Explore the most popular walking trails in San Diego National Wildlife Refuge with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Did a couple of months ago - very steep start with lots of loose rocks so be careful
Rest is pretty good fun with some great views

mountain biking
15 days ago

Ride 2.5 miles from my house and ride this trail. Good early morning ride or hike! Nice and easy hike to do if you are lookin for some quick exercise.

Hard trail 3 uphills trails are well maintained. El cajon mountain would definitely be harder than this one

mountain biking
16 days ago

Great for hiking or intermediate MTB. I was on my MTB and must have left the designated trail because the boulders and inclines had me pushing my ride Haha. this place has trails everywhere and I will definitely come back better prepared to spend the day exploring.

Beautiful views of distant ocean, Point Loma, downtown, lakes, jets, and hills. Best to do loop on cooler, clear days. Navigation of loop somewhat tricky due many erosion ruts, game trails and power line access roads. Map spur shown to lake overlook can be skipped because peak views are better. Tips: 1. Start going thru double truck gate. Go several 100 yds then turn right down sketchy short trail to line up with massive erosion rut up the mtn. 2. Generally follow erosion rut trail to flag at peak. 3. Continue past peak on clear trail and start creeping down the backside. 4. Do not take two dead power line access roads on map to left! 5. Aim for far distant kiosk looking bench cover. 6. Go to metal equip. shed and turn left on single track mtn trail at side of shed. 7. After decent to gentle ravine generally aim for access road under distant power lines. 8. Aim for ball field light poles. 9. Turn right uphill on sketchy trail in step 1.

All the reviews say tough up & down but isn’t there also obviously a road since their are towers to maintain. Although I prefer trails to roads, I also prefer running to climbing. Does anyone have info if the road is accessible? Thank You claimthisfind.com

Probably one of the best workouts i ever had. But since its closure i’ve been trying to find something else like it. If anyone knows a different way to get up there, without being ticketed or arrested, or even another trail near by that’s like this one. Please let us know.

Is this trail still closed???

Okay so I have been hiking these parts for 15 years, went on this trail 3 years ago before it closed on the JAMUL side. You access it by hiking parallel to the Sweetwater River before the ascent. Then I went again a year ago and they had the closed sign after you go left passing the wood bridge. So I assumed it was closed. Yesterday I was out there planning on staying on the lower trail. But I walked by where they had the first sign, and there was a hole in the ground where it was. So hell yeah I went up! But the signs were all gone yesterday. So I went all the way to the transmitters/radio towers. Its still as beautiful and leg murdering as before. So is the Jamul side reopened to the public?? Or did someone just rip the signs out? I love this trail but cant afford a ticket D;

My trial 'USA v. ARNER,' described in my posting below, in which I am striving to beat a "Trespassing' ticket and $280 fine in federal court has been continued at my request until Sept. 29 at 9:30 a.m., at the address noted below. The historic nature of this trail goes back 7,000 years, according to documents contained in the Final Supplemental EIR for the 1,200-acre Salt Creek Ranch housing project, which was published for Chula Vista in 1992. On pages 3-52 and 3-53, the document states that 19 prehistoric archaeological sites had been discovered at the western foot of San Miguel Mountain, about where this hiking trail starts just east of Proctor Valley Road. More than 8,000 artifacts were recovered from those sites, which included quarry sites, lithic scatters, and habitation sites, the study said. It added that "all" the sites appear to be part of a settlement system occupied as early as 7,000 years ago, based on the presence of various "diagnostic artifacts" including "biface tools (points/knives), milling tools, (manos/metates), hammerstones, cores, scraping tools, and faunal remains of shell and bone. Some of the sites had previously been recorded by the County of San Diego Office of Historic Preservation, and federal agencies as important to our understanding of early prehistoric occupation in the county. The 1990 topo map also lists an "Indian Dam" along the side of the Mountain, roughly a mile to the south of the Salt Creek Ranch project. As a hiker for more than 50 years, it seems likely that a settlement of any people that lasted thousands of years at the foot of a mountain, meant that the residents had named the mountain, and regularly hiked to its peak, to hut, to admire the view, and possibly for religious reasons, as well. That's the Pre-historic part of my argument.

