Viejas Mountain Trail is a 3.8 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, and birding and is best used from February until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
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!
Not a bad hike. Very rocky. Going back down was hard on the ankles. My dog sure did love it though!
Nice hike. It's steep and rocky but never gets to tough.
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.
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!
Great trail close to home! Beautiful views at the top!
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
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. :-)
Great hike! Pretty steep, not too many switchbacks. Be aware of the false summit, I thought it was the top.
Great hike, never crowded. Good view of the valley