Lake Hodges Overlook Trail

MODERATE 843 reviews

Lake Hodges Overlook Trail is a 5.6 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Escondido, California that features a river 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
5.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,312 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

paddle sports

trail running

walking

forest

lake

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

no shade

hiking
6 days ago

PARKING: limited parking in the dirt lot that opens at 8AM so i recommend getting there a little early to claim the prime spot.

THE HIKE: locating the trail head was a bit difficult for me since there were multiple trail heads at the start. choose the right one or you'll end up by the river with no where else to go (whisper: saw a lady doing yoga posses on this very short trail and i awkwardly walked backwards as though i just saw a bear)

Anyway, the hike itself is very well maintained and saw a few rangers making rounds making sure that people are leashing their dogs and making sure poops are in poop bags. I went during the weekday so didn't notice a lot of human traffic (perfect for my introverted self). HOWEVER, the reserve does offer guided hikes and as i was heading back, a swarm of (i kid you not) 20 children were running past me and 1 chaperone absentmindedly staring at her phone.

You'll go through some slight inclines and declines but overall, the hike was bearable. The dam (which i mistook for the lake) is pretty cool but definitely make your way up to the actual overlook for breathtaking views!!! i guarantee you're hiking mind will feel the euphoria of gorgeous scenery. Take your time taking it all in, too! It was nice being the first and only one at the overlook.

I would say this is one of my favorite hikes in the area. Warning though, there's very little shade so either go super early to beat the heat (especially during the summer) or be prepared and slather layers of sunblock. Also be careful for random animal droppings. And bugs.

1 month ago

One of my favorite hikes to do in this area!

Great hike glad I live close to this trail!

2 months ago

Great hike!

2 months ago

I recommend you continue all the way to overlook. it has a wide Rocky road, you may see a ranger in a truck, and if you keep going it goes around Lake Hodges and goes to a peak that's pretty awesome. It's worth the extra time and energy!

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike! There is a good mix of incline and level ground. Multiple routes to choose from once you hike about 1.5 miles!

2 months ago

Great little hike, beautiful day. There were quite a few people but still enjoyable. It would be good for dogs and kids but need to be patient. I don’t know what kind of tall spiked flowers I saw but beautiful. Look like a yucca of some type.

2 months ago

great hike! the lake is beautiful, and there's places to rest along the way. Do go all the way to the Overlook it's worth the five and a half miles round trip

great hike, beautiful creek, flowers and views
starts going up, there's no shade but the views are breathtaking. you can see so many lakes and reservoirs

2 months ago

Loved this hike- starts an uphill trek to get the heart rate going- pretty little creek then somewhat levels at one mile up- beautiful views of olevhain reservoir and lake Hodges- spotted red tail hawks and other birds ,a roadrunner and nice trails along the way- definitely going back.

hiking
3 months ago

Hiked there today, had a great time. Very good workout, half of the hike is uphill so be prepared with lots of water. It’s only shaded on some parts, so I also recommend bringing sunscreen. It’s a long hike but the view is worth it, especially when you get down by the reservoir. The hike up is fairly crowded and you have to be careful when people are passing you on the narrow path. There are many pretty wildflowers, you also get to see lizards.

My only real complaint is that one of the tags on the hike is misleading. It shows that there is forest on this hike, but it’s not true. There are trees for only a fourth of the hike, the rest is open brush and rocky terrain.

All in all it was a good hike. I’d do it again :)

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful hike! Gate to the parking lot doesn’t open until 8am. Get there early as this is a popular area and a popular trail. I have sensitive knees, so I has glad to have trekking poles for the way back.

hiking
3 months ago

Honestly, it was a fun hike. Sharp ascent and some pretty good views along the way. We had a fun time!

hiking
4 months ago

Pretty nice hike, the elevation switches up a lot and once I got past the all the way up junction there wasn't that many people out there. It was a really beautiful out there, blue skies and lots of sage.

hiking
4 months ago

Pretty moderate hike with amazing views!

hiking
4 months ago

Fun uphill hike!

4 months ago

I loved the trails. The main trail leads to a lake. Took my dogs off leash for a little while and they loved it. Lots of up hill at first. I would come back here its a good workout.

5 months ago

Great hike for dogs. Lots of elevation gained in the first mile with nice shade. At the top the trail widens and there are tons of options for where to head next. Really enjoyed, will be back.

hiking
5 months ago

loved it. great hike. bring water

5 months ago

Awesome trail! Lots of other trails branch off the main trail so there are plenty of options for adding additional miles

hiking
5 months ago

Great hike the views at the top are rewarding

hiking
5 months ago

This place is AWESOME, especially if you have a dog!! So the trail itself, is pretty well maintained. I would recommend using the AllTrails Map, because it branches off at a few points. About 1 mile in, you are able to take your dog off leash, until you finish the trail and are back at the 1 mile mark!! The trail itself had some beautiful sights along the way. Just beware, there are certain parts that are a little steep, there is little to no shade, and my GPS tracked me hiking 6.53 miles, not 5.9 miles. Overall, it is a great trail that I would recommend.

hiking
5 months ago

trail running
5 months ago

Scenic but a bit rocky and loose in spots.

5 months ago

Wonderful hiking area! I will return to explore other trails. However my GPS disagrees with the stated mileage - I clocked 7.6 miles.

hiking
5 months ago

I love this place

5 months ago

Easy but beautiful area.

hiking
5 months ago

Not for the faint of heart! Most of it is uphill. Bring snacks and water!

5 months ago

I loved this area! Many different trails to choose from.

hiking
5 months ago

Amazing trail. Very clean. Took us 4hours to do the whole loop. Walking slow and having 5-7mins rests here and there. Great one!

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