Explore the most popular trails in Los Coyotes Indian Reservation with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Closed to off road traffic until further notice. Wish I knew that. Now you all do!

Nice hike. First 2 miles are steep. After that levels out. Beautiful views from the top. Gnats are a problem this time of year. Recommend a bug net. It was our saving grace.

hiking
bugs
2 months ago

06/14/19 This trail is pretty easy. Even though the trail is about 10 miles, the terrain of the trail is mostly soft. The hike took about 6 hours for plenty of stops and photo taking. The views are fantastic. Before hiking, a fee of $10 per person is required at the ranger post. We parked near the bathrooms. Before the hike it is recommended to spray some bug spray because the black flies and mosquitos are relentless. It seemed like the OFF sweat resistant insect repellent worked WAY BETTER than the Natrapel 12 Hour bug spray. Keep spraying while hiking also. The beginning couple miles and the last mile towards the peak are hardest parts of the hike. More than 2 liters of water should be good enough to quench your thirst throughout the hike. Don’t be afraid of being sunburned because there is shade throughout the hike. The best things about this hike are: - trail is very well maintained and wide - the views are great - trail is not hard on the knees

hiking
bugs
rocky
2 months ago

My 23 year old daughter and I hiked this today, 5/25/19. The hike was 10.5 miles, 4.5 hours, with over 2,400' of elevation gain. We entered the reservation at 8:15am, guard post was open, paid $10 for each of us. We parked near the campsite restrooms, which were locked all day but the adjacent porta-potties were open. Amazingly, we only saw one group of 2 hikers over the next 5 hour round trip on this beautiful Saturday morning of a 3 day weekend. We saw no large animals, just birds, lizards, and lots of flying insects (flies, gnats, bees). We brought bug spray which helped. The long distance of this hike and steepness of the first half required lots for short breaks and lots of drinking water. Pretty good views at the peak given the overcast skies today. Wish there was better access up the giant rocks on the peak, the existing ropes for rock climbing looked kind of sketchy so we didn't attempt that for fear that getting back down would be dangerous. Overall it was a great bucket list hike with bragging rights.

Went this Monday 5/13. I was the only person on the mountain. Started at 9AM, should've started an hour earlier. Lucked out and got cloud cover. This is the easiest " hard" hike I've done. Once your in the trees it great walking. Flies we're a problem in the wooded section. Views on top made it worth the effort. FYI The bathroom at the bottom was locked.

Closed the road for a rave...unbelievable. These people are crazy

Good trail, good workout. To start, went on a Sunday around 8:30am, the tribal office at the reservation was closed, a guy from the police station said to just put the money ($10) in the mail slot, so I did and continued on down the road that shifted from paved to dirt. I figured I'd find the trailhead by the number of cars/people crowded around as I have observed at other SoCal hiking spots, I mean this is the highest peak in San Diego County and it was a beautiful Sunday morning. No one seemed to be around, I eventually found the trailhead by using the AllTrails map (very clever). Hint, it is the road on the left immediately across from the Los Coyotes Campground sign (which is on the right side of the road), road is called Sukat Rd. As other reviews note, this is a fire road trail that has been rutted out by rain in spots, doesn't affect the hiking though. Since it is a fire road I figured I would leave my trekking poles in the car, I wished I would have taken them and had to make due with an old fashioned walking stick I picked up on the side of the road. The first two miles are a no-kidding steady climb with almost no shade, after that though it smoothes out and varies between less steep climbs and flat sections and has shaded spots. At the top you are naturally drawn to the old fire tower on the left and it is cool to check out but the actual summit is on the right. Look for the trail, it is just beyond two whitish rocks, then follow the orange flags to some large boulders, the summit marker is at the top, some nice folks rigged up some straps to assist in the climb. The view from up there is awesome, I could see Mt San Jacinto, San Gorgonio, and even San Antonio, the valleys with the wildflower blooms were especially neat. Only saw three other groups of hikers the whole day. I had 10.13 miles round trip at just over 4 hours, which included 15 mins at the top. Trail is totally worth doing, it's the highest point in the county and a great workout on the way up. Not as scenic along the way as some other trails but still awesome.

Good workout. Awesome views. Tons of super blooms to see on the way out in Warner Springs. About 10 miles. Steep at start for about 2 miles then much nicer and more scenic. Easy to follow path. 4 stars because it is more of a truck trail. Super wide. It was 60 ish and perfect today. Would not do this in summer .

hiking
rocky
snow
5 months ago

this is a steep trail. it's more of a truck trail. Starts off with some trees then chaparral then pine trees. There were patches of snow. Some mountain lion prints that weren't there going up but were there going down. My wife and I do a lot of hiking so I would say it's moderate in difficulty. All trails put it at 10 miles but it's around 11.

I went on march 16th as a little pre-birthday hike and the hike is good, but I'd say prepare. First couple miles are steep and honestly a little hard. Once you get like mid way it transforms more into a nice forest and it isn't that bad, but it isn't a walk in the park either. Towards the top it was steep, but doable. Overall a good hike, just wear the right clothes depending on the weather. When we went it was a little breezy and cold, but with a lot of sun. At the time of this review also there was a little snow towards the top around the sides and on trail a little, but not too much. I also didn't see Mountain Lions or anything like that, but take something as protection like bear mace just in case. Just stay hydrated, understand that it is steep at times and have some good nutritious snacks and you'll be okay. Also, they now charge $10 per person, not per vehicle anymore.

The hike was beyond amazing! it was so beautiful! The views were great. Lots of blue skies and puffy clouds. There was still some snow. We saw fresh mountain lion tracks, but thankfully no lion. so glad we hiked!

