Explore the most popular trail running trails near Alpine with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

This trail was okay. Not "must do again," but nice enough. I did this trail alone with my dog on a Friday afternoon and there was NOT A SINGLE OTHER SOUL AROUND. Normally I'm happy to find less trafficked trails, but this was creepy since I was by myself!

hiking
7 days ago

Scenic but rocky. Watch your feet. Some graffiti:(

Very comparable to Cowles Mountain - pretty straight up incline w/ switchbacks. But, absolutely gorgeous view up top. Great, quick hike to knock out.

Real short and easy hike, but beautiful view.

on Roberts Ranch Trail

trail running
26 days ago

I intended to do this as a trail run as it looked easy and flat, and it was actually pretty good for trail running; however there are sections of the trail that basically disappear; or get cut across by jeep tracks; or are otherwise hard to follow. If you look at my recording I look like a drunk person going back & forth across the "trail" trying to find it and go the right direction. I was not expecting a navigational challenge on this route! I was never afraid of being lost; it was pretty wide open and I could hear the freeway.

But it was uncrowded and pleasant. It was fun seeing the bear from Lions, Tigers, and Bears from afar. There were a couple of bow hunters there, and a canine search & rescue team were training - it was a little disconcerting to have a German shepherd run toward me at one point, but I quickly realized he was not interested in me. The "trail" goes through oak trees and along a streambed, and out onto a wide open meadow with cows here and there.

hiking
27 days ago

Do not let others review scare you on trying this trail. I did this this morning and enjoy every minute of it. If you enjoy hiking Cowles mountain like me, yippy will appreciate this trail.

Awesome! Just beware...where there is water, there be a-holes

hiking
1 month ago

Fun hike!!! Enjoy!!!

hiking
1 month ago

Did this hike last minute by myself. Great hike! The directions on All Trails doesn’t tell you the exact address of the trailhead. Use Google Maps to get the exact address. Great mountain hike to train for bigger mountain hikes like Mt. Whitney and Mt. Elbert. Very scenic and never crowded which I loved! Be careful going down. A lot of loose rock. Loved seeing the American Flag at the top and sitting on the big rock on the summit admiring the view. Took me about 2.5 hours out and back. Highly recommend this hike!

backpacking
2 months ago

Our first overnight backpacking trip and this was a fun one. Starting at the top made for an easier time since most of it was downhill into secret canyon. We camped at mile 6ish and it was not easy to find a spot. Honestly I would say there isn’t really anywhere to camp until about mile 10 or at mile 1.5. Start early day one and make it most of the way, it will make for a better camping location.

Awason 1st time w/my family

Great workout, very steep with little flat areas. My favorite part was the lack of people, the various and thriving vegetation, the beautiful view, and little treasures left at the top.

The entrance is a little ways beyond the visitors sign, and it's a small opening in between a fence.

great hike! Viejas is one of my favorites and its only 30 mins from my house. first time taking this route. shorter than alternate. pretty rocky and narrow at times. began at 6 am and only ran in to 2 other people on their way down already. someone replaced the small American flag with a nice beautiful new one. the views are incredible at the top there's a rock wall and geo marker with vodkas on it. thank you to whoever did that! easy to follow trail up. its always pretty windy at top so if you're going early in the morning or later in the day layer up. on the way down the trail you'll come to a cleared area with rocks sometimes in different patterns, go right down that hill not straight. I did that then realized I was going the wrong way. oh and the coffee can needs a new notebook ill bring one next time in case someone doesn't.

hiking
3 months ago

This is the most physically demanding hike that I have ever done. Now, this means that a) I have not/do not hike all that much and b) I have R.A. & primary lymphedema in both legs so am already dealing w/ some physical things that most people are not. This also means that fully capable individuals have no room to complain here because if I did it, you can too! This hike goes straight up and is rocky and has no shade. However, after turning around and looking out toward the ocean for the first time about 30 minutes into the hike, I was sold. The views while going up as well as from the summit are stunning! Because the terrain did require a lot of attention, I really did not mind that there wasn’t all that much to look at while on the trail since it is pretty right much dirt, rocks, and low dry shrubs. Typical for this area though and did think how scary it would be if a fire came through this area since I felt like I truly wouldn’t be able to navigate out of there at any faster speed than my slow and steady march. Great feeling of accomplishment w/ this venture and literally took about five breaks going up but was fine w/ doing so because of the great vantage points-it’s pretty neat to look down at a plane flying below you! Definitely recommend shoes w/ a decent toe guard and rock plate; there are only about three stretches less than ten feet in length that are relatively rock free; this is far from a relaxing stroll for me at least and I would steer clear any day w/ a high UV Index or if it gets hotter than 75 degrees. In late November there was a nice breeze and the sun wasn’t as searing as other times of the year even though we have had no winter at all so far late 2017/early 2018. Hoping for a cool Spring so trying to squeeze as much inland hiking in while I still can!

backpacking
3 months ago

The Secret Canyon trail makes for a great overnight backpacking trip. Starting from the Pine Creek trail head and descending to end at the Horsethief trail head makes for a moderate, but technical hike. Packing in water is a must. There are multiple creeks along the trail, some had water, but most don't. Also level camp sites are limited. Overall the trail is quite enjoyable and I would absolutely recommend it.

Pretty exhausting climb. Climbs @ a rate of 1000 ft per mile, steep grade (a total of 1500 ft from trailhead to summit over 1.4 miles). Today, the views were hazy but on clear days you are rewarded with 360 deg views. Rocky outcrop, watch out for loose stones and your knees on the way down. Ideal time to start would be 7:00-7:30am.

Great hike for the kids, water features are always a nice way to take a break halfway through. especially in San Diego where water features are almost nonexistent. Its a pretty gradual descent down into the canyon which flattens out as you get closer to the Pine Valley Creek. We went in the afternoon around 3, which was perfect. Hopefully we get some more rain this year, because I'm planning on a springtime return here. I could see how it could be scorching in this area around summer time, so bring lots of water. Should really call it the Espinosa Trail through Horsethief Canyon.

Nice views and not overcrowded

Make sure you don't miss the sign to go down hill to the trail. coming back up was a killer.

hiking
4 months ago

Super accessible and, arguably, has one of the best views in the county. It will quickly become one of your favorite repeats.

hiking
4 months ago

Awesome views throughout the hike! It is a very steep and rocky trail. It gave me a good workout. Look for the trail log in a rusted aluminum can once you are at the end of the trail!

hiking
4 months ago

Easy to moderate overall with a decent incline to finish the hike. Not much tree cover, but trail is pretty well maintained and easy to follow. Just stick to the signs directing you towards “Espinosa Trail” or “The Secret Trail” (may have been an old name for this trail).

We are just starting out hiking and this was perfect. We took our almost two year old in a carrier and our golden retriever who has had surgery for hip dysplasia two years ago. Everyone did great!

hiking
4 months ago

Great views and a short hike. I love when it gets crazy windy at the lookout. I remember when there were hang gliders launching from where the memorials are and gliding to the desert below. I wonder if those plaques are all of some that died or is it just a place people chose to place them?

hiking
4 months 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.

walking
5 months ago

Beautiful views but graffiti on the rock outcropping made me really sad. Weird memorial plaques on side of the trail were interesting but odd without any information plaque into how and why they got there. Very urban walk for being so far off the beaten path. Views are amazing. No harder a walk than a day at the mall. Do it once, then mark it off your list. Soft sand with some rough rocks to watch out for if bringing the elderly or small children.

Short, fun, easy and shaded little loop! The pooch enjoyed it!

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.

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.

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.

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