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.

First mile, high elevation gain and tires you out but rest of walk to Lake Hodges overlook is so worth it! Creek is on way in/out of trail next to parking lot. I got a late start at 1030am and was done by 1pm

The creek was beautiful and had more flow than I would have thought for this time of the year. The trail was rocky most of the way up but you just have to pay attention a bit. I couldn’t believe it when I got to the top and I found toilets and a water fountain! Are we spoiled or what—-:-) I’ve never seen that before!

Excellent hike, both vertical and mileage!

Well this is one of my favorite hikes in San Diego! The views were beautiful and it was like a walk in the park compared to Lawson peak ! Round trip took me about 2 1/2 hours!

walking
11 days ago

Went there to watch my daughter run track. Nice trail.

horseback riding
15 days ago

Love this trail, I have ridden to Raptor Ridge, one of my favorite trails. Good footing for conditioning, I was able to do lots of trotting. Parking lot is good for all size trailers and is huge and safe. Only issue with the trail is riding up to Raptor Ridge, there is a section which has a single track with a downhill cliff, I was a little nervous and decided to hike and lead my horse both up to the ridge and down.

Trail was nice. Easy one hour up and one hour down. Nice view at the top. 1/2 trail was affected by recent fire but still accessible. If anyone is planning on doing this hike, please bring a few trash bags. I picked up several bottles on the trail and 3 bags of trash at the trailhead. There was still plenty of trash left behind that I didn't have room for.

walking
19 days ago

Best during overcast weather. Late summer walks can get a bit dusty but scenic.

beautiful, not too challenging, and quiet. we may have to go back with bicycles too.

Definitely enjoyed this hike - good mix of inclines, not too strenuous, very scenic. Tons of different trails so you can make it a longer hike if you want.

mountain biking
1 month ago

it is called raptor ridge not raptor hill, an awesome ride, especially if you make it to the top, great views, I usually do night rides due to cooler conditions, but only recommend for experienced riders.

hiking
1 month ago

This was a great hike. A good workout but not too hard. It feels way out there but really just a few minutes off the freeway. Pay close attention to the trail markers to stay on the 10 mile loop. We got lost the first time we did this and ended up hiking a total of 14 miles because we had taken a wrong turn at some point.

This is one of my favorite hikes I do on a regular basis. Unfortunately the San Pasqual fire did hit about 80% of the route to the top. The bridge is gone and the tree has fallen in that area, but you can still hike with ease and enjoy the surrounding beauty. As you near the area to the chairs the trail has been bull dozed and becomes very wide and has some private property owners. Stay to the far left so you see chairs to your right and pop up that small dirt hill path cause the far back side is now also private property. All in all trails are clear, orange groves still a beautiful view with charred surroundings.

Great hike spot if you’re looking for a quiet place to enjoy some beautiful scenery. You make the hike however long/challenging as you like with the various trails you can pick once you get to the top! Starts with. 1.5mile trek up the mountain, but once you get to the top you have several trails to pick long or short that offer lake views, ocean view, or overlooking all of Escondido’s city. Highly recommend! Grab a map from the resource center in the parking lot for a guide on which trails you want!

hiking
1 month ago

Fun, beautiful hike! We saw many coyotes and rabbits! Very scenic and lots of shade. I would definitely recommend to others who are looking for a long, somewhat challenging at times, hike!

mountain biking
1 month ago

Amazing. Couldn't believe it but I saw a bald eagle near the edge of the lake then it flew away.

It was a fun hike with my wife and our first trail in California. The scenery was beautiful.

hiking
2 months ago

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
2 months 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.

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