Hiked this trail last weekend, and it was great! Still cold enough to see some snow near the summit, so wear extra layers. Summit was completely fogged out so we missed out on the views, but that's fine. Nothing like seeing snow on the highest peak in San Diego county! First 1.5 mi is a bit of a small push, but nothing too strenuous. FYI the cost to park is now $10/person, instead of per car.

hiking
muddy
off trail
snow
5 months ago

I would recommend this trail this season. As everything is green and a cool weather for taking the trails. Some wind at bottop and mostly at top. Great for camping activities and meditation. Definitely will come back.

If you’re peak bagging San Diego County, you gotta do this one right? It’s the tallest... and it’s a real mission to get to it if you live down in the city. It’s been on my To-Do list for a while and I finally motivated my ass to drive up there and get it handled, on a snowy winter day in January. It was a weekday morning after a fresh snowfall maybe two days before. Checked in at the ranger station and paid $10. No cars at trailhead, not a soul on the mountain that day. The hike itself wasn’t incredibly difficult, about Mt. Woodson level of effort. The trail was gorgeous, very green and lots of pines. The snow made for some rad photos. Followed a faint trail from the dilapidated lookout tower up to the actual summit (look for the helpful little orange flags) but couldn’t go up the summit boulder due to ice. I settled on eating lunch under the tower instead. Absolutely stunning visibility, as could be expected on a winter day. Landmarks visible in 5 other counties plus Mexico and the Pacific Ocean. It’d be almost easier to make a list of what I couldn’t see up there. Views from summit included: Cuyamaca Peak, Mt. Baldy, San Jacinto, San Gorgonio, Toro, Palomar, Woodson, Iron, Mission Trails 5, San Miguel, Mount Laguna, Rabbit, Villager, Salton Sea, Islas de Coronado, Point Loma, and Downtown San Diego. I was actually pretty surprised to see Point Loma and Downtown, I wasn’t expecting that. On a hot hazy day you’re not going to see half of those landmarks, definitely do this on a clear winter day if possible. And don’t be a daredevil like me and hike it solo. Go in a group! I saw a few sets of mountain lion paw prints in the fresh snow a few miles in, it had me dialing up the paranoia to the 9’s. Thankfully saw none, but they out there...

Beautiful scenery! More forested and green than most places in San Diego County. Like all of these trails, the difficulty is very relative. I would rate this as moderate myself. By comparison, El Cajon Mountain or Twin Peaks up north are far more difficult than this. The incline is fairly gradual and pretty much out of the way after the first 2 miles. We went on a Sunday and no one was at the ranger station nor the campground itself. There was a phone number posted at the ranger station, which I called. Two rangers came down and checked us in and took our payment. One more thing: the main recording here only goes to the lookout. You need to follow the trail to the right of the turnout to get to the peak. Enjoy!

hiking
Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Great trail! Take plenty of water !! Beautiful scenery. Mosquito repellent is a must ! 10$ fee to park

This is a challenging hike with quite a few steep inclines.

off road driving
Sunday, April 08, 2018

Beautiful place for a relaxing drive. Went on a Friday afternoon and had the mountain to myself. I never saw another person all the way out and back. Paid $10 for a day pass and the officer drove up and opened the gate for me to go up Hot Springs Mt. Road. Only needed 4wd for one small section.

hiking
Monday, April 02, 2018

I found this to be a really challenging hike, I would definitely rate this as HARD and not MODERATE. After parking at the campground at the Los Coyotes Indian Reservation, you follow the fire road north/northwest to the peak. Several trucks who accessed the trail via Hot Springs Mountain Rd passed us on their way up to the peak. There were a ton of gnats, and no trail markings, so we took the wrong trail and added 2 miles to our trip. The views from the top are spectacular though, the reservation is beautiful, and the trek was worth it.

hiking
Sunday, April 01, 2018

This is a legit hike! The most challenging was right at the start of the hike, so be ready. I took me about 3 hrs to get to the top, then 2 hrs back down. Make sure to pay $10 at the entrance, you can park anywhere. The most popular trail had a chain blocking access to cars driving up. Have fun!

hiking
Monday, January 29, 2018

It’s a nice shaded trail, mostly uphill on your way in. The trail is wide and not too steep. It is easy to get confused at the forks though, and the trail could do with a few more markings. With 21 ft over cuyamaca this is the tallest mountain in San Diego county. Today was clear and we managed to see San Jacinto, San Gorgonio, Salton Sea. There is a rickety old watch tower at the top, but the winds can make it quite a risky climb. The road can accommodate 4x4 vehicles too, though we did not encounter any.

off road driving
Saturday, January 13, 2018

Such a fun, easy trail. It’s so pretty and there weren’t a lot of bugs this time of year like others were talking about. Most of the trail you don’t really even need 4wd. I left it on to be safe but honestly didn’t really need it except for one section with some deep ruts.

Sunday, January 07, 2018

Great hike. Long with great views at the end but make sure you bring mask. Gnats are Gnarly. Cool Forrest like hiking.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Great Christmas Day hike. Beautiful views!

hiking
Saturday, November 11, 2017

Veterans Day Hike. November 10, 2017 Triumph the highest peak in San Diego County, Hot Springs Mountain from the longest and steepest part, Hot Springs Drive. Racked up 16.24 RT mileage and 3,413 ft. elevation gains returning to Trailhead on a beautiful sunset! The views to the Tower and Peak are breathtaking amazing and worth the hike. Signed the official Peak Log and located one geological benchmark. Only recommendation, bring plenty of snacks, water and a mask from the relentless gnats!

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