Corte Madera Mountain Trail

HARD 41 reviews
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Corte Madera Mountain Trail is a 6.5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Morena Village, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
6.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1571 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

views

wild flowers

wildlife

The trail is great for hiking and normally takes a half day. Start off along an oak lined road and then take a left and head out through San Diego typical shrubbery. When you reach the main saddle you'll be rewarded with a spectacular view of Corte Madera Mountain, which some call San Diego's half dome. From there you'll head northwest along a dirt road and then branch off onto a single track trail. As you head up, you'll be rewarded with pine trees, granite boulders and wonderful views of the surrounding Cuyamaca and Laguna mountains. It can be cold in the winter, so make sure to layer. There is some shade on the trail so it might be good for hiking all year round. Take your time and enjoy the views!

hiking
1 day ago

I agree with all who have said this is a fantastic hike. If you're looking for a true hike, in the wild, with few people around, this is the one. I started at 6:30 am on Saturday and finished around 9:30. I was the only one on the trail until I passed two groups of two near the beginning on my way back. I broke every spiderweb haha.

A few tips:
Take the Espinoza Trail, but when you reach an open area with a sign, go right! It will say no outlet, but that's the way. You will see pine trees immediately on that trail. Follow this until you reach another semi-open area. You will see a faded birds of prey sign, go straight there for Corte Madera.

I should have worn pants, my legs got scratched up from the narrow trail with impeding weeds/plants. There was so poison oak along the beginning of the trail, but I did not run against it and came out unscathed.

Breath-taking views from every spot. Native trees, shrubs and plants abound. Flies are a nuisance, but you're in the wild, deal with it.

Get your parking pass at Pine Valley Store beforehand.

I hiked the trail fasted, just take water and some electrolytes. Anyone in moderate shape should be able to handle this no problem if you take proper precautions.

hiking
9 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

A nice variety of terrain with just a few steep sections. The last half mile or so to the top is not only very scenic, the pine trees make the air smell great. The constant bugs are definitely annoying. The view at the top is great in all directions and big flat sections of rocks to rest on a while and enjoy the view before heading back. It was a total distance of 7 miles from where I parked on Corral Canyon Rd.

1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

1 month ago

Bring bug spray, the flies were super intense

2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

This was tougher than I originally anticipated. We went on a Monday around 9:00am, got to the top around 10:30 & stayed up there for probably an hour (decided to lay out on the rocks!) Made it back down by 12:45pm. Great views, And there was no one else out there! Which I think was the best part. Great trail, steep climbing at times. If you are not regularly active this may be very difficult.

hiking
3 months ago

The dirt road has been graded so no 4WD is needed.

hiking
5 months ago

A high clearance vehicle with 4 wheel drive recommended if you want to park at the trailhead. Nice trail with a great view!

hiking
6 months ago

Being my first time in the area, this hike blew me away. There were great views from start to finish, especially from the summit. Go on a clear day because the sunset is top notch. To put the icing on the cake, there are bolts on the face if you're into climbing.

hiking
8 months ago

I really enjoyed this hike. Options for different variations on the trail. I was up there back in September. The sky was so clear that day that I could see all the way to Point Loma from the top!! Incredible (:

9 months ago

9 months ago

Great views, particularly in the last segment. Some pretty serious uphill segments. Very much enjoyed the hike -- took longer than expected. 7.2 miles in about 4 hours.

9 months ago

Good hike with some cardio work out. Beautiful view well worth it.

Saturday, July 09, 2016

hiking
Friday, July 08, 2016

Late post. Last month, June 18, 2016 I hiked Corte Madera Mountain Trail, San Diego's version of the infamous Yosemite Half-Dome. Racked up 7.53 RT miles on a warm dry day, the day before the border Tecate Fires. This was a cool hike, steep uphill hike all the way to the summit. I was pleased to see and sign the official peak log. After the 1st 1.5 miles on the trail, you come up to viewpoint and will be amazing at mountain. Good hike.