Hollenbeck Canyon Trail

MODERATE 242 reviews

Hollenbeck Canyon Trail is a 4.6 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Jamul, California that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
4.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
662 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

hiking

horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

A beautiful canyon just east of San Diego, California If you are hiking after recent rains, the landscape will be green and lush, but also make the creek crossings (3 total) treacherous. The trail continues past the recorded route if you wish to extend the hike. The whole area between Dulzura and Jamul outside San Diego is beautiful. Rolling green hills with steep rocky peaks here and there.

hiking
2 months ago

One of my favorites. My favorite in chula vista

2 months ago

Beautiful trail. Ran into a rattlesnake along the trail overlooking the canyon...I stepped towards a big rock with a flat surface with the intention of placing my backpack on it when I heard a loud hiss and looked down to see a rattlesnake, partially covered in shadow, nestled in between the big flat-top rocks and smaller rocks. Stay alert!

hiking
3 months ago

Early in the morning there's alot of wildlife.

trail running
3 months ago

FYI need to purchase day pass. They offer annual passes but you must purchase those in advance.

hiking
3 months ago

Nice hike and most of it is fairly easy. It is pretty steep up and down during the loop portion. The hike is mostly sunny and the only shade is near the trail head. There are many trails out there and they are not labeled well, so check the app occasionally if you are recording. This area requires a land pass for usage that you can buy online for about $4. I would hike this again and bring the kids.

3 months ago

Excellent!

4 months ago

What a great trail! I'm a beginner and found this to me beautiful, scenic and doable for children and adults. Good rocks for footing, and hardly any slipping areas. But in drier season could be more risk of slips. But that may be with any trail.

Can't wait to bring my 10 and 16 year old!

hiking
4 months ago

This is one of my favorite trails. I love that it’s away from the city, and you actually get to experience some beautiful nature and wildlife. (I come from the Sierra Nevadas, so I need nature.) I have seen many different lizards, frogs, birds, and a few different snakes...even picked up a Rosy Boa. (They are very docile snakes, even in the wild.)
The trail is long enough that it makes you feel accomplished. It’s beautiful the whole way through. The trail changes scenery as you walk. It starts out being open, then you walk through trees and eventually walk along a creek. Then you walk along side a cliff that over looks a canyon. Then you climb a hill and once at the top you have some nice views. A lot of the walk back down is gorgeous with the views. The trail goes in a loop, so you end up walking back in the middle of the trail you came up on.

hiking
5 months ago

A real beaut! Nice and flat most of the way. hiked this in the rain, I felt like I was in England, but I've never been to England, so I don't know. Wouldn't have been surprised if I had seen a unicorn calmly lapping from the brook this trail follows for the middle third of the hike, but alas, I did not. Perhaps I didn't believe hard enough. Highly recommend for an easy-moderate hike.

hiking
5 months ago

Great hike with incredible scenery.

hiking
5 months ago

The Alltrails map is woefully inadequate. There are dozens of trails here that are not shown on your map. You could hike every day for months and still see new country in this wonderful area. It is also great for mountain bikes. Get into the back country by bike, then hike the steep trails, then fly back on the bike downhill.

5 months ago

Beautiful and not many people.

5 months ago

Lovely hike. Important to note that this is an area that requires a Land Pass. Nobody checked ours, but it’s safe to get one ahead of time.

hiking
6 months ago

Great little hike! Lots of greenery made it not feel like the traditional San Diego desert hike. It was flat almost the whole way and had great views. We didn’t find the trail particularly hard to follow, and our dog had a great time. We’ll probably go back sometime!

6 months ago

This is a wonderful trail with hills and valleys and you are in sunlight most of time. NOTE: the sad thing is the trails are marked poorly. A first timer or even second timer will actually have a hard time navigating as where to turn, etc. this could all be taken care of in a few hours if the folks in charge of this trail would get off their butts and actually do something here. I love the trail. I am visiting out here for a month and it took me a few times to decide which trail to use in order to get back to the trail head. Also, maybe a bench at the trail head would be nice too. Whoops, we wouldn’t want to over do things and and make it too friendly of a place.

hiking
7 months ago

walking
8 months ago

We loved the time we spent walking in Hollenbeck, but we were confused by the trail signs. All the maps show a perfectly discernible loop, which we never figured out. There were many unmarked forks. Our total mileage was 6.8 mi, and most of the time we felt lost. Granted, lost in a beautiful place but confused nonetheless. If someone can explain the color codes on the trailmarkers, I'd appreciate it.

