North Fortuna via Rolling Hills

HARD 161 reviews

North Fortuna via Rolling Hills is a 5.2 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near San Diego, California that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as difficult. 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
5.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1171 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

hiking

mountain biking

road biking

trail running

wildlife

hiking
1 month ago

Man this was a strenuous hike! I enjoyed it minus the 52 traffic noise. That was kind of a buzz kill. There are several different trails that branch out from the north perimeter trail. Overall fun hike, bring your poles and shoes with good traction!

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike! If you start by Saddle Trail be careful with the steep descent at perimeter trail; plan for good ankle hiking shoes. Canyon Oak trail is gorgeous!

hiking
1 month ago

Good workout.

2 months ago

Really good workout, worth doing once but don't expect anything more than decent views. I started at the dam and worked my way up I heard from some hikers I met that combining south and north fortuna is a great way to do it. The freeway next to the trail is distracting and the signs are really confusing - I had to keep my map on for a lot of the hike to stay on track. Bring water, it's not super shady. I did this for the peak challenge, probably wouldn't do it again though. There are way better hikes out there with views that are worth the work out. Cool bonus to this trail though is there are a bunch of journals in ammo cans by the peak elevation sign full of entries written by people who hiked the summit, some are pretty hilarious and some are inspiring so that was an added perk to a great workout.

hiking
3 months ago

Wow this was a good one! We used the all trails app or might have been lost though. So we followed the trial signs and were on a goose chaise until I finally just turned on the all trails app and followed the trail that way. Much easier!!! At one point there was three trails to take at the same time with no sign saying which one to go. There is a small sign that says trail and it’s the one in the middle. As you’re walking near the highway it is quiet and beautiful (yes noisy) and definitely the road less traveled. The hills are steep and will get your heart working! Our 8 year old who hikes frequently was with us. She did well and thought climbing up with her hands was cool since it got very slippery but it was fun. Now as we got to the end of the hills and closer to the highway there is a gate. It looks like the trail just ends. But keep going and off to the left there is a trail that is a little thinner but has steps and takes you up the back side of North Fortuna. If you follow the app it’s very easy and a great workout!! Bring good shoes!!!

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

Maybe the most challenging hike in the park. Started at the East Fortuna Staging area where there's always plenty of parking but makes the hike a bit longer (6+ miles). Serious ascents/decents along the 52. A bulldozer and water tanker were "conditioning" the service road along the 52 today. It was probably for SDGE vehicles but it also made the road less slick for hikers.

6 months ago

Pretty great hike, challenging at some points gets steep and loose gravel, not much shade so gets real hot! Good views though

hiking
6 months ago

Great workout, but definitely pay attention. I went early so had to park at the visitor center and walk to the dam. You start at Oak Canyon which can be a confusing trail, but keep going and soon you'll see directions to North Fortuna. I took the perimeter trail which has some very steep hills, especially for someone 4'10". Had to take it slow as it's pretty slippery. Don't get discouraged as it looks like it leads to a dead end with a closed gate by the freeway but you're going on the right direction! Overall an enjoyable and challenging workout. I just wish it didn't follow the 52 as the freeway is pretty distracting. Finished my 5 peak challenge here.

hiking
6 months ago

We were going to park near old dam but the gate wasn't open yet at 7am so we parked next to the camp ground then walked to old dam. It was a bit confusing but we had AllTrails map on so we were able to find paths. From old dam, we took oak canyon trail then north fortuna saddle trail. Those rolling hills were definitely a great cardio. I took my 6 years old son. I am not sure if I call this trail a "family friendly hike" but my son actually liked it he had so much fun. For a 6 years old, the trail is full of adventures and challenges. It was Sunday but we barely see any other hikers on rolling hills. We saw some rabbits, encountered swarm bee tho!

hiking
7 months ago

Im a beginner hiker so for me this was amazing, those 3 first hills give you an amazing cardio workout for sure!!! I was going to do both north and south hike but we was running out of water so we couldn't and we did the hike at 10 am so it was definitely HOT !!! Tho we survived lol but you do need a lot of water to hike that over all I loved that hike, the views, there was no lake when I went and we went to a section where there's a bunch of threes and catch some shade and makes for amazing pictures totally recommend it I am doing it again and hopefully I'll do the south one also for sure

hiking
7 months ago

Did this one today in blazing 89F degree heat. Saw very few people out there. Parked by the old dam, and headed up the Oak Canyon trail to the Fortuna Saddle trail, up to the North Fortuna peak, and then back down via the Perimeter trail. About 3 hours in total. First thing: grab a map from the box at the trailhead. This whole area gets a bit confusing, some orienteering is needed at times. Second, bring 2-3 liters of water if it's above 80 degrees, you'll thank yourself. Thirdly, don't let the mere 1,200 feet of elevation gain fool you. The higher summits of nearby Cowles and Woodson pack considerably more gain, but have a series of switchbacks that ease the pain. On this hike, most of your elevation gains occur in a straight line. The trek from Oak Canyon trail up to the saddle is a pretty savage uphill march. Fourth, be advised they shutter all the gates in and out of the parking lot at 7pm, so get an early start. Overall this hike provides a great bit of cardio, tons of gorgeous scenery as you pass through diverse habitats: waterfalls, rocky dry riverbed, grassland flats, wooded areas, and a boulder clad summit. Views abound in all directions from the peak: downtown and Point Loma to the south. The peaks of Black Mountain, Iron Mountain, Woodson, El Cajon Mountain to the north and east. Cuyamaca peak clearly visible as well. This is a gem of a hike, and so close to the city center. I recently did the South Fortuna loop from the Mission Gorge Road trailhead, and I'd say this route was way more enjoyable. I look forward to doing it again and highly recommend it.

hiking
8 months ago

Great views! Totally worth the hill!

hiking
8 months ago

Great hike, great views, super hard! The steep hill is no joke. We did the loop back and ended up taking a lot more uphills on the way back too (and steep downhills) so my legs were done after this but so worth it. Lots to see!

hiking
9 months ago

Great view at the top. Wearing shoes with good traction is recommended.

9 months ago

Awesome trail, very steep hill

trail running
11 months ago

It's a good run, but the signage is really bad. It's almost comical how bad the trail markers are, you'll start out on North Fortuna and hopefully not end up in the middle lane of the 52!

11 months ago

Bitch of a hike but the view can't be beat!

Monday, January 30, 2017

Difficult uphill but fun!

Monday, January 30, 2017

This gps location starts you at the oak canyon trailhead, which merges with the trail to north and south fortuna summits. The oak canyon trail bit is easy and gorgeous - it's mostly flat and follows a brook, with waterfalls along the way. The fortuna trail, on the other hand, is very steep and gravely. Shoes with good traction are a must. The north fortuna summit view is gorgeous.

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