Explore the most popular nature trips 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.

trail running
2 days ago

Good mid range trail, but for a beginner trail runner, like myself, it is a doozy, especially for first 2+ miles. Be ready for a workout. My only gripe is the trail is poorly marked later in the loop as there are many junctions and I spent a lot of time guessing wrong. I would go to my AllTrail app but it was having it's issues (or at least my GPS was.)

beautiful and clean trail

Great work out. Watch out for some areas of lose gravel. So many trails out here I love it.

I will forever have a special place in my heart for this mountain. In April of 2018 I started my new journey to lose weight. I am so proud to say by July 2018 I had lost 40lbs. I hiked and still hike Cowles 2-3 time a week and that was it. This hike is great for beginners and experienced hikers. Don’t give up in the hard areas you can do it! The view is worth it. I like to cut from the front trail to the back trail at the top for a nice steep incline at the top. Have fun!

Go early before the crowds

Very pretty and very easy. Perfect for kids.

3 days ago

I have hike this trail many times it’s always a pleasure. Very peaceful and every so often you’ll see some wildlife. Mission Trails Park is beautiful.

it was awesome

5 days ago

I have hiked this trail a few times. It is so close to where many of us live and very accessible.

I have done all the mission trails. Ok for an afternoon or morning walk

Great trail for any age group and fur babies. I'm def not in shape and was fine. Rocky ground so my hiking boots helped immensely! Hiked Saturday around 530 pm and headed down as the sun was setting, perfect weather and time. Less ppl then the last time I went on a Sunday.

Good trail run for being in the city.

11 days ago

Uneventful and busy. If you are new to hiking its good though.

12 days ago

Favorite hike of all trails in Mission trails, short not too busy and will kick your butt with the steep area.

Hay que tener un poco de condición pero esta ruta esta muy buena para un día de entrenamiento, el paisaje es bonito y los senderos bien marcados, en el sendero de big rock hay poca gente, para llegar a cowles empieza a ver mas pero al tomar el sendero a pyles esta solo. Me tomo 3:25 con dos descansos y me marca 12.71 km recorridos.

Definitely bring plenty of water if it is a hot day. Was lost a few times and ended up hiking 10 miles!

Views on the peak were nice but nothing too special. First couple of miles we could still see and hear the highway. Last third of the hike was very steep and strenuous. Good exercise.

trail running
19 days ago

Used to run this regularly in college, did again while visiting friends due to proximity. Perpetually busy, worn out trail. Much better options out there!

Starts out easy but it’s definitely a challenge towards the top. Great variety of difficulty, nice variety of scenery and some nice shaded areas.

That approach to the saddle is steeeeap

on Pyles Peak Trail

24 days ago

Pretty good hiking trail

love this place, pretty good with a weight vest too.

29 days ago

Probably the best mission trails hike

Love this hike!
Good exercise. Great View. Close to home.

Really fun, and short. I usually go on longer more nature hikes but this was a good experience because of the nooks and crannies you climb through. I would definitely do it again, and if you are looking for a hike in the San Diego area this is a good one to consider!

I hike Cowles my often. This is more intense b/c of steep slopes. 23mins up and 18 down. It is very light on ppl. Quiet and good views

trail running
1 month ago

If you’re a sucker for views, love a challenge but don’t have all day to hike or trail run, I highly suggest Kwaay Paay. I went at about 430pm on a Wednesday and passed two people on the way up, three at the summit and three on the way down. So I don’t know what you consider heavily trafficked but in my book, seven people in span of an hour / hour and a half is light... (However can be a much shorter hike if you don’t spend 30 minutes at the Summit taking pics and staring into the sunset.)
And again... the VIEWS!!! I must emphasize how insanely gorgeous and inspiring they are THE ENTIRE TIME. BUT— Whatever you do— don’t turn around before you get to the summit. You can see downtown and the Pacific Ocean!!!

This was a great workout, but not too challenging. The trail up to Cowles peak is busy, but after that the crowds disappear. I saw only 2 others on my way from there to Pyles peak. I was warned several times about a large rattlesnake haunting the trail this morning, but never saw it. Kind of relieved, kind of disappointed :)

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