McGinty Mountain Trail

MODERATE 265 reviews

McGinty Mountain Trail is a 4.6 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Jamul, California that features beautiful wild flowers 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
1384 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

backpacking

birding

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

cave

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

no shade

From northern or western San Diego, take the 54 East and merge onto the 94 East. The 94 eventually turns back into the 54, or, Jamacha Blvd. Pass the shopping centers and make your first right on Willow Glen Drive. Make your first right onto Steele Cyn Rd. where you will see signs for the Cottonwood Golf Course. Make your first left onto Jamul Drive. Drive carefully up the canyon for a couple miles and turn left into the dirt lot where the trailhead is located. From southern San Diego, or Campo area, drive up the 94 until you see Lyons Valley Rd. Turn right onto Lyons Valley, and left onto Jamul Drive. Right after you pass the Jamul Community Church, the trailhead parking lot will be on your right.

hiking
20 hours ago

Enjoyable views with a good workout on the way up.

hiking
1 day ago

The views were beautiful, and I went mid week when there wasn't anyone else on the trail. It was however very hot, and there is no shade along the trail. Be ready to be climbing a lot, and not feeling like there's much play-off. It was fine for the experience, but I wouldn't go again.

hiking
3 days ago

Great hike, did the round trip in about 1hr 45min. Definitely bring some water with you, it was heating up at about 11am when I was on my way back and I was glad I was able to drink some water while I was at the top. Amazing views from the top, even saw a Coast Guard helicopter flying around below me.

Keep your eyes on the trail, I was distracted by the view and came within a couple feet of a rattlesnake crossing the path, I just backed away slowly and gave him the right of way.

7 days ago

Excellent, challenging with a good, somewhat flat break and wonderful views from the top

28 days ago

Fun hike.

hiking
1 month ago

This was my first time doing this trail and It wasn’t that bad. It took me about 2 hours to do it.. The views were amazing!! I saw the sunset on my way down and couldn’t stop taking pictures. I highly recommend this trail.

1 month ago

Had a fun hike with the family and dog. Amazing views to the ocean

1 month ago

It's a tough climb but worth it

hiking
2 months ago

This was a great hike. There is a lot of dog / coyote poop on the trail so watch out. The beggining is overgrown. Make sure to do this hike in cool weather as there is not much shade. The inclines towards the end get pretty steep and are very rewarding at the end. Some amazing views from the top. It is kind of a bummer though that there is no sign when you get to the top! While it was very enjoyable I am not sure that I will be back anytime soon.

hiking
2 months ago

This was an awesome hike. Very little people are on this trail, and it feels like an adventure not seeing the peak right away.

There's a false peek which consist of steep switchbacks. From there, you'll cross over some saddles before getting to the bottom of the final ascent. The view was incredible, and I even found a rock that was shaped like a chair making it perfect for snack time while overlooking San Diego

2 months ago

Ok I’m a pretty good hiker I’d say. This was more difficult then I thought. It is noted to be moderate but I believe it to be more difficult than moderate. The trail wasn’t occupied at all during our hike. This was on a Sunday morning starting at 6:30 AM. It ended 2 1/2 hours later. Beautiful views. The caves are cool . I’d tell you we’re to find them but that’s the adventure. Goonies “never say die” . Ha I was bummed there was no markers or signs but hey it was a fun hike and the caves are super cool.

hiking
2 months ago

Had never heard of this trail but was pleasantly surprised by the great views. Best to go early morning as you lose shade after 10am. Not too crowded yet not too far away the city.

hiking
2 months ago

Do NOT leave items visible in your car - my friend left her backpack in the backseat of my car, and someone performed a quick smash-and-grab. I came back to a broken window and her bag stolen. I talked to a local, who said it unfortunately happens often at the trailhead.

Hike itself is alright. There's no airflow in the beginning, so it feels pretty hot. I would not recommend this hike for a warm day.

hiking
2 months ago

It was an ok hike. Great views. would be great as a training hike. just enough steep parts to keep it challenging.

3 months ago

Cool hike up. Wish there were ways to get into the mines. Great views on top

hiking
3 months ago

Very fun hike. Highly recommend going early

3 months ago

I’d label this trail more difficult than moderate. The majority is a straight uphill hike that zig-zags up the mountain. Most views are clear sights of East County hills and secluded homes along the mountain. The paths are narrow and steep which can be tricky for passing other hikers. The top of the summit is nothing special, but overall a fun hike. Good distance and elevation- would recommend to anyone

hiking
4 months ago

Not sure if it was because of the heat or the climb but I found this hike to be pretty difficult! There is a short flat section as you hike along the ridge line but the rest of the 2.4 miles to the summit is a fairly steep climb. There is only one or two shade spots so be safe, wear a hat, take it slow in heat, and bring lots of water.

hiking
5 months ago

Great views from the top perch including Palomar to the north, Cuyamaca to the east, and Otay to the south. Nice cooling breeze after moderate climbing. Easy to lose the main trail but also easy to find it again. Trail surface kind of hard for the most part. Lighly travelled, even on a Saturday.

5 months ago

Moderate hike, more than half the hike is usually exposed to the sun so go early. Good views from the top. Moderate traffic as well.

hiking
6 months ago

Nice views!

hiking
6 months ago

Trail is very confusing as there lots of switchbacks. There were trail signs in the beginning but then disappear in the middle where it got confusing. Lots of forks and the map seems outdated.

hiking
7 months ago

Fun little trail

hiking
7 months ago

We were there early! Trail is very well marked with several flyers and chalk arrows on trail. There is no shade so make sure take hat and plenty of sunscreen. We did the round trip in an hour and 15 minutes. Take plenty of water as it can get really hot once sun is beaming!

hiking
8 months ago

Started this trek at 7am on a foggy Saturday. Not too much parking space available, but it doesn't seem like this particular trail in the mountain is popular.

This is a moderate hike at most featuring some rocky terrain and switchbacks early on. At about 1 mile in there's a divergence in the path. The right side takes you to an overlook, but this morning was so hazy we could not see anything properly. This same area has a mineshaft. After much debate with having to crawl in I decided to do it anyways. It goes back about 50 ft before you hit a cave in. Though there looks to be a continued path following the debris, I wouldn't recommend going further without a hard hat.

The continued path features some rough hills. There's a couple of random trail that seems like the right way but just leads nowhere, have a map handy to avoid this. You will have to do some mild rock scrambling to get to this mountain's peak. Again, with it being so early we couldn't get in any good views. But I'm still glad we chose to hike through the fog. By 10 during the descent, the sun was out and ready to burn us to a crisp!

hiking
9 months ago

It was a good hike. But need to be ready to do some moderate exercise.

hiking
10 months ago

Awesome hidden gem out in east county. One of the most enjoyable hikes I've been on in a while. There's a part of it where you will need to look at your GPS, otherwise the trail gets a little hard to follow. We made it down just in time before the sun completely set. Only saw 4 other people on the entire trail. Great workout!

10 months ago

Nice little trail,pretty views

hiking
10 months ago

It was a moderate to strenuous hike but so worth it. Only thing missing is the marker for the top.

hiking
10 months ago

It was a good day to hike. Not crowded. Family and had a great time.

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