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

Go early it gets hot. Such a butt kicker love this hike. It is very easy to follow trail. You just have to be aware of switchbacks. When you see a pretty view in a flat area with tree shade... turn around and you will see where the trail goes. If you keep going straight you will end up towards someone’s back yard. I’ll try to put a ribbon or something up somewhere next time I go. The other time the trail forks (without an arrow sign) right is easier and left is prettier. Then it meets up before the real workout

It's a good thing there is not much in the way of scenery along this trail, because you need to keep your eyes down to avoid stepping in one of the hundreds of piles of dog feces. Apparently, a high number of dog owners see no reason to even move their animals away from the center of the trail to do their business, much less pick it up.

Other than that, this is a very easy trail. I went over the peak near the end to add some incline and variety and it was worth it.

hiking
2 months ago

Terrible hike. The part of the "trail" that goes along Jamul Drive is on the shoulder without a sidewalk, it's unsafe. Do not do this hike. Instead, you can do out-and-back from the trailhead dirt lot to the old house, all of which is relatively well marked and safe.

Trailhead was difficult to find.. actually, it was never found. Ended up walking 2ish miles from the elementary school through a PRIVATE golf course. Was eventually stopped by a worker and was asked to turn around.

Initial track within a golf course – arrived at the real trail and a closed gate. At about 2.98 m into the track (32,45.53 N; 116,52.84 W) found two snakes in my way (see 6 photos – all same location). As a Newbie in CA I was unable to identify the danger (poisonous snake?) and decided to return. No other person on the track. Trail marks only from mountain bike tires and myself.

Various hiking options and beautiful

hiking
4 months ago

10 mile trail run. I liked the variation of terrain and it was difficult - it can be a challenge for anyone. The first and last few miles are paved roads or golf cart paths (which made it a little awkward going by golfers), which I wouldn't care to "hike" but certainly a good warm up/cool down for a run!

We took the trail up the mountain. Practically no one on the trail. Very pretty at the base of the hill with lots of oaks. The hike along the avocado grove was interesting. Very accurate trail maps at start. Plenty of parking!

A lot of shade and very green! There were many trails but a little confused on which way to go. My dog loved it.

Start at the trail head and park. Follow the path that is well marked to the top. All up hill but feels great when you get there.

We started at the Horsemill rd entrance at the Crest Ecological trail. nice steady walk or run with hills along the way.

It’s not the prettiest trail (fire access road and transient camps with lots of trash at the entrance) but it has good inclines. Also, if you keep going the scenery gets better.

We started off horsemill rd and did the 1.5 mile loop, then continued uphill for another 4 miles. great hike! awesome views well maintained trail.

Just a heads up before you do this trail- this route starts around Jamacha Elementary School. You walk along Jamul Road for about 3 miles before you actually ever get to the trail head (along a thin neighborhood road with cars driving by at 60mph). The actual McGinty trail is great, but pretty tough in some stretches. The view at the top is beautiful on a clear day- you can see all the way out to Point Loma, Mt. Soledad, and beyond. At the bottom of the trail, you have to basically walk across the golf course... and wonder around going back and forth trying to find your way back to the starting point. Overall, it was about 10 Miles, but I’d recommend just parking at the main trail head (there’s room for about 8-10 cars) and hiking in and out, not doing the loop.

Very pretty and nice service road to walk along. There are ups and downs all along the way to keep it interesting!

walking
5 months ago

Very quiet walk - entrance downhill is very steep and slippy but after that it’s sort of like a service drive road
Go past the no entry sign and carry on later on the trail
Didn’t see another person on the 2 hours I was there but
BEWARE - on the way back about 2km from the entrance to the trail at the bottom is a house and an RV parked near. They are about 500 yards from the trail but I was attacked by two dogs from one of these properties. One was a Rottweiler and one a very large black Labrador cross. They were at least 800 yards from the properties when they caught up with me barking and snarling but I managed to fight them off with my rucksack!
So be careful

Excelente hiking my dogs love walking here and beautiful view park is so nice and clean and they have water for dogs and horses

I love it! It was short but sweet. I took my pup with me and we both really enjoyed our hike!

Pretty boring trail because it is essentially a service road. It is isolated so you don’t have to worry about crowds. However, the trail is not worth the drive as there are many more scenic and adventurous trails near the Cleveland National Forest that you should check out instead.

Mikes Hiking Adventure made for a Great hike today at the Crestridge Ecological Reserve Trail. It was awesome. It was our first time there and it was just breath taking scenery all around us. The trail is very nice and maintained well. The trail doesn’t to many steep areas and the ones they have pretty easy. Take enough water as it gets warm after 8am. Great family place to hike.

hiking
6 months ago

pretty cool until you hit the golf course and have to walk on Jamul Rd. Recommend point to point with two cars or out and back. The route I did is three stars, without the GC it would’ve been five

rock climbing
8 months ago

Access road to Crest Boulders. Private road and the landowners are unfriendly!

Good trail........no parking

mountain biking
Saturday, August 05, 2017

the first two hours that it was really difficult. the uphill never stops and some of the uphill is extremely difficult I had to get off and walk. definitely made for hiking until you get to the top of the mountain. The downhill part was a blast and extremely long. You pay the price for that though. about the first mile and a half of the downhill is not kept up at all but once you get to the very back side of the mountain that part has been ridden a lot and is extremely fun. There's even some pretty good jump heading through the trail. you end up on a golf course which is a little difficult to navigate your way back to the road.

hiking
Saturday, July 01, 2017

Usually I don't like to drive a long way for a short hike. But this is so pretty in glad I did. This place is so beautiful. I'm coming back to see it in the spring! Overcast day and it was still amazing.

Not too hard for beginners. Dog friendly and well kept trail.

hiking
Friday, May 26, 2017

I absolutely loved this trail..

hiking
Saturday, April 29, 2017

I started the trail from the Dehesa Rd. end. The first 4 miles are a maintained road which could be driven, but I did not want to leave my vehicle in an isolated spot. So, I walked the first 4 miles of road which had a short distance of uphill grade and the rest was fairly flat. The hills were green with lots of yellow and blue colored flowers, and a small stream near the road.. At about 4 miles there is a gate and the road is not maintained from that point, but remains more like a road than a trail. The small bridge there was safe enough to walk across. From that point to where the trail branches off the road and becomes more like a trail, it is uphill with switchbacks, but not too steep. The trail moves away from the stream and a nice view of the green hills and flowers as the elevation rises. A nice breeze started as the temperature went up. When the trail branches off the road, near the Loveland Reservoir, it becomes more like a trail and very steep the rest of the way to Sequan Truck Trail Rd. I returned using the same route for a total distance of 12.4 miles. It was a very peaceful, scenic, walk, with a lot of the trail beside a small stream with a band of healthy,green trees along the stream which made nice shaded sections. A couple of isolated houses and a trailer in the middle area of the route, but other than that just nice green hills with scattered boulders instead of packed with houses, colorful flowers, honey bees, a burbling stream, nice breeze, some shaded sections, mostly flat grade, and only a couple other people. A nice,quiet, scenic escape.

walking
Sunday, April 16, 2017

Easy, scenic trail.

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