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

Beautiful, easy hike...the lake and scenery are very lovely. The trail is very close to the hwy for much of the hike which is the only drawback. We actually went last week on a record-breaking heat day and it was still really nice.

I’ve done this one a few times. Pretty easy terrain until you actually get to Stanley Peak Trail, then there’s some good incline to the top, but it’s not super long. The trails are well marked at Daley Ranch and of course it can get toasty there. The only reason I knocked off a star is because the view at the top is disappointing. Your view is of a road and you can hear the cars, but it’s worth the hike to see the other mountains.

PARKING: limited parking in the dirt lot that opens at 8AM so i recommend getting there a little early to claim the prime spot.

THE HIKE: locating the trail head was a bit difficult for me since there were multiple trail heads at the start. choose the right one or you'll end up by the river with no where else to go (whisper: saw a lady doing yoga posses on this very short trail and i awkwardly walked backwards as though i just saw a bear)

Anyway, the hike itself is very well maintained and saw a few rangers making rounds making sure that people are leashing their dogs and making sure poops are in poop bags. I went during the weekday so didn't notice a lot of human traffic (perfect for my introverted self). HOWEVER, the reserve does offer guided hikes and as i was heading back, a swarm of (i kid you not) 20 children were running past me and 1 chaperone absentmindedly staring at her phone.

You'll go through some slight inclines and declines but overall, the hike was bearable. The dam (which i mistook for the lake) is pretty cool but definitely make your way up to the actual overlook for breathtaking views!!! i guarantee you're hiking mind will feel the euphoria of gorgeous scenery. Take your time taking it all in, too! It was nice being the first and only one at the overlook.

I would say this is one of my favorite hikes in the area. Warning though, there's very little shade so either go super early to beat the heat (especially during the summer) or be prepared and slather layers of sunblock. Also be careful for random animal droppings. And bugs.

Very peaceful. Easy walk. Saw a quail, lots of bunnies and birds.

Great hike with views of the Escondido valley. Take the OWT (old water tower) spur to the top of Stanley Peak for an extra treat.

First 10-15 minutes are difficult but well worth it

amazing placer

hiking
15 days ago

Beautiful. Trails were well defined and had adequate signage. Grounds were beautiful— a lot of trails and hiking nooks to check out! If you’re not a hiker or out of shape it probably won’t be as enjoyable. I found it to be easy but it was a challenging easy! There are portables and drinking fountains found throughout the grounds. One could easily spend a day here I came on Sunday morning very little foot traffic. *put on sun screen

This is a very nice Trail. However your coordinates for the trailhead are wrong and your distance is wrong. The trailhead is farther east from the coordinates you list. Also the trail itself is closer to 6 Mi not 4. If you do the westfork as well as the East Fork. You will have 10 miles. There are beautiful views. I don't really understand the chairs at the top. I would rather just stand up on a natural rock.

Very Nice smaller, short hike. Beautiful views of layered mtns. Saw some of the wildlife-a Buck & coyote. Good spot to do some bouldering in a few spots. Highly recommend if ur in the area

Great challenging hike to the top of the summit. Great views and view of Lake Hodges. Will hike again.

hiking
22 days ago

Great if you have kiddos!! I grew up coming here and now I have a 4 and 8 year old. There’s plenty of space to explore and playgrounds to play on. Beautiful park. We bought a yearly parking pass because we love coming here.

Beautiful views!

This is an easy to moderate trail. Not very many steep inclines. There is road noise due to it being parallel to Del Dios Hwy. There is little to no shade on this trail, so early morning would be best in the summertime. This trail is used by mountain bikers as well and the trail does get narrow at times. You do walk over the Del Dios bridge and it is a wonderful rusted but sturdy bridge. Once you reach the viewpoint there is a wonderful snake metal sculpture and you can look through a pipe telescope to see the dam and a river. This would be a nice hike for most people.

This is a really nice hike up to the Bernardo Summit. The terrain varies from flat, to rocky and some decent inclines. It is a well worn trail that are shared with mountain bikers, hikers and trail runners. I would say it is a good trail for most, there were some seniors and children on the trail, so use your best judgment. There are several different trails that can be taken, I was on the one marked “Bernardo Mountain Summit” which takes you to rattlesnake view point. If you are going in the summer or hot in general, start early mornings to avoid heat issues, not a lot of shaded areas and in the summer Escondido gets well over 90 degs, so hotter on the mountain. Overall a great work out, great views and round trip was about 4.5 miles

very nice. terrain is fairly easy. lots of bikes, but the path is wide enough most parts.

Nice hike. That first mile or so is definitely rough but well worth it. The Equine Incline loop is nice and quiet and likely a brand new hike if you do the loop in reverse. Great parking as well at the trailhead.

hiking
30 days ago

Uphill, uphill and uphill some more. But it’s a great trail with lots of great views.

First/last mile against major highway. once away from it the hike got much better. little shade but nice views.

One of my favorite hikes to do in this area!

hiking
1 month ago

Great!
Took my 4 month old and it was varied enough in terrain and trail alone to keep him entertained!
Difficulty varied with multiple hills despite climbs by a hill!!
I will do it again!

It is a great beginners trail or someone who is getting back into working out.

It was a nice hike...looking forward to trying different trails at Daley Ranch

Take plenty of water and make sure to wear sun screen. Not a lot of shade but overall a great place to go hiking.

Great hike glad I live close to this trail!

trail running
1 month ago

This was a fun challenging run for being 4 miles. Lots of uphill and just when I thought I had done enough and was starting to go downhill I started back up again. In all it wasn’t just 4 miles but also the equivalent of climbing 40+ flights of stairs

This is not the hike that is described here. the trails here are very limited. You can hike Wes about 1 mile in and the trails disappear. They are not maintained in the water level is very very low. I went bushwhacking for a while and turn around. I then drove over the dam on Oakvale Road to check out the Egret Trail on the south side of the lake. it is basically a service road. About a mile long and then it just ends. so I turned around and went back to the car. there are some nice rocks to climb on on the lake is very pretty. Some people were catching a few fish.

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