Cowles Mountain from Barker Way

MODERATE 131 reviews

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.

2.3 miles
826 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly



mountain biking

trail running




2 months ago

My favorite climb. Easy to get cardio rate up, and great views!

3 months ago

I've hiked it 4 times and the views are still beautiful. the views don't get old

4 months ago

A nice alternative way heading up Cowles. Less traffic especially on a weekday. Enjoyed my hike on a beautiful day.

trail running
4 months ago

I ran down this section and it was very heavy traffic. I would recommend ascending and descending Cowles from other trail heads. Also, there is no water at this trail head but there is at Big Rock.

5 months ago

I thought this place was awesome. Lots of traffic so you never feel alone, but not too long.

6 months ago

Back side to Cowles Mountain. It’s good.

6 months ago

love this route

6 months ago

Love it, my normal hike as I can walk it from my house.

7 months ago

Love it.

8 months ago

Great views from the top, but very crowded and rocky.

8 months ago

my favorite everyday trail till now. plus it's close.

10 months ago

Ha y traffic and step climb. Dry no trees or shade. A great one for your daily cardio.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Less traffic, smoother surface to walk on, however it is steeper than the front. I like this route better than the front of Cowles for sure. Seemed a lot faster and more spacious

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Less traffic than western side of Cowles Mountain. Close to home, fun and good workout.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Great hike

Monday, June 12, 2017

We did a 3 mile loop up the service road from the Barker Trailhead and then down Barker Way. Pretty ideal weather for mid-June but a bit windy. Heading up was pretty steep but there were a lot of great areas to rest and enjoy the view. The way down was a lot more scenic, we spent a little time on the main more heavily trafficked trail before turning onto Barker Way. The way back down was really scenic and more enjoyable than the service road we took up. I would go so far as to recommend going via Barker Way both to the summit and back.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

I really like this route, alotttttttt less people it does meet up with the heavily trafficked trail but not for too long, this was 3 miles even though it says 2.4. Lies. We went up the barker way and then came down the service road, which is verrrrrry steep but there were some shirtless guys running up the hill (hubba hubba) so the views were pretty nice at the top and bottom of the mountain. I would definitely recommend hiking boots or all terrain shoes, your cute AF cross training nikes won't cut it and you will slide down the trails and fall on your ass multiple times. Trust me, I made this mistake the first time. Luckily everyone will laugh and check to make sure you're okay. If you like that kind of attention and bruising your bum do what you wanna.

Monday, April 10, 2017

recommended route to cowles

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Not heavily trafficked and definitely a nice different view going up Cowles Summit. For those easily scared of heights, there are some parts of the trail that are open and narrow but nothing too crazy. Nice and quiet hike with pretty nice view on the way up.

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Beautiful Views, Pretty Fragrant Flowers, Less Crowded than Main Trail, Heard Some Bees Beware

Friday, November 25, 2016

This is my preferred trail on cowles. very nice views and not as crowded.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Not crowded. Not as steep as there are more switchbacks.

Saturday, October 08, 2016

Another way up Cowles. Less crowded.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Great first time up Cowles. Went for sunrise and got great treat. We were above the low clouds for a surreal view.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

It's great for beginners!

Saturday, July 09, 2016

Easy, and peaceful. Bliss. However I give two stars because it didn't feel like an adventure.

1 day ago

1 day ago

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