flat with a couple inclines. One major one as you loop around and head up and back. Lots of big black and red ants. If you take a dog, put shoes on him.

Great trail for any age group and fur babies. I'm def not in shape and was fine. Rocky ground so my hiking boots helped immensely! Hiked Saturday around 530 pm and headed down as the sun was setting, perfect weather and time. Less ppl then the last time I went on a Sunday.

hiking
1 month ago

Uneventful and busy. If you are new to hiking its good though.

Load More