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Espinosa Trail is a 3.3 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Alpine, California that features beautiful wild flowers 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.

Distance: 3.3 miles Elevation Gain: 498 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

running

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

This is a short hike down to a small swimming hole surrounded by rocks. There is some shade on the trail, but not much. The hike starts from a parking lot, down a dirt road and then you make a right onto the trail that takes you down about 400 ft to the water. Be sure to bring water for the hike out, as there is little shade and it's all up. As soon as you feel like you've had enough, you're already at the top and it's a flat walk back to the car.

hiking
2 days ago

Amazing!!! But hot

hiking
7 days ago

The earlier, the better! Route was beautiful, but we had a hard time finding the end. My sister, who is 10 made it all the way up but w a few stops on the way, so so proud of her! Weather was as good as it’ll get, slight breeze and about 80 degrees by noon. Dogs are exhausted so make sure to bring plenty of water! Overall a great experience.

hiking
over grown
washed out
9 days ago

Great watering hole at the end, bring a bathing suit and towel. Watch for fire ants, overgrown brush and a little poison oak along the trail. Recommend using the app - makes it easy to stay on the trail - we had to point many others in the right direction.

hiking
12 days ago

This place rules.

hiking
16 days ago

The parking lot and trail were open this morning, but being a weekday, we only saw a handful of hikers after our 0830 start. First time on this trail for my hiking buddy and me. We've hiked pretty much all of the local mountains and this trail was not difficult. First timers need to know that it's an out and back trail that starts high and ends low (a little over 450 feet according to my GPS) which means a downhill walk going out and a steady climb coming back to the trail head. In places the grade is similar to that of the top end of the Cowles Mountain service road. A pleasant hike on a decent trail. Suggest wearing long pants; there's a fair amount of poison oak in spots and you'll want the protection.

hiking
16 days ago

I enjoyed this trail. The incline is steep, so good shoes help. In midday heat the trip out is steep. Bring plenty of water. I saw a small rattlesnake on the trail. So be alert, especially keep track of your dogs and kids

bugs
rocky
23 days ago

Hello, I was new to this trail. You must pay attention to the sign (~5 min walk to from main trail) that is on the right side of the main trail to get to the water. The trail is sandy and rocky in some areas. It has plenty of shady areas. I went with my husband and 2 kids ( 5 and 10 years olds), and it was easy for them going down. They enjoyed a splash in the water. Going back was a challenge because of the incline and terrain. Overall fun experience! We encountered: some trash, a red tick, poison oak, two water snakes, and small frogs. Remninder be prepared with snacks, plenty of fluids, and small first-aid kit.

hiking
23 days ago

Saw two snakes, but overall great trail with a swimming hole at the end.

hiking
bugs
over grown
rocky
23 days ago

hiking
28 days ago

We missed the entrance at the beggining but we saw a couple poops and mountain lion prints! we also heard a growl (very scary....) not sure if there has been sightseeings but be warned!

running
1 month ago

Very fun! Bit of a crowd! Creek was refreshing , pretty easy hike. Incline on the way back. Would do it again !

hiking
1 month ago

Rare San Diego trail that actually offers shade, running water, and green! Beautiful trail, but an unfortunate amount of trash and abandoned tents at the swimming hole from trash people.

hiking
muddy
off trail
rocky
1 month ago

A beautiful green trail! Not too hard and not too long. Went early in the morning and got caught in some showers but overall not too bad. Beautiful out and back trail , definitely recommend and will return (:

hiking
no shade
over grown
rocky
1 month ago

Great Hike! We started at 8am and was not crowded at all. Going to the falls is pretty easy but coming back it's a pretty good leg work out. Water was warm and some areas where deep. We saw squirrels, rabbits, lizards and a frog but no snakes or wild animals. Really worth it !!

hiking
1 month ago

We went looking for the trail that takes you to the water but we didn’t find it. We will definitely come back. Nice views with wide trail that makes it easy for walking or running.

hiking
bugs
1 month ago

Short trail but super nice views

hiking
bugs
1 month ago

NOTE: the trailhead says “ESPINOSA Trail.” even the map used to on this app has it labeled as “Espinosa,” so it would help to update this site for searching purposes. 4 of us went, and only 1 of us had spotty phone services. Any trail with a swimming hole is gonna get bonus points from me. Did this trail, took a wrong turn, but found an alternate route. It’s really easy to miss if you’re distracted. About 1.5 miles to the bottom, all downhill. Not very steep and relatively well maintained. Be warned, the hike out is uphill, and slightly more challenging. This is a shorter, and easier hike than The Three Sisters. Lots of wildflowers, dragonflies, horseflies (biting types), ticks, and more trees than some of the other hikes in the area, but being in a valley, you won’t get the good long distance pano views. Did see a non-poisonous snake, but expected to see more. Overall, as long as there’s water I will do this hike more frequently.

hiking
1 month ago

Already wrote my review but forget to mention - if you take dogs or children, make sure it’s before the sun comes out and it starts heating up. The way back up is a challenge, and your pups could overheat very quick.

hiking
1 month ago

Steep at the beginning then flattens out. Kinda crowded at the bottom but cool hike.

hiking
bugs
over grown
rocky
1 month ago

Let me start by saying one of my favorite hikes! Although BRING BUG SPRAY! I never thought I needed it up until today. You will have swarms of flies and horse flies biting you, getting caught in your lashes and buzzing past your ears. But once you get there jump in! The water is refreshing and you’ll make friends with all the dogs and people.

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