McGinty Mountain Trail

MODERATE 218 reviews

McGinty Mountain Trail is a 4.8 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
4.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1269 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

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.

9 days ago

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

hiking
15 days ago

Very fun hike. Highly recommend going early

22 days 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
1 month 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
2 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.

2 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
3 months ago

Nice views!

hiking
3 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
4 months ago

Fun little trail

hiking
4 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
4 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
6 months ago

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

hiking
6 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!

6 months ago

Nice little trail,pretty views

hiking
7 months ago

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

hiking
7 months ago

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

hiking
7 months ago

Great trail with some signs, it keeps leading to different peaks, I think I ended at the right one/the highest peak I saw. The first peak or two you hit you might think you're done but keep going! Very rocky at some points- cool large rocks to climb on. I might have gotten lost coming back if I was alone cause some parts you don't see a trail too well, we saw 4 people during the whole hike which is pretty awesome. Good workout not too steep

hiking
8 months ago

I really liked the trail, but had a hard time actually discerning the summit. Unless I didn't 'hit it', it's just a tiny rocky area with NO summit/elevation sign. I also was a bit skiddish with the very narrow trails in the beginning, I so wanted to cut all that brush off so I could have a better view if any snakes were to be near. The houses did make me feel like I wasn't too far out in the great unknown, but the actual trail was very pretty. I had to wait at one fork to ask another hiker if I was headed in the right direction to meet the summit.

hiking
8 months ago

went on this last weekend with a buddy, a good little hike.

hiking
8 months ago

This trail was very challenging for me as I had my infant daughter in a baby Bjorn - I would NOT recommend doing that! That said, I did really enjoy this trail. Lots of incredible views and wildflowers. There were a few parts where discerning the trail was a bit difficult as there are a few forks, and it's true that the area has lots of houses which can maybe take you out of the "nature/wilderness" mindset. The views were incredible though, and I would love to do this trail again... without the baby.

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