Cowles Mountain from Barker Way [CLOSED]

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Mission Trails Regional Park

Cowles Mountain from Barker Way is a 2.3 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near San Diego, California that offers scenic views 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: 2.3 miles Elevation Gain: 826 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

mountain biking

walking

bird watching

running

views

rocky

closed

no shade

This trail is experiencing full or partial closure due to COVID-19. Please see the open trails nearby for alternate hiking options.

hiking
over grown
25 days ago

Too easy and crowded!

hiking
bugs
2 months ago

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

Well worn trail and heavily trafficked. The way down is slick and steep in areas so be prepared for that! But otherwise, fun hike and great views!

hiking
bridge out
2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

This place is great, really rocky, no shade, but the view is amazing, and they have bathrooms at the entrance.

hiking
no shade
rocky
3 months ago

hiking
rocky
4 months ago

A lot less crowded than the golf Crest rd trail head.

hiking
no shade
rocky
4 months ago

Enjoyed this trail. Mostly just short switchbacks to the top. Less traffic than the main trail and actually seems better maintained

hiking
no shade
rocky
5 months ago

no shade
7 months ago

hiking
no shade
8 months ago

A great alternative to hiking the Golfcrest starting point to cowles mountain summit. This is the service road hike. It isn’t super rocky like the “front side” of cowles. However, the incline seems more steep to me. Also, it seems to have less hikers than the front side of cowles. Overall good hike if you’re looking to intensify the climb up to cowles mountain summit.

hiking
8 months ago

I actually found a loop map for this trail and did it clockwise. Up the face and descended on the service road in the back. It loops back to the same trail head. This was a fun hike and I completed it in an hour and 10 minutes with a short break at the top. I look forward to hiking more trails to this same summit.

hiking
bugs
no shade
rocky
8 months ago

hiking
no shade
rocky
9 months ago

hiking
no shade
rocky
9 months ago

hiking
no shade
9 months ago

Started at barker way and then went past cowled summit to Pyles Peak Viewpoint. Would’ve gone farther if I had started earlier. Started at 9am and it got hit quick. Legs definitely felt the workout after though! Great early morning hike in the summer.

hiking
no shade
9 months ago

Went in the morning and it was not busy at all. Saw enough people that I didn’t feel creeped out about hiking alone, but no so many that it felt “crowded.” It was hottt, and the final push up was brutal, but worth it at the top that I felt I got a great workout. Was up and down in about 1:10-1:15 and even stopped to take a few photos. I mistakenly climbed the opposite side a couple days later trying to hit Pyle’s Peak, and it was super crowded. So if you want to avoid the fray, stick to this path. The service road/entrance to the trail head is down the street to the right when you park (look for the gate on the left). Have fun!

Cowles is a San Diego staple, but I love coming from this way. It’s usually much less crowded, and it gets shade so it’s perfect for afternoon hikes.

hiking
rocky
9 months ago

hiking
rocky
10 months ago

Had to do this recording twice cause I forgot half way up so waited till my descent. First off- way more than I bargained for. Half way through I thought it was finishing..nope lol It was a steady ascend up the first half then is mostly uphill for the rest which makes for a brutal finish, but it was very satisfying. VERY rocky and steep so make sure you’ve got good shoes and a lot of water especially for hot conditions - I’m coming earlier next time. VERY great workout and amazing view at the top.

hiking
rocky
10 months ago

hiking
no shade
10 months ago

hiking
no shade
11 months ago

Bring lots of water and remember sunscreen (unlike me). Nice hike away fr the crowds.

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