Lake Hodges Overlook Trail is a 7.3 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Escondido, California that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, horses, and mountain biking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length7.3 miElevation gain1,423 ftRoute typeLoop
Dogs on leashHikingHorseback ridingMountain bikingLakeRiverViewsWildflowersWildlifeRockyNo shade
Description
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Getting There

The Reserve opens each day at 8:00 a.m. Please check the main entrance signs for current closing time. Parking lot gates are locked at closing time and vehicles are subject to tow. The only permitted sites to enter and exit the Reserve are via the Harmony Grove staging area or via the Del Dios Highlands County Preserve.

Interpretive Center at the trail head and parking lot. Portable toilets available at the trail head.

Phone: 760-632-4212

Bring lots of water as the trail is very exposed without much opportunity for shade. Signs posted for dog owners, please practice extreme caution and yield heat warnings. Warnings also posted for rattlesnakes. Swimming is not allowed in the reservoir. California leash law is enforced. • Monday – Friday: Dogs under effective voice command are permitted off leash, but only at the top of the “Way Up” Trail (point marked with sign). • Saturday, Sunday, and Holidays: Dogs are required to remain on leash at all times throughout the Reserve. • “Way Up” Trail and Lower Trails: Dogs must remain on leash at all times. • Additionally, dogs must be held on leash in parking, picnic, and overlook areas or any time they become a nuisance to people, property, and wild or domestic animals.

8833 Harmony Grove Road, Escondido, CA 92029.

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Reviews (1,401)
Photos (2,089)
Activities (1,353)
Completed (4,143)
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Lance Tish
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Hiking

Cool, cloudy, and misty. On the upside plenty of parking, no need for sunscreen and the usually busy trails were lightly trafficked. This is a very nice hike even on days with mediocre weather.

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wendy douglas
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Great!

I have been doing this trail since about 2004. I feel the best time to do this trail for its beauty is in early Spring; after we have some rain. I Would always recommend starting it at least by 8 o’clock or 830 due to the heat in the later months of summer and early fall. In more recent Years the trails have become crowded due to the popularity of hiking. I would recommend trying to do it during the week versus a weekend.

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AllTrails User
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Hiking

Nice weather

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Linda A
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Hiking

Incredible!!!

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LC Saracho
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Hiking

Good cardio, it was just hot. And it’s the second trail so it was a hard. Felt like a difficult one.

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Kay White
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Hiking

Great hike! Challenging

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Alex Fazzone
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Beautiful trail with amazing views of the lake and the reservoir. Great vantage point of the mountains in SD. Went late afternoon to watch the sunset and saw a horned lizard, a bunch of toads, some cool birds, plus a beautiful sunset. My only warning- the area closes at 7:30pm. We got back to the car a little before 8 and they had locked us in with a notice to call security or come back in the morning for the car. Had to pay $50 to have security let us out. If you love a dusk hike like I do, just keep this in mind.

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Nathaniel Hill
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Hiking

beez

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AllTrails User
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Hiking

Nice walk trail

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Andrea Wu
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RunningGreat!No shade

I came here on a weekday morning and managed to run up. The signage at the top was pretty unclear so I wasn't able to do this entire trail as by the time I found the right trail, I ran out of time. Parking was a bit tight and I saw quite a few people on the trail.

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Kay White
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Hiking

Beautiful trail!

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Chelsae McKenzie
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Hiking

the lake hodges overlook loop was a little overgrown but other than that it was great!

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Kenny Vila
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Hiking
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Roger Sihachack
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Hiking

Beautiful

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Nick Zamora
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Hiking
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Alex C
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Hiking
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Gwen Clark
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Hiking

Amazing trail beautiful well manicured and wide trails!

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Melissa Brown
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Hiking
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Heidi Baker
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Hiking

very scenic

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Stéphanie M.
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Hiking

Second time hiking this trail and it was such a wonderful experience doing this in the cooler spring weather (this trail gets easily hot!). Great views of the mountains and lakes. Most of the incline is at the beginning, so it does get easier once you're at the top. Lots of loose rocks/gravel in some parts so it's quite easy to trip. Parking lot gates close at 7pm according to signs.

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Cris Hazzard
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Hiking

Really nice trail with some incredible scenery. Highly recommend trying this one if you haven't done it already. Google "Elfin Forest Hiking Guy" for a complete guide with video.

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Courtney Carson
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Hiking

The first 1.5 miles is straight up, but there are a lot of switchbacks and shade so I was able to rest when needed. Once you hit Escondido overlook there is hardly anyone on the trail headed to Hodges overlook. The trail between the two is a lot of up and down but it's beautiful so it's worth it. This is the most beautiful trail I've done in San Diego so far. Met some friendly hikers & dogs along the way.

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Rajesh Sharma
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Hiking
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Ken Reed
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Hiking
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Mr Baxter
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Hiking

Great hike with a fair amount of traffic.

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Alex Peterson
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Hiking
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Jim Doty
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Hiking

Nice trail. A little rough and there is a loop that is probably not the main trail but fun.

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Mallorie Popovich
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HikingGreat!No shade

Nice little local spot. Easy trail that is heavily trafficked.

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