In my opinion this is a wonderful hike. The trail is well marked with colored map placards at several intersections. I started off with the intention of completing the Hellhole Creek Trail but after checking to make sure I had more than enough water, I ended up doing the Rodriguez Mountain and Paradise Trail as well.
Adding the Rodriguez Mountain and Paradise Trail was an exceptionally good idea. The views are amazing from all directions. As you approach the summit of Rodriguez Mountain you are given the opportunity of selecting 3 viewpoints that are somewhat in the same vicinity of each other.
Atop Rodriguez Mountain you can turn back the way you came or continue onto the Paradise Trail. The Paradise trail takes you on a ridge and then gradually brings you to the Horsethief Trail. This trail intersects with Hellhole Creek Trail and takes you back to the staging area.
Adding the Rodriguez Mountain and Paradise Trails created a loop. From Staging area, through Hellhole Creek Trail, Rodriguez Mountain and Paradise Trails and then back to the staging area was 10.2 miles in total.
In my opinion this was an exceptional trail but then again, I love the outdoors. Its getting warm so please, please bring an ample amount of water with you and know your limitations.
Happy Trails to you all and remember! Not all who wander, are lost.
Twice hiked Hellhole; March 26, 2016 & December 19, 2015 and enjoyed the terrain with a great group of friends! Both times we racked up 9.50 plus hiking mileage and each time we reached Rodriguez Peak geological mark
Complete the 3.8 mile loop, first 3/4 mile is down hill which means the last return is 3/4 mile up hill. This is more of a moderate hike than easy. Overall, worth the drive out to Valley Center. It was overcast, which was nice.