Explore the most popular hiking trails in Lake Morena County Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

This hike has some great views but it is not easy! Bring plenty of water but travel light, it’s a long one. I went counter clockwise around the trail, almost missed an arrow made of stones pointing me towards the trail at one point in the left so keep your eyes peeled. Once we made it around the base of the mountain, overlooking the dam, it got pretty unclear where the trail was, but look for the big steel cables and follow that up the side and you’ll find the trail again. Once you’re at the top it’s kind of a free for all since it’s basically just rock and nothing obstructing your path. Enjoy the views!

It as mid 90's by the time we got going. We took lots of water, but only made it to about 200 yards beyond the big rock. My sweetie can't take the heat and altitude. She had the drumming heartbeat and had to stop to rest often. I guess you can't beat youth. We're on the high side of 60. Lots of wildflowers. Not a lot of water in the creek. A younger couple told us that the 'falls' were pretty weak. If you're going to hike this trail at this time of year, start early.

Muy Buen lugar me parecio medio tirandole a duro (hard) pero tienen preguntas de cual quier cosa desde permiso les dejo mi email con toda confianza dither_bm@yahoo.com

Hiked this yesterday, but from a different starting point. Not a lot of water left, but the wildflowers are pretty gorgeous out there right now. I left wanting so much more of the PCT!

Attempted the loop clockwise, starting down the PCT and then up to the summit. Lots of cairns to help navigate, mostly definitive trail up to the top. Totally epic summit, like walking across a massive rock floor. We trekked north and tried to join the trail that goes down the north side of the mountain down to the lake, but got super lost in a very brushy area. We bushwhacked around and referenced the GPS, but just couldn’t manage to piece it together. We ended up backpedaling and went back to the trailhead the same way we came up. I plan to go back and try to do the loop counterclockwise from the lake road. Highly recommend this hike, very long and grueling journey, but the peak is worth it.

Beautiful views, I wish they had a sign that directed you to the waterfall, I missed the split trail and ended in in the freeway in Campo. Next time I know!

backpacking
3 months ago

Beautiful hike in the beginning, but after you hit the summit and then decend it gets incredibly rocky and tough. Climbing up the south side of the mountain after camping in the valley was really tough for me.

At the bottom of the valley go past the gate and walk approximately 2 more miles and hit a small waterfall. We heard tons of frogs and had a delightful sleep amongst them. But let me repeat, hiking up that south side of the mountain was really tough. Worth it to sleep among the frogs and waterfall however. I gave this a three star only because I found this hike so difficult.

Pretty easy trail, for the last part we walked over the rocks to get a pod view of the falls, was great but not spectacular.

hiking
3 months ago

an awesome, easy trail with moderate elevation and beautiful pools at the end! so worth it! went in march and the weather was perfect. some shade, the sun wasn’t too bad out in the exposed areas either, and the water in the pools was clean and refreshing. highly recommended!

great trail it is apart of the PCT so about 2ish miles in there is a sign that says no bikes on the trail and that's where you go left to stay on this trail and not fallow the PCT. water is running.

A fun little trek to a group of pools and some small falls. Met a handful of thru-hikers on day 2 of their PCT journey.

Great trail going up to the butte. Well maintained since it is part of the PCT. great views from top of the butte. You can spend hours scrambling around rocks and peaks. However, it is pretty easy to get lost up there. Thank to those whole pile rocks on top of each other to mark the trail. The back side of the loop is crazy intense because it is hard to find the trail. At one point the trail will take you down through a steep side of the mountain that it is so crazy sketchy but, satisfying when it is done. After that, is easier to navigate. But, will recommend going up and down through the PCT. much better. Great hike. Do recommend. Best is you have company to help navigate. Thank you for the gps tracking on this app. I sure used it a lot up there.

I visited the falls a day after we had some good rain. Parking was easy to find and the trail was well marked! We had the trail to ourselves and loved the scenery! The first chance you have to branch off the trail onto another, that is the trail to the falls. If you stay straight that will just continue on the PCT. I had my dogs with me so didn't hike down as far as I could have due to the rocks. Very peaceful!

My family and I loved this trail. Will most definitely do it again.

walking
4 months ago

Great for kids. The lake had recently killed a bunch of Carp in the lake, so there were 100’s of dead fish along the shore. Perfect for kids to explore and great views overall.

The path was well travelled and easy to follow. I did hike past the side trail to the falls because I wasn't paying attention. The granite rock around the falls is beautiful. It is a nice place to rest or eat a snack around the creek and there are plenty of good views along the hike.

Really lovely hike, with lots of different options for various levels. We didn’t make it to the top, since our dog was getting nervous on the granite, but we will be back. We did find several small, dark ticks along the trail, so vigilant checking is advised.

hiking
5 months ago

We experienced Many Ticks, so protect yourself accordingly;
Otherwise, this is a peaceful area to explore!

