Big Rock Trail

MODERATE 181 reviews

Big Rock Trail is a 4.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Santee, California that offers the chance to see wildlife 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: 4.8 miles Elevation Gain: 1,236 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

bird watching

views

wildlife

rocky

scramble

hiking
bugs
no shade
8 days ago

trail running
no shade
11 days ago

Nice alternative to the Golfcrest route. Much less crowded and more shade with the taller chaparral. Nice!

hiking
bugs
rocky
1 month ago

Awesome trail good for trail running and hiking . Definitely recommend if your by area .

hiking
1 month ago

We loved this hike and would thoroughly recommend it over the overly-busy popular side of Cowles. We went midweek after work with our dog, and it was great. Tons of parking either on road or in parking lot by the park. Moderate rating feels accurate as there are some strong inclines towards the peak but 75% of the hike is a nice steady incline. Surprisingly few people and the same great views at the top. This is one we’ll definitely do again!

hiking
rocky
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike

hiking
rocky
3 months ago

Really lovely, but if you bring your dog for the love of god clean up their poop and do NOT leave the bag on the trail. Cleaned up about 9 bags on the hike. Green after all the rains!

hiking
rocky
4 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

Great hike to Cowles! Not heavily trafficked. Well marked and maintained. Big Rock connects to service road (some steep areas) to Cowles Mtn from the back. Great views. Great for trail run down. Will do again.

mountain biking
7 months ago

Not an easy ride. Hard up and black down. Gotta send it on alot of trail. Lots of drop drop drop drops. rocky steep. Gotta charge hard or risk getting off.

hiking
Friday, June 22, 2018

a great way to go to the top of Cowles Mountain without all the traffic. A good workout fairly steep in places lots of stairs to climb. Go early it gets hot! the only reason not five stars is because it's pretty dusty in the summer months.

hiking
Saturday, April 07, 2018

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.

hiking
Sunday, March 18, 2018

Great trail that you can take to the top of Cowles - not as crowded as the main way up. Steep incline!

mountain biking
Monday, February 26, 2018

Difficult. Have your cardio together before embarking.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Good trail, not too crowded, worth doing at least once!

hiking
Thursday, January 04, 2018

Great hike, way less crowded than Cowles Mountain but still maintains all the views and scenery! Pretty steep on the way down, so be careful.

hiking
Saturday, September 16, 2017

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

This is my favorite hike to do in the east county.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

The back side of Cowles - MUCH less crowded. That last mile on the service road is intense and STEEP. I'd rate parts of this hike as difficult. Gorgeous hike though!

hiking
Sunday, June 11, 2017

Love hiking the back side of this mountain. Not very crowded! Some of the trail is washed out though.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

It is a very beginner trail

hiking
Sunday, October 30, 2016

Nice moderate hike that eventually connects with the Cowels summit trail. Very sparsely populated along the trail unlike the Cowel's side that is always packed. Some steep inclines and overall a good hike.

hiking
Tuesday, October 11, 2016

This was my first hike with my dog and it's great for beginners that are in ok shape. I started at the trail head by Big Rock Park and the incline wasn't too bad. The trail gets steeper towards the end of the trail. There are no shade areas and is light to moderate trafficked. The bonus was the dog bowls about the 3/4 mark with water for dogs. It seems to be a take some/ leave some watering hole. Overall nice hike with ok views that is an alternate lead in to Cowles Mt.

hiking
Saturday, July 30, 2016

Not bad. Trail well marked. Takes you to the top of Cowles, but there are side trails too. People bring extra water and leave it for the dogs. There are even dog bowls. One at the half point and the other at the top. Love a dog community. Super hot trail. My dog went through 6 bottles. 1 1/2 was poured on him. Not that many people until you get to the top since the other side is Cowles mountain people. I would rather go this longer route then fight my way through the crowd from the Golfcrest entry of Cowles. Just a mile .2 longer. Not a beginner hike especially in the heat. Definitely high moderate. It's steep towards the top. I'm an avid hiker and I was breathing hard the entire time.

hiking
Saturday, July 09, 2016

Challenging and fun ... And hot

hiking
Tuesday, April 19, 2016

great hike, check your shoes tread before going down the fire road

hiking
Saturday, February 06, 2016

Enjoyed this just over 4 mile up and back. Didn't realize until the top that this is the back way up to Coweles' Mountain

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Like others have said, this is a steep hike! I hiked with my dog, a huge furry beast. Only reason we hiked this one today bc it was quite cool. I would NOT hike thus with a dog when it is a hot day: way too strenuous for a dog on a hot San Diego day. Beautiful hike...enjoy the views :)

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