Viejas Mountain Trail

MODERATE 122 reviews
#12 of 104 trails in

Viejas Mountain Trail is a 2.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Alpine, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, trail running, and birding and is best used from February until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
2.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1473 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

birding

hiking

trail running

walking

views

wild flowers

over grown

rocky

hiking
22 days ago

Holy hell, this one was super steep! Probably more on the upper intermediate strenuous level. I mean, it was after Christmas Day feasting and the donut holes in the morning probably didn’t help either but my heart was racing! Extremely rocky so make sure you have hiking boots with good ankle support or bring the trekking poles! Lots of brush and shrubs that you’re guaranteed to brush by so wear some pants. No cover the entire way so a hat and sunscreen is best. Summit held spectacular views! Loved the flag on a pole held in place by some heavy rocks. It’s not very stable so don’t go grabbing it! NOT a good hike for kids; they’ll lack the coordination to maneuver through the rocks. Apparently adventure pass is needed when parking on the truck trail. I got away without one somehow. Don’t listen to all the hiking snobs. The rocky terrain is indication enough that you’re on a damn mountain. Short but a good one for getting the HR up. Ended up being 3 miles RT for me. Maybe lots of rocks and brush but look up and you’ll see a ton of mountains stretching for miles in the background. This ain’t the Sierras but still amazing regardless.

1 month ago

I have done what I have never done before, agreed to quick a hike. This trail is that boring. It is no fun at all, especially in hot conditions( 80+ in these parts) there is little or no variation in terrain and nothing to see but small brush. Absolutely no shade. If you like a desert challenge and and suffering to come with it, choose this trail or El Cajon. They do nothing for me.

2 months ago

Super rocky. Really difficult to get your footing. I took a tumble coming down. So it's slow going.
Amazing views at the top. Beautiful flora and fauna. Birds and even a baby rattler.

hiking
2 months ago

It was our first time hiking it. I think it is a great trail for getting a good workout. The elevation change had some factor on my time as I did feel that. It's quite rocky too, so not sure how it would be in the evening. I'm sure it would be a great view during sunset, because on a clear day, you can see all the way to the ocean. I think the rating should be easy to moderate.

hiking
2 months ago

Pretty good work out, amazing views of Conejos Valley.

hiking
2 months ago

Went up this one on a cool, cloudy day. Not as hard as some claim, though I could see this being quite strenuous on a hot day. Narrow, rocky trail. Kind of boring terrain to be honest, very brushy. It doesn't feel like hiking a mountain, it feels more like walking up a really big hill. 360 degree panoramic view at the top is pretty epic though, once you reach the manmade rock fort. Blissful solitude, not a soul out here on a weekday afternoon. If I did this one again, I'd probably try the harder southern approach from the trailhead near the casino.

hiking
6 months ago

A quick hike up a fairly well maintained rocky path. Nice views.

6 months ago

Straight up via switchbacks and pretty rocky trail, but very pretty views at top and it's a nice quick trail for a great workout! Park along road to left once you hit the area with space for cars and start trail at the spray painted rocks. There is a false summit so keep going until you find the rock formations and mountain peak markers.

7 months ago

The "parking lot" is a small pull off & the trail is across from that. Definitely recommend ankle support if you need it. I was glad to have my brace on. Peaceful hike, and we were the only ones there on a Sunday.

hiking
7 months ago

Not hard to find the trail; right across the road from the parking lot. I would recommend wearing good ankle support as the entire trail is loose rocks. Enough of an incline to get the blood moving, but not too steep most of the way. When you reach the top of the trail continue farther on the trail to the left which will go to the highest point where the flag and geomarker are located. Not a really long trail, but a good workout and great views in all directions.

hiking
8 months ago

Steady hike up to the peak with nice views. It's a little harder coming down so be sure to watch your step and take your time so you don't fall! There's a spot that seems like the peak, but the trail keeps going a little further and you can actually see it ends at a small rock fort-type area. We went during the middle of a weekday and no one else was there but the entrance isn't super obvious, you really have to look. All and all it was a nice hike!

hiking
8 months ago

Beautiful views and never crowed but the trail is quite rocky. I would recommend trekking poles as the rocks are loose.

9 months ago

Good, steep hike. Lotsa loose rocks. Exposed, no shade, but great time of year to do - April. Hiking poles were nice for the trip down. Lotsa butterflies at the peak, not at the "false peak". We did come across a big, fat red diamondback rattlesnake about .25 from the trailhead as we finished. Big ol' sucker! Been looking at that mountain for years and finally climbed it. Yeehaw!

hiking
9 months ago

Not a bad hike. Very rocky. Going back down was hard on the ankles. My dog sure did love it though!

9 months ago

Nice hike. It's steep and rocky but never gets to tough.

hiking
9 months ago

Hiked this on March 19. Got to the parking area at about 8:45am and the weather was very agreeable. The final drive up to the trail head is a bit bumpy but my Prius made it just fine. If you are worried or if rain made the road hazardous, you can park at the green tanks or the nearby neighborhood and walk to road to the trail head, would only add about 5-10 extra minutes.

The trail itself is rocky, can be loose, and fairly steep. I don't consider myself in the best shape, but I train for elevation gains and this was a nice steady climb. I never got too winded to stop, but definitely got a sweat. I made it to the stone wall in just under an hour. The last .25 miles to the top were a bit overgrown and prickly, got a few scratches, might want to wear long pants if you are worried about it.

Great views at the top, I sat on the geological marker and ate a snack.

The descent is a little tougher. It is pretty steep and loose. If you have hiking poles, I would recommend them. I have never used them but this one nudged me closer to consider it. It was just under an hour for my descent.

Overall, this a nice short out and back peak trail. Good for casual hiker and those looking for a leg/lung burner. I ran into two groups on my way up and 4 on my way down, not overly crowded but it does seem like a well used trail.

9 months ago

Great hike if you like hot, fast, and steep! I went on a Sunday around noon, there were only about 3 cars there and I only saw 4 groups of people (very low traffic in my opinion). The hike seems to follow a wash most of the way up; very few switchbacks and you are heading straight up. There is a false peak maybe around 1000' up, but keep going until you get to the rock wall, that is the true peak.

Park by graffiti rocks shortly after the road turns to dirt (don't worry if you have a small car, it's a quick drive on the bumpy road and I doubt you will have any issues). Head right up through the graffiti rocks and you are on your way. It took me about 2 hours (with a solid 30 minute break at the top). Bring water, you will need it. There was a fire here in 2003, which is not evident anymore but has removed any chance of shade so wear a hat and sunscreen.

The area is an Indian reservation and there used to be a stone arrow at the top, it used to point to a peak where the sun would rise during winter solstice (Dec 18-23). It is believed to have been a shrine in celebration or worship of the solstice. Unfortunately, it was destroyed in the '70s by careless campers. I believe the rocks from the stone wall were the rocks from the arrow.

Dog friendly, a good little workout, great views, and minimal traffic. Not a bad Sunday spent in San Diego!

hiking
9 months ago

Great trail close to home! Beautiful views at the top!

hiking
10 months ago

i live next to viejas mtn. and have hiked it many times. the mountain offers a breathtaking view, but at the cost of a stark climb. the view i would argue makes it worth it

hiking
10 months ago

I'm really glad I hiked this trail. I don't hike as much as I used to, so it was a bit of a challenge. I started early to beat the heat, but it was still pretty warm. My feet and hips were aching by the time I got back to my Jeep. Probably time to invest in a new set of boots. :-)

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