We made it to the cables but had to turn back just past as our dog was unable to continue due to the incline of the scramble; she is an experienced trail dog so if you are headed to the summit - leave your pets behind.

There are many other areas to explore such as the meadow and the ruins around the loop trial if the summit proves too much; this area is great for dogs.

We will be back!

Did this today with my mom it was a nice hike found the falls no problem

This trail is part of the PCT trail so, about the 2 mile mark you need to turn left to go down to the creek. It can easily be missed. The creek was flowing nicely. Very cool area and nice hike to it. Recommend

Nice trail with great views! It was super super windy, and even though there was a wind advisory, we suspect it’s pretty windy anyway. The trail down to the creek is a bit overgrown with aggressive vegetation, so we regret not wearing pants. It’s also a challenge to find the trail back up once you’ve been puttering around on the SLIPPERY rocks by the water. Don’t wear a hat that you don’t want to blow away, bring a wind breaker, and a towel to dry off with. We brought our older dog and he did great. Will definitely come back to hike more of the PCT.

Drove out here 4 days after our first rainfall in January. There was some water in the falls which was perfect for rock scrambling around the falls. I would imagine in the late spring that you would not be able to climb around as much since the falls would be full. We started the hike on the PCT and climbed down some rocks to get to the falls. We continued to go down some boulders and went off trail for a more adventurous route. After bushwhacking our way back up to the ridge for about an hour, we finally made it back to the PCT. Thank God I had long pants on. When we got back on the official trail, we headed back to the small parking lot that we started. The total route we took was about 4 1/2 miles. I would like to go back again after we've had more rain and I get on the official trail the entire way. Beautiful hike!! We were the only ones there on a Sunday in January. Perfect hiking weather with a high of about 69 degrees.
Here's the link to Google Maps on where to park
https://goo.gl/maps/fmwMSXSYwu72

hiking
6 months ago

I completed this hike after two days of heavy rain in the county, and the falls were beautiful! They were not tall, cascading waterfalls; but rather a series of small ones with multiple deep pools in a granite-filled section along Kitchen Creek. The hike itself wasn't my favorite because you can hear the traffic from the I-8 freeway for the majority of it. But once you descend down to the falls, it is quiet and peaceful, and you can sit and listen to the water. I recommend this hike on a warm, sunny day after the rain. Follow the well-maintained PCT until the junction - which I found using the GPS feature on AllTrails - and make a left to the falls. (The PCT continues on to the right.) It is an easy day hike for San Diegans.

Well marked and maintained.

Beautiful hike

Great views of the lake! No steep ups or downs. There is a mountain lion warning at the beginning of the trail so be prepared. Took me 1.5 hrs to complete. Very peaceful and serene, nobody else was on the trail. Be sure to stop in at the ranger station and check out the little museum, awesome.

hiking
8 months ago

A great hike for couples. If after this hike you are still talking to each other you'll probably do OK as a married couple.

Unless you are are into whips and scratches, you'd best be leaving the shorts at home. This ain't no walk in the park... You will be scratched, bruised and likely lose a bit of blood before the rock summit.

This hike has a lot of challenges.

1. The route shown on AllTrails in red is a bit off, so it may seem as though you are on the wrong trail at first. Note the piles of rock you'll pass on the side of the road as you go. Others have learned this lesson...

2. Once you get past the dam west side of the lake, look south-west about 20 yards and you'll find some heavy metal cables (about 4" thick). That's where you'll begin your first bit of climbing up to the butte.

3. From there, go directly south, follow as many of the rock cairns as you can. Though you'll likely end up having to make your own trail through some of the brush before you reach your choice of high point vistas (there are a few to choose from—you'll see...).

[At about this point in the hike, I suspect you'll wish you hadn't worn those sexy walk in the park shorts]

4. You'll have a few high point choices to trek too. The high rocks on your left are the actual Butte, with some nice views of the lake. The high rocks on the right looked more appealing to us at the time, so we chose that view instead. We made it!

Total round trip time was a bit less than 5 hours.

Tally wearing pants:
- bruises between the two of us: 3
- Manzanita branch stab marks: 2
- and noticeable scratches: 8

Enjoy!

Sadly there was no water, but it was a cool hike anyway! We parked in the camp grounds where it says “PCT Parking” and followed the road until you cross and continue on the trail. You follow the PCT trail but then veer to the left away from the main trail to a smaller trail that will lead you down to the falls. I had my dog with me and this part was a little difficult, but since he is on the smaller side we were able to carry him over some of the rocks.

Wonderful views at the top but very hard hike. Easy to loose the trail. every once in a while you will see were someone has marked the trail with piles of small rock. The incline up to the top is steep with rock climbing straight up.

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