hiking
8 months ago

It was a perfect 70 degrees. Everything was very dry with only a few spots of greenery. Tree coverage was nice throughout. Lovely spots with boulders.
Was an easy hike with only a few up hills, only one of them being moderately steep. Some loose gravel on the way down. The view was beautiful at the top. Best part is we encountered a gorgeous rattle snake on the way down.
If you keep right on the trail, it’ll take you on the loop. It was beautiful, but definitely not lush during this season. It’s a good trail if you’re getting away from city life though. Didn’t run into more than 3 people the whole time. It was about 5.5 miles round trip. Took us around 2 1/2 hrs, but we were taking our time exploring.
Jamul area has beautiful trails. I recommend this one.

hiking
8 months ago

I love to come to the trail when I have a free morning to explore a bit. You can go as far as you wish or do the full loop. It is lovely to walk through some healthy open oak woodland for the first mile or so (much appreciated shade!). The dogs love exploring here as well. Well maintained, wide trail. Don't stray too far to the edges off the trail, lots of poison oak like many other places in San Diego.

hiking
8 months ago

Really gorgeous hike! My girlfriend hurt her ankle so we were looking for something simple and not strenuous - this hike was perfect. One big hill up when you get to the loop - the hill down on the other side of the loop had a bit of loose rock but it was manageable. Path on the loop back along got a little narrow but the views were amazing.

hiking
9 months ago

I like hiking early soon arrived at 7am, I was enjoying my hike almost an hour in and heard gunshots apparently during this time people like to bird hunt or whatever so be cautious and pay attention when coming out.

birding
10 months ago

Great hike! There isn't much shade except along the river but otherwise nice open views of some surrounding mountains, sage scrub and meadows. We saw only a few people on a Sunday and really had most of the hike to ourselves.

hiking
Monday, June 19, 2017

Have hiked out here several times over the years. Always enjoy it no matter which way you go. We prefer hiking here when it's cooler as we bring our dog. We have encountered hunters at least twice. Oh, and be careful where you drop your pants as there are a few wildlife cameras that we have noticed. :)

Monday, June 19, 2017

Gorgeous relatively easy loop with some great flowers and mountain views!

hiking
Saturday, June 17, 2017

We arrived late so the temperature was starting to go up, it's an easy trail and on the way back we encounter a group of ladies trying to get a horse out of a ravine, so it got a little bit stressful because the horse was on the verge of braking his ankle and we know that doesn't end well. At the end Ismael I think was the name of the horse work with a couple of guys who offered some help and finally got out and sit on the road. We hope that amazing animal is alright!

We saw a couple of white owls which were really big and flew above us.

hiking
Saturday, June 10, 2017

Very easy hike. Did the loop going counterclockwise.Took a couple different trails and ended up up being a 6 mile loop. Beautiful morning with the cloud cover. If you go when it's sunny make sure you take lots of water as there is little shade.

hiking
Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Easy trail and surprisingly lush with nice view of the hills and mountains. Mostly exposed. You'll run into a couple official and unofficial forks- stick right until the loop. We did the loop counter-clockwise. Around the middle of the loop is the valley and a fork to a different different trail.

hiking
Sunday, May 28, 2017

A nice section of trail beside the stream. I took a spur off the top of the main trail loop for some nice views of the valley. On the return route took the road that goes by an old corral area. A very pleasant, peaceful, hike except for the noise from the steady westbound planes en route to Lindbergh. My route was a total distance of 9.7 miles.

mountain biking
Thursday, May 25, 2017

Nice quick get out of the city ride. Taste of climbing to get the heart racing a little. Creeks were pretty dry, easy to cross. Great trail for beginner mountain bikers.

hiking
Saturday, May 13, 2017

My new favorite trail. I felt so removed from civilization, when you're on the far end you aren't able to hear any noises from cars or people. The day I went it was overcast and very few people were out. There were big fields, oak groves, a runnning brook from the rain, some small but good hills. I brought my dog, and he had a blast. I would not bring him in the high heat of summer or fall - between oak groves are large expanses of open trail without shade that would be hard on a pup. cool days of winter or even if it's a cool, overcast May like this year (2017) taking dogs is fine. I don't have kids, but I think this trail is kid friendly enough for kids who like to hike and are a bit older. The few climbs aren't terrible and any game 8 year old or older could handle it. There is a port-o-potty at the trail head, and a map, and out on the trail are mile markers and directional posts (easier to understand than the ones at mission trails)

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