Explore Week Day Local - 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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Really good hiking place and beautiful scenery

Definitely enjoyed this hike. There are many trails that are not well marked and it can be confusing at points. I must be directionally challenged because I took a wrong turn and added an extra 1.5 miles to my hike. Coolest part is the stair climb.

Loved it, took my 8 year old brother with me. Definitely less crowded.

fun and challenging ascent. gets really hot with minimal shade so pack plenty of water

Coming down is harder than getting to the top. Recommend completing north, saddle and south in one shot.

trail running
1 month ago

This is my favorite way to access the Cowles summit. Not nearly so busy as the main route up, and easy access from my neighborhood. It’s a nice run and a good workout.

walking
1 month ago

Pretty, easy, and shaded walk!

hiking
3 months ago

Eh. I chose this trail because I wanted something easy for a first time hike with my 8 yr old. It's pretty flat and wide. The photos show areas in mission trails that are not on this particular loop trail. The Grasslands Loop trail is completely open, no shade available, and all dry. There's a pretty lake area that can be seen from this loop, but cannot be accessed unless you take a different trail. There was no respite from the sun whatsoever. It was a good place for a starter hike but we won't be doing the Grasslands Loop again.

on Big Rock Trail

hiking
3 months ago

a great way to go to the top of Cowles Mountain without all the traffic. A good workout fairly steep in places lots of stairs to climb. Go early it gets hot! the only reason not five stars is because it's pretty dusty in the summer months.

hiking
3 months ago

Hiked this trail with my wife and 8 month old son in a carrier. The biggest comment I would have of this loop is it is NOT the Rim Trail as posted on the trail signs of the park. In fact, it seems to go around Rim Trail. Despite the label error, the loop is great. There are a couple of steep grades, and fist-sized rocks qualifying the moderate rating. All in all a great, albeit mislabeled, trail.

One of the best mission trails hikes. That stair climb is a challenge but it’s very rewarding and great views. This says moderate and overall probably is but the stair climb is one of the hardest in the mission trails area in my opinion. Take your time and be safe as always!

This trail was amazing and the view was worth the hard climb! It was the perfect weather yesterday as well!

Must do south and north together ,since there so close to each other.

My favorite climb. Easy to get cardio rate up, and great views!

These were not bad trails for locals. I drove from Riverside to experience some new hikes and didn't think it was worth the drive. The stairway to the summit was cool. If I lived in the area I'd probably hike these trails all the time, but I have my own local trails that give me the same experience without the drive.

hiking
5 months ago

I frequent this trail often. So much cleaner and quieter than the front side of the mountain. And TONS of parking. The trail is well maintained and marked well. A nice hike when you don't have time to go far from home. This time of year it is very green and lots of flowers in bloom. Unfortunately there was a fire there recently and we lost a big chunk of the vegetation. So please be respectful and stay out of this area while the plants are regenerating.

hiking
5 months ago

Loved hiking along the water rocks. Hiked it with the kids and they loved it!

Great trail lost to see and if you like some rocky obstacles at the end this is the trail for you.

I've hiked it 4 times and the views are still beautiful. the views don't get old

hiking
6 months ago

Great trail that you can take to the top of Cowles - not as crowded as the main way up. Steep incline!

fun challenging trail. one of the longer funnier trails in mission trails park. bring some water and have fun the rocks at the end can be a burn.

A nice alternative way heading up Cowles. Less traffic especially on a weekday. Enjoyed my hike on a beautiful day.

Wide open spaces. This is a very leisurely walk.

trail running
6 months ago

I ran down this section and it was very heavy traffic. I would recommend ascending and descending Cowles from other trail heads. Also, there is no water at this trail head but there is at Big Rock.

Fun hike, pretty strenuous but well worth it. The stairs and rock scramble to the top was the most rewarding. Bring a rain jacket weather can turn quickly.

Can do this in tennis shoes when dry. Moderate trail for altitude. Trail not clearly marked if going on west side initially. You might end ip under powerlines for a bit if you take the wrong trail.

mountain biking
6 months ago

Difficult. Have your cardio together before embarking.

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