Explore the most popular mountain biking trails in Mission Trails Regional Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

My second time at North Fortuna. This time I signed the book

Very treacherous and rocky. Cowels wasn’t to bad but we wanted to complete the 5 Peak Challenge so we hit Pyles Peak next. Round trip when done 9.3 miles, 89 floors and 26,000+ steps. My hardest hike by far.

Good trail, went up without climbing shoes and that was my mistake. It says highly elevated at the end, which is true but basically the entire trail is uphill. Definitely not a beginners trail if you are just trying to get it done. Rocks here can be hard to get a grip with your shoes.

People keep saying it's a quick hike, but it didn't feel like that to me lol maybe because it's all a crazy incline. But an amazing hike- challenging, beautiful and a great hike with your pet dog. The last 0.8 of the hike is a really good challenge hiking up to the peak. If you take the east trail it's A LOT easier!

Quick hike with amazing view at the peak. Be sure to check out the dam after, its beautiful. Last bit of the hike is the toughest.

Quick but steep trail with amazing views at the peak. Worth the climb!

It's a great hike with amazing views.

The saddle trail is super steep and slippery. Great cardio workout and a fun slip and slide on the way down!

Great short walking

This was my first "hike" in San Diego. Nice incline. Fairly congested up and down. Great views throughout.

13 days 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.

Wear hiking boots if you take the saddle trail. It gets slipperaaaaaaay! I like horses.

Beautiful scenery and trail is very clear - most climbing up steps though and is very crowded

20 days ago

Nice easy walk with spots of shade and beautiful views. Connects to the river trail so can cross over and go up the hill if you want something more challenging!

Fun trail..... a little short but wicked steep at the top!

20 days ago

Very nice, hilly hike/trail run w great views of San Diego and Miramar Airbase.

great for Sunrise!!

Short hike but a really good climb! This was a really fun hike!

Like others have mentioned, the trails here are not marked well at all. You hike on dirt and rocks, with no signage at times to help you navigate. Luckily, the AllTrails app really helps with that. I parked at the dam, took the Oak Canyon trail, followed that to the Fortuna Saddle trail (super steep and slippery towards the top), then hiked to the South Fortuna summit, came down and climbed the North Fortuna summit. Then I climbed back down via the perimeter trail, which is brutal. Extremely steep and slippery on the way down, even with hiking shoes. I ran out of water too (I had 2L with me). 7.8 miles total!

This trail is probably the most popular and busiest trails in San Diego. It's an easy and quick hike. It's definitely more fun when you run all the way down, but this can add some pressure on your knees and ankles so be extremely careful. It provides a great workout and there's ample space at the top to stop for a drink or a quick snack just to enjoy the scenery. You will find yourself having to go around or letting people pass, making it less enjoyable.

I did this hike with my mom who hasn't hiked in a while. I've been hiking small feats here and there and wanted to try another trail in San Diego. We loved how it wasn't crowded and that it provided a nice scenery and vegetation for such a short hike. I would rank this easy rather than moderate.

This hike is short but challenging!! It is an incline pretty much all the way up! I was there by 630am and there were already people on the trail. It is very rewarding once you reach the top. I ended up jogging back down and made the entire trip in 45 minutes. I parked in the parking lot near the campground entrance and walked 2 minutes to get to the trailhead.

It was a lovely and easy trail. I picked it due to my husbands recent knee injury and needed something easy. There was some beautiful scenery. The creek/river was flowing nicely.
Not much luck for animal spotting. We like to herp, and all we saw was a few lizards. No snakes unfortunately. We went around dusk.
Great for family outings and for small children. I’m not a fan of all the foot traffic. Was too busy for my liking. All in all a good short stroll though.

28 days ago

It’s short and sweet. Definitely some quick verticals but basically walking up stairs. I’ve done it in tennis shoes on a rainy day and never had issues. Even saw a girl in sandals carrying a school bag. Hardly any crowds too. Nice quick hike

29 days ago

Nice short hike with a steep grade finish, including stairs. Great view of Santee at daybreak. Not terribly challenging, although the footing can become loose in some sections.

Crowded, but good workout

I've climbed Cowles twice, this time taking the less trafficked route, and I enjoyed it a lot more. It is very steep towards the summit and there is a lot of loose gravel. Make sure you wear HIKING shoes or boots. I made the mistake of wearing running shoes, and I slipped and fell and scraped my knee. Overall a nice hike, great for beginners like me.

1 month ago

Not very fun when it's busy. Too many bros with music. Nice views, but it's almost better on a full moon, hardly need flashlight then.

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