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

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Descanso, California Map
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Great trail. Cool off in the pool. Take lots of water!

Fun, but no water even after heavy rain fall.

Me and my son did this hike two weeks ago and we really like it the only thing that there was no water but it was breezy and nice, no rope though we were looking forward to use the rope but we did have fun!

this hike is actually 7 miles! .9 miles from the trail head to the beginning of the loop. Beautiful !

Good morning hike. Incline route all the way to the top. Not crowded. Overall good for beginners with great views from the top.

great hiking, great views.

Loved it. Amazing scenery and views over many of the California mountain ranges. Steep towards the end but doable. Unfortunately no resting area at the peak (we had lunch sitting on the trail). Views just breathtaking !

hiking
27 days ago

Very fun. terrific views. not for people who dont like heights...i love them. being at the top standing on the platform is awesome. has some brush and shade cover in the morning and alittle in the afternoon.

Congratulations humans, you've destroyed yet another prominent peak for technology. There's a shiny new cell tower being constructed at the peak as I type this review. I live in Descanso and can easily see it from my house. Why can't we have a choice on these matters?!? Just another example of huge corporations being able to do whatever the hell they want because they have money and influence. This is also going on in our national parks people, wake up!

It is about 30 minutes of rough dirt road to get to the trail point. The hike itself fun, there is a point where it gets very steep going down and there are ropes to hold onto but can be very slow as it is a very crowded hike. Luckily the falls had plenty of water flow so I was able to slide down. Heading back is tough and there is not much shade on this hike so be prepared to deal with the sun.

hiking
1 month ago

Nice short hike with some great views. There are a few breaks from the sun as you pass through some valleys, but there is a lot of exposure. Not a lot of traffic which is always nice.

Went on this hike with my girlfriends. started a little after 6am and finished by 8:20am. This hike was not difficult at all for me but I can see how it could be for others. unfortunately there was no water at this time of the year so we decided to come back after it rains a few times. If hiking after 9am I definitely recommend bringing at least 4 bottles of water!

What’s missing in these photos is TONS OF PEOPLE! Usually there are 50 to 100 people hanging out, swimming and cliff jumping. Super fun place to hang out.

Great hike. The trail changed. Last visited three sisters a few years ago. There used to be a little bit of sliding on your back to get down to the falls and then some rope climbing involved to go back up. None of that is there now. Just a well defined trail with lots of markers to keep hikers on track. We have a parking lot now. Was a little disappointed that there wasn't any water...so no falls during this visit but that is to be expected during this time of the year (it's early September). But all in all it was still a good hike.

This was a great hike - waterfalls are non-existent at the end of a hot, dry summer, but it was a beautiful hike nonetheless. Little shade on the trail. We had 50 ounces of water per person and this was sufficient. You don't need a map to navigate this trail, but near the beginning of the hike you will come to a fork in the road and an unmarked post where you need to turn left. Near the end you will start to see pink ribbons guiding you over a rocky portion of the trail. Very helpful!

Awesome hike and amazing views at the top. It was out first time hiking and we would definitely recommend stopping at the ranger station for a map. During the hike, once you get to the fire road, turn right. Then, the sign for Conejos trail is a bit hidden and will be on your left after 10 min or so. Bring plenty of water; 2 of us brought 80 ounces and it was just enough.

Very beautiful hike!

Beautiful and serene. Really enjoyed the hike but a few spots on the trail can be a bit steep. Overall beautiful and lovely.

Perhaps my favorite hike in San Diego. Challenging, especially the steep grade of the service road, and great views from the summit. Grab a map from the ranger if you’re not very familiar with this area, I had a little trouble finding my way around the loop to the summit the first time I did this hike.

This hike was okay. The views from the peak were nice but the trail itself wasn't very pretty. Lots of overgrowth. Steady climb the whole way, nothing very steep and few flat parts. Thought we would escape the heat but it wasn't the case. Very little shade but nice breeze towards the top. Not a hike we would do again and again.

hard walk, dont try this trail un the Summer, no river, no waterfall

hiking
2 months ago

I went on an extremely hot day and didn't get started until 10 AM, which was not wise. There's pretty good morning shade on the way up, though. I didn't see any rattlers but a group coming down on my way up mentioned that they did.

