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Bernardo Mountain Summit Trail [CLOSED]

moderate(400)
San Dieguito River Park

Bernardo Mountain Summit Trail is a 7.1 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Escondido, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 7.1 miles Elevation Gain: 872 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

horseback riding

mountain biking

walking

bird watching

running

lake

partially paved

views

rocky

closed

Note: This trail is currently closed due to COVID-19. Great hike just off the I-15 in Escondido. Hike past Lake Hodges and up a mountain for views of the surrounding area. This trail is part of a network of trails from Coast to Crest so you can hike as long or as short as you'd like.

Still people on trail as of 4/3/2020 Doesn’t get steep really until you hit the water tower. Worth the view

hiking
4 days ago

Nice long trail, muddy in areas. Went a week ago, but now it’s closed due to COVID.

mountain biking
muddy
15 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

This trail is not good. View from the top is okay, but you are never away from the noise from the 15 and walk past a number of fences and man-made structures. Definitely better trails in San Diego county.

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

Fairly easy, mostly flat except near the end with a few steep inclines. Not my favorite hike but I liked that it wasn’t overly crowded and most of the way up and back I had the trail to myself. What I don’t like is the first mile and last mile on the return is right by the freeway. This one didn’t make me feel like I was challenged/accomplished of other hikes nor did I get the peacefulness of going outdoors - you hear the road.

Good trail, but watch for the bikers they can be uncourteous to trail etiquette.

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

I absolutely love this trail. There was some confusion where the trail began however was easily able to find the starting point. Once arriving to the trail go left, pass three houses and when you see a bridge crossing the water you are in the right place to begin your hike. Ignore the county hike signs.

hiking
4 months ago

Good views !!! Fun trail !!!

hiking
bugs
rocky
4 months ago

we went off trail and went up to the summit nice easy hike it is very rocky leading up to the summit but not bad at all drunk 1.5 liter of water

hiking
bugs
over grown
rocky
6 months ago

I have a love/dislike relationship with this trail from the access road point. Rugged and signage is confusing, a lot of trespassing warnings and there’s no trail distinction but if you follow the bike tread marks down into the thick green valley you’ll find the trail/ladder bridge. I wouldn’t recommend this route. Stick with the pedestrian bridge trail. Also, most of the trail is single track with a lot of mountain bikers to share it with. Use caution and keep and eye out for RATTLERS- I hiked this with my dog Thursday at 6pm and we ran into a very large adult red diamondback crossing the access road. Enjoy!

hiking
7 months ago

Really nice trail and view from the top. You can do a shorter 4 mile version by starting where Google Maps takes you when you search “Bernardo Mountain Summit Trail - Access Road”, which is also shown here on the app.

hiking
no shade
over grown
rocky
7 months ago

spectacular views from the summit. Recommend hiking early to avoid the heat. lots of bikers on this trail.

hiking
no shade
7 months ago

hiking
bugs
private property
8 months ago

hiking
no shade
8 months ago

Zero shade. On map it looks like you may have some water access, that is not true. May be good for biking but do not recommend bringing your dog.

hiking
no shade
8 months ago

It's pretty flat first few miles, last mile is the elevation gain. The views are amazing at the top, especially on a cloudy day over looking the lake.

hiking
no shade
8 months ago

It's pretty flat for fist few miles, last mile minority elevation gain happens. On a cloudy morning the views are amazing along the way and at the top, lake covered with mist and fog. I would do it again!

hiking
no shade
9 months ago

I enjoyed this hike especially now that I'm in better shape. The terrain was pretty straightforward with some rocky areas along the top of the hill. Make sure you have a lot of water because I actually finished all of mine and I rarely do. In fact probably take more water than you think you'll need just to be on the safe side. I was warned that there might be a lot of snakes but I didn't see any.

hiking
9 months ago

Did this as part of the Coast to Crest Challenge. Nice hike and a well marked trail. Proper footwear is essential as it is rocky underfoot. Great views from summit.

hiking
bugs
9 months ago

recommended?

hiking
9 months ago

Midday hike on a Friday. Saw 5 walkers, 3 runners and 9 bikers. First and last 15-20 minutes have freeway noise, but then dies down. Great 360 view at summit. Several uphill, rocky stretches which can be tough on ankles. Worth the effort.

hiking
no shade
9 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

This is a great hike to do on a weekday. Weekends bring more mountain bikers, which means sharing a narrow path and sometimes having to quickly jump out of the way when a biker comes blasting down the mountain. Views from the top of Bernardo Mountain are beautiful of Lake Hodges and residential neighborhoods. Overall, a pretty easy 7 miler that I enjoyed and would recommend to others.

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