The park is open 8am to sunset.

First mile, high elevation gain and tires you out but rest of walk to Lake Hodges overlook is so worth it! Creek is on way in/out of trail next to parking lot. I got a late start at 1030am and was done by 1pm

The creek was beautiful and had more flow than I would have thought for this time of the year. The trail was rocky most of the way up but you just have to pay attention a bit. I couldn’t believe it when I got to the top and I found toilets and a water fountain! Are we spoiled or what—-:-) I’ve never seen that before!

Excellent hike, both vertical and mileage!

walking
19 days ago

Best during overcast weather. Late summer walks can get a bit dusty but scenic.

Definitely enjoyed this hike - good mix of inclines, not too strenuous, very scenic. Tons of different trails so you can make it a longer hike if you want.

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!

It was a fun hike with my wife and our first trail in California. The scenery was beautiful.

PARKING: limited parking in the dirt lot that opens at 8AM so i recommend getting there a little early to claim the prime spot.

THE HIKE: locating the trail head was a bit difficult for me since there were multiple trail heads at the start. choose the right one or you'll end up by the river with no where else to go (whisper: saw a lady doing yoga posses on this very short trail and i awkwardly walked backwards as though i just saw a bear)

Anyway, the hike itself is very well maintained and saw a few rangers making rounds making sure that people are leashing their dogs and making sure poops are in poop bags. I went during the weekday so didn't notice a lot of human traffic (perfect for my introverted self). HOWEVER, the reserve does offer guided hikes and as i was heading back, a swarm of (i kid you not) 20 children were running past me and 1 chaperone absentmindedly staring at her phone.

You'll go through some slight inclines and declines but overall, the hike was bearable. The dam (which i mistook for the lake) is pretty cool but definitely make your way up to the actual overlook for breathtaking views!!! i guarantee you're hiking mind will feel the euphoria of gorgeous scenery. Take your time taking it all in, too! It was nice being the first and only one at the overlook.

I would say this is one of my favorite hikes in the area. Warning though, there's very little shade so either go super early to beat the heat (especially during the summer) or be prepared and slather layers of sunblock. Also be careful for random animal droppings. And bugs.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful. Trails were well defined and had adequate signage. Grounds were beautiful— a lot of trails and hiking nooks to check out! If you’re not a hiker or out of shape it probably won’t be as enjoyable. I found it to be easy but it was a challenging easy! There are portables and drinking fountains found throughout the grounds. One could easily spend a day here I came on Sunday morning very little foot traffic. *put on sun screen

One of my favorite hikes to do in this area!

Great hike glad I live close to this trail!

Great hike!

4 months ago

I recommend you continue all the way to overlook. it has a wide Rocky road, you may see a ranger in a truck, and if you keep going it goes around Lake Hodges and goes to a peak that's pretty awesome. It's worth the extra time and energy!

Great hike! There is a good mix of incline and level ground. Multiple routes to choose from once you hike about 1.5 miles!

Great little hike, beautiful day. There were quite a few people but still enjoyable. It would be good for dogs and kids but need to be patient. I don’t know what kind of tall spiked flowers I saw but beautiful. Look like a yucca of some type.

4 months ago

great hike! the lake is beautiful, and there's places to rest along the way. Do go all the way to the Overlook it's worth the five and a half miles round trip

great hike, beautiful creek, flowers and views
starts going up, there's no shade but the views are breathtaking. you can see so many lakes and reservoirs

hiking
5 months ago

Steady ascend to the overlook. It was fairly warm although we started our walk @ about 830 am., so I suggest starting the trip earlier in the day if possible.

Loved this hike- starts an uphill trek to get the heart rate going- pretty little creek then somewhat levels at one mile up- beautiful views of olevhain reservoir and lake Hodges- spotted red tail hawks and other birds ,a roadrunner and nice trails along the way- definitely going back.

Very scenic hike around the Olivenhain Resevoir with views of Lake Hodges and the Paciific Ocean.

I really liked this hike. I ended up doing about 6.5 miles round trip with a few small route detours.

First mile is a pretty good uphill workout, great training hike for harder hikes. I liked the views and that you view first the Reservoir and then Lake Hodges if you go all the way up.

Will definitely do this one again.

Great day hike. Nice workout and good views. You can park down the road if the lot is full. There is also a water fountain up near the top with potable water.

I took my kids on the this trail! We took the botanical route back, and it was beautiful! We walked across the stream and the running water was amazing! Just stay on the trail as there are poison plants off of it—but there are warning signs everywhere!

hiking
5 months ago

Hiked there today, had a great time. Very good workout, half of the hike is uphill so be prepared with lots of water. It’s only shaded on some parts, so I also recommend bringing sunscreen. It’s a long hike but the view is worth it, especially when you get down by the reservoir. The hike up is fairly crowded and you have to be careful when people are passing you on the narrow path. There are many pretty wildflowers, you also get to see lizards.

My only real complaint is that one of the tags on the hike is misleading. It shows that there is forest on this hike, but it’s not true. There are trees for only a fourth of the hike, the rest is open brush and rocky terrain.

All in all it was a good hike. I’d do it again :)

Beautiful hike! Gate to the parking lot doesn’t open until 8am. Get there early as this is a popular area and a popular trail. I have sensitive knees, so I has glad to have trekking poles for the way back.

Started with the Way Up Trail and we ended it at the Escondido overlook. There was still tons of other trails available. We then came back down and took the Botanical Garden route and ended it at the Creek overlook, which was a great ending!

Honestly, it was a fun hike. Sharp ascent and some pretty good views along the way. We had a fun time!

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