Trail is very well maintained and easy to follow for the most part, although there are a couple of options for the last 0.2 mi before reaching the stairs to the top. Five stars are for the summit, which is excellent for the effort. The back half of the loop did not impress me as much. Lots of shrubs, fewer views, lots of dead stuff from the Cedar Fire, and the last mile is pretty close to the road. This part looks like lots of other parts of Cuyamaca Rancho SP, in other words. Parts of the trail are a little rougher than the trail up, but still pretty easy.

hiking
2 months ago

Nice trail uphill, then levels off to grassy meadows. Saw wild turkeys and many other birds. Many burned out trees.

hiking
3 months ago

Good trail did the complete Harvey Moore trail , the back side was not fun (overgrown and doesn’t look like it has seen much traffic lately) mileage was my GPS clocked the whole thing at 11.3

I highly recommend this hike but read the cautions below.
My fiancé and I went in April and had an amazing time. We are a young and fairly active couple and this trail was not extremely difficult but I can see how it’s difficult for others. I recommend to head out first thing in the morning as the afternoon sun is VERY hot and with the dry heat, it becomes unbearable. There’s barely no shade on the trail so when that sun is blazing, you’re completely exposed to the sun and heat. Come prepared with plenty of water and high energy food. We brought eight bottles of water each and went through 6 easily. The trail is a 1 person wide dirt trail with no barriers and minimal markers. I’m scared of heights and the trail made me uncomfortable at times when it was steep and if I fell I felt like it would be to my death of tumbling down the rocky side with minimal to no shrubs to stop my fall. Other areas of the trail were fine. As we got closer to the waterfalls, there was more shade and trees but larger rocks we had to climb over. We got to a point that we weren’t sure if we were on the right track as there wasn’t a distinct trail to follow nor markers, but then we would randomly find a ribbon on a branch.
At the end of the trail are the waterfalls, they are awesome. I would recommend to bring a swimsuit and a towel, freezing water but a great way to cool off. To get to the top waterfall you have to climb the rocks which are smooth and steep and only have a rope to help you up. Bring good gripping shoes and gloves (if you’re hands are on the sensitive side).
CAUTION!!!
So this trail is completely do able, but be SAFE. On our way we ran into a group in which one of the guys broke his leg and since there’s no signal, they had to carry him back to the car (in which there is still no signal in the parking lot and only signal after an hour drive back towards the highway). If you have a radio, I would recommend to bring a radio with you so you can call for help incase. The man broke his leg going down the old trail in which the rope was removed to prevent people from going down, sever accidents will entail if you try this. Do not rush down the ropes at the waterfall, I saw someone loose balance and almost flew into the tree and stones and would’ve broken his back or head if it wasn’t for his friend saving him from falling to his death. Like I said, be safe, go prepared, don’t be stupid, and you’ll survive without any issues.

Hiking boots, 3 liters of water, hat, and snacks are a good idea. You should be prepared doing this hike. It's very hot, lack of shade, loose trail, unstable ground. This is not a place for kids or dogs. The ground is 110 degrees so this could kill your pup. We had to carry a dog off the mountain before. Lots of dogs die hiking in the heat.
This is one of my favorite hikes. The new trail is as a lot easier, but I prefer the original route with the ropes. There is a total of 5 ropes to help you up and down the steep ledges. I bring gloves because it is rough on my hands.

I am just starting to hike and agree it is a moderate hike. Only downside was the heat, can get really hot so make sure you take lots of water and are hydrated before. On our way down to waterfall sun was out so I was pretty drained getting there, but on our way back up sun wasn't as strong and I was able to make it up easily. Took us a little under 2 hours both ways. Good hike overall.

March 26th 2018 the waterfalls were flowing and gorgeous everything green and birds are chirping

Beautiful trail, recommend following the guidance here up Azalea to the right then down the paved road on the way back (not fun for the feet though).

Note: the entrance to Conejos is very difficult to spot, the trail sign is hidden if you’re travelling from Azalea. Also, bring lots of water and sunscreen. Park patches, cool gifts, and wildlife display at Cuyamaca Rancho visitor’s center before you get to the campground- worth a stop Sat and Sun 1000 to 1600. Recommended soundtrack for the drive: Tin Hat Trio: The Rodeo Eroded.

Great hike! Moderate difficulty, well-maintained path and lovely views from the top.

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