Cowles Mountain from Big Rock Trail

MODERATE 282 reviews

Cowles Mountain from Big Rock Trail is a 4.5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Santee, California that offers scenic views and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from October until June. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
4.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1204 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

mountain biking

trail running

walking

views

rocky

hiking
30 days ago

I've climbed Cowles twice, this time taking the less trafficked route, and I enjoyed it a lot more. It is very steep towards the summit and there is a lot of loose gravel. Make sure you wear HIKING shoes or boots. I made the mistake of wearing running shoes, and I slipped and fell and scraped my knee. Overall a nice hike, great for beginners like me.

1 month ago

Great workout hike - Easy to find trailhead - trail in good condition even after rain - started right before sunrise and rock ridge trail was empty .... at least going up

trail running
1 month ago

From out of town and so glad I picked this! Ran all the trails up there but this was my favorite segment - not as heavily trafficked as the others were to get to the peak. Spectacular views all the way up and back. The trail is well marked and easy to navigate and the single track segments were just hard enough to keep it interesting. Had a great time!

mountain biking
1 month ago

Ive hiked and biked this trail on a few occassìons. Experienced mtb only and you will need to walk some. Its a nice stroll up the mountain though and it is definitly prefered trail to the top of cowels for my taste.

2 months ago

Big rock trail is awesome! lots of greenery and really feels like you are in the thick of it. once you hit the fire road to Cowles it's definitely an uphill battle. loose gravel makes it intimidating for the descent but overall a good hike round trip. Plenty of street parking and in a safe neighborhood.

hiking
2 months ago

Good hike. Just a lot of lose gravel. So you have to be careful when going back down. Lots of traffic but fun. View is really nice once up there.

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Did as a midmorning hike on a Friday. Trail was relatively crowed.

4 months ago

first time doing this hike! it was amazing started from big rock trail near the park down below. great nice hike loved it

5 months ago

Great workout

what a work out. so proud of Kacey and myself for getting this done.

Really liked this trail but my first hike in many years and a bit out of shape so it was difficult. working to get back into shape.

5 months ago

Totally different from the other side. Less hikers and a great incline

hiking
6 months ago

First time going up this way. Fewer hikers on this route.

hiking
6 months ago

Best trail up Cowles. Do it at least once.

hiking
7 months ago

Quite a nice route up Cowles with much less foot traffic. The service road is my next goal. Plan on going up with my bike theu that route

hiking
7 months ago

I love this trail and suited for my training! It isn't too rocky and crowded than the Cowles Mountain Trailhead. It is a longer route but it was worth it.

hiking
7 months ago

Cowles is busy during the weekends, this back side is a lot better then continue on to Pyles Peak.

8 months ago

Good hike

9 months ago

this app says this trail is moderate.. bit the signs say difficult.. I'm leaning to the difficult side. It was hot because I started closer to 9 a.m. instead of 7 which was my goal... but.. considering the direct sun and really no shade.. especially as you get closer to the summit 7 is probably still too late for a July day.
All in all, I would do it again but earlier... much earlier or in the fall or winter.
But hey, got some good exercise.

9 months ago

The incline was killer! great workout for those who aren't avid hikers. The people were amazing and the views at sunset were fantastic. I will definitely do this hike again.

hiking
10 months ago

It was BEAUTIFUL! First hike since moving to Cali, also first one alone and the highest difficulty; I'm thoroughly impressed with the scenery.

10 months ago

It was a good run hike for me I was pretty much alone on trail felt semi remote bushes very grown out will do again

hiking
11 months ago

Love it. I try to hike it sat and sun am's

hiking
11 months ago

Overcrowded kind of like hiking in the mall but nicely maintained.

11 months ago

love it

hiking
11 months ago

It was my first San Diego Hike. It was a good hike for a workout if you walk briskly. The terrain is not too difficult. There are spots of slippery gravel/rocks that you just need to take your time going down. Towards the top it got steep and felt like a great workout. Views were beautiful! I saw dogs, kids and teens doing the hike. We took almost two hours to complete. We had a bottle of water at the top and a bottle at the end.

hiking
Monday, April 17, 2017

The hike to Cowles Mountain Peak from Big Rock Park is OK until you hit the service road which is pretty drab. There were not many people on this trail, but at the top there were a surprising number. They come up from a different path to a completely different trail head. I started going down that path just to check it out but there were so many people on it that it was actually not pleasant. Once at the top of Cowles Mtn Peak, the best part of the trail is really to hike the extra mile and a half over to Pyles Peak. It is clearly marked as the Pyles Peak Trail. The trail is beautiful. It goes through interesting wild flowers and even some unusual cactus. The views all along that trail are excellent.

hiking
Friday, April 14, 2017

The first mile and a half of this trail is lovely. However, once you get on the service road part it is one mile basically straight up. Yes, a mile of consecutive steep pitches, each steeper than the last, and no shade. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Pretty easy. But fun if you're a beginner

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