Turtle Head Mountain Trail is a 4.6 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Rancho Santa Fe, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and bird watching and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length4.6 miElevation gain734 ftRoute typeOut & back
Dogs on leashHikingBird watchingLakeViewsWildlife
Description
Waypoints (0)

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (594)
Photos (807)
Recordings (531)
Completed (831)
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Sam B
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HikingRocky

Elevation gain on AllTrails shows 734ft, which is WAY off. My Garmin shows more like 2,500ft. Definitely a major difference in terms of expected level of effort. Also trail has many split offs that are unmarked, making it difficult at several points to stay on correct path. First half mile is a breeze- the rest is up/down, rocky and narrow. Difficult to pass safely due to COVID. Many hikers maskless. To top it off, a half-torn blue lives flag is flapping in the wind once you reach the peak. Hope it’s gone soon. Won’t be coming back to this trail anytime in the near future.

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rachel Siedenburg
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Hiking
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Guadalupe luna
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Hiking
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Robert James
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HikingGreat!

A few rocky, steep sections but doable. Lilacs blooming and many butterflies out on an early spring afternoon. Nice workout. The views of Lake Hodges and environs are also worthwhile.

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Anna T
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Hiking

Hike starts out easy, then at about 1 mile there is a stretch (1/4 mile maybe) that is rocky and steep, but not slippery. I wouldn’t say dangerous, but I took my time. Used my hands to do a little rock hopping. I am not crazy about heights, so I didn’t look down, and I did just fine. Then the hike smooths out until the very end where you rise up quickly to the top. Not many hikers wearing masks and the path is narrow at times, but we always found a place to step off the trail and let others pass. The reward is a 360° view of Lake Hodges. The flag was not flying but it is up there, lying on the ground. Too heavy for me to prop the flagpole back up. Enjoyed the view at the end of the trail. No bathroom at TH but 2 blocks away there is a lovely community park that had a privy, washing station, and lots of picnic tables for us to enjoy our lunch. Only 1 geocache at the end of the trail. I wouldn’t venture out on a hot summer day, but on a 65° winter day, it was a great hike.

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Robert James
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HikingGreat!

A few rocky, steep sections but doable. Lilacs blooming and many butterflies on an early spring afternoon. Nice workout and the views are nice.

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Kelly Wells
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Hiking

Good trail. Straight forward easy path the follow. nice steady trail with small steep inclines that get your heart pumping. Good trail for dogs on leash. trail is narrow, but only saw three other people on the trail and no other dogs. took a side trail on the way and got close to the lake so the pup cam cool off and swim. Some of the trail is shady from the brush for dogs bht not top much shade for people. Definitely can get hot.

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Phoebe Lettington
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Hiking

Nice view of Lake Hodges throughout the hike and nicely shaded during the morning. A few steep and rocky sections but not too difficult.

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Jessica Lawrence
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Hiking
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Knee Kenney
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Hiking

Great challenging trail. Went the day after heavy rain and only a few wet spots with some buggy areas but not too bad. View at the top is incredible. Good Meditation spot

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Joseph Powell
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Hiking
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Sean Solo
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Hiking

Trail was very narrow most of the time. Very hard to get past all of the other hikers without feeling like you’re going to tumble down a cliff. Dogs allowed, but not great for dogs. Had to carry my little dude up and down some parts. The scenery was beautiful. Don’t think I’d want to do the hike again though. Also, maybe 1/3 of people wearing masks as you pass. Not really related to the trail but something to think about.

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Roshni Patel
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HikingGreat!

Started off super easy, but don’t be misled! It picked up fast with some great challenges. Definitely a very unique hike and views at the end are breathtaking. Highly recommend

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Trinh Tran
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HikingGreat!

this is the best trail!!!

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Meriliana Gonzalez
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Hiking
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Maggie Kershaw
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Hiking

You’ll definitely want the map. Several ways to get off track and scramble more than needed. Good amount of shade. Barely any people!

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Amudha Panneerselvam
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Hiking
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Yuki N
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Hiking
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lauren benedict
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Great!

Hands down the best hike in San Diego. Killer views. Love the mixed terrain from a small part of climbing, to flat wide to do trail running. 85% used masks

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Xiaohua Xue
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Hiking
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Tim Rypka
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Hiking

Good trail, mostly narrow with some steep side-hilling and a bit of scrambling. We hiked it on a Saturday and there was a fair bit of traffic. At our last rest stop we looked under a big, flat rock and spied a very large rattler.

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Paul Keller
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Hiking

Great trail. It was definitely a hike. Very rocky, and required some actually mild climbing at parts.

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Jordan Mussman
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Yuki N
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Hiking
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Bill D
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Hiking

Some great views, and awesome destination. Some pretty tough sections in the middle portion of the hike.

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Ali W
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HikingMuddyRocky

Nice views but really narrow and slippery at points. Didn’t feel safe so I turned around. I’ve done some advanced hikes but this seemed dangerous.

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Jim Doty
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Hiking

I am not certain why this shows as closed. I saw no signs, I wouldn't have continued. The trail is a little rough but only slightly dangerous. Overall a nice local trail.

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Shawn Ryan
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Hiking

Nobody can close this amazing hiking.

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Matt X
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Hiking
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Showing results 1 - 29 of 594