Fantastic View; Fantastic $280 fine for 'Trespassing' on this Historic trail. Need HELP from Hiking Community to prove that a JeepTrail on a 1990 USGS Topographical map is part of Hiking trail to the San Miguel Mountain Peak.
I'm asking anyone who has hiked this trail, or driven up the Jeep Trail, during the past 40 years, to email me at: sarnerde@att.net, so I can arrange for testimony or affidavits for US District Court, Southern District of California. Trial Date is Aug 11, 2017, 9:30 a.m. Case #3:17-po-01007-BLM, USA v ARNER. Ct address: 222 W. Broadway, 3rd Floor, Rm 3A, San Diego CA.
The continuing effort by Chula Vista and the USFWS to 'permanently' close this historic trail could get a Federal Judge's Blessing, unless experienced Hikers speak up. Thank you in advance for your support!I have posted several maps and memos on this website that document my research about the trail, and the government efforts to close it with substantial help from owners of the Antennae Property on the Peak.

mountain biking
9 months ago

hiking
Saturday, May 20, 2017

So after reading the reviews I decided to walk this trail for the first time today with my two large dogs. We walked a little over two miles out before we decided to walk back to the car. I would recommend wearing pants for this hike as sometimes the trails can be very narrow just enough for one person, and there's a lot of bushes and flowers rubbing against your legs as you walk through these narrow paths. When I reached the stream/creak we decided to walk over the bridge and make a left. We walked along the dirt car path. This is important to note because there were a few narrow trails leading different directions and the trails weren't labeled or maybe I just didn't see them. As i was walking along the trail I could see across the stream/creak other trails that mountain bike users were using, but I didn't see a spot where I could cross. I plan to hike this trail again and make it to the end and back next time.

did this several years ago. beautiful view from the top

Danniela, for those of us who want to do it illegally

Why is this hike on the list if it's been officially closed for a while now?

Fantastic hike with a fantastic price tag. Trespassing = $289 fine. Golfers at the course called Fish & Game and an officer was waiting for us. He watched us through a spotting scope. He was the nicest officer but the fine wasn't worth the hike.

This thing is steep. Real good workout to get your heart rate up. I'd avoid it if you have bad knees or anything like that.
I grabbed some big rocks to do arm exercises on the way down...

Looks like people need to make sure they are on the right trail before they review this one. Rock House is much easier and is often mistaken for this trail, maybe because of the main picture. There's a big difference between 970 feet of elevation gain and 2100.

the trail you mention here is not all own by fish & wild life. this trail cut thru a private property own by me. anyone is welcome to hike thru my 12 acres property without hindrance. here is the description of the property. start from the fence up about 400 ft x 1350ft to the east, anyone can check it on the county land parcel # 585-140-08-00 or email me at boni_dy@yahoo.com.

This was a hard steep trail. Bring your hiking poles. Wonderful views!

Great leg workout, not much scenery. Worth it.

The trail is definitely tough, but doable. And because it is "closed to the public" there are three fences/gates that you need to navigate through. It took us 3 1/2 hours to go both ways. And coming down is challenging too, as it is steep. The views at the top are worth the effort though, with great views to the west out to Pt. Loma, south to Otay Lakes and mountains to the east.

The fact they have closed the trail to the public, is a shame. Here is the official reason given by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service http://bit.ly/2gP2zWF

Considering the adjoining Sweetwater River Trail has figured out a way to accommodate hikers, I would think the we could figure out a way to do it here too. And after all, it was our tax dollars that allowed this land to be acquired in the first place.

Accidentally went on this one today while trying to do Rock House. It's not easy getting up but getting down was almost harder.

hiking
Thursday, November 24, 2016

Did this hike a ways back. It was hard, but worth it.

Any photos you see here with an AMERICAN FLAG ARE NOT MOUNT SAN MIGUEL, but the rock house hike nearby.

walking
Thursday, October 13, 2016

Great trail, easy for families and dogs. Beware of snakes!

trail is closed to the public. no trespassing sign clearly posted along with a locked gate

Short but steep towards the top. Good workout.

This is right by my home. There were at least a dozen people out there at 6pm. Doesn't say closed out there. I went alone but I recommend a partner. Some areas were hard but not terrible. I'm not young or in perfect shape. It was a great work out. Don't expect to be clean when you're done!

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