Explore the most popular lake 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.

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!

mountain biking
23 days 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
1 month 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.

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

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.

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!

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!

Great hike glad I live close to this trail!

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.

There's a dirt lot before the entrance to the park that's free to park and the trail seemed to start there. We did the loop in a clockwise fashion which we recommend now that we've completed it as it will get the big elevation change out the way first. Lots of little ups and downs closer to the shoreline. We found using the recorded path helpful as there were a few forks in the road and some paths were slightly overgrown. Porta-pottys along the way.

This is a very easy path/trail. There are TONS of mountain bikers on it so you will need to be aware and be ready to move to the side. I would hesitate to bring younger children on it when the mountain bikers are around in droves even though the pathway is relatively wide. There are plenty of blind curves. The views are fine- I appreciate harder hikes so for me, this is a good entry level path but for others it may be exactly what they want or need. Bonus points for the Sunday Farmers Market at the parking lot from 10-3. Great fruit offerings were available.

Great hike! Even if you are out of shape, I believe you can still conquer it lol. My wife and my 7 year old was able to finish it under 3hrs. Beautiful view of Lake Hodge, Escondido, and RB!

Nice semi-strenuous hike near Escondido. Great views near and at the summit.

Easy to moderate hike and the view at the summit is worth the hike. Nice to see that in the midst of suburbs, nature is still abundant and accessible. Along the trail, you can enjoy the various wildflowers in bloom.

Great hike!

mountain biking
3 months ago

Beautiful trail. Great for beginners. I started at coast to coast trail and totaled at 15 miles. Glad I did both trails.

mountain biking
3 months ago

Beautiful trail, your gonna want to keep going so check out del dios gorge trail. Worth worth it!

3 months ago

I recommend you continue all the way to overlook. it has a wide Rocky road, you may see a ranger in a truck, and if you keep going it goes around Lake Hodges and goes to a peak that's pretty awesome. It's worth the extra time and energy!

Great hike! There is a good mix of incline and level ground. Multiple routes to choose from once you hike about 1.5 miles!

Great little hike, beautiful day. There were quite a few people but still enjoyable. It would be good for dogs and kids but need to be patient. I don’t know what kind of tall spiked flowers I saw but beautiful. Look like a yucca of some type.

3 months ago

great hike! the lake is beautiful, and there's places to rest along the way. Do go all the way to the Overlook it's worth the five and a half miles round trip

great hike, beautiful creek, flowers and views
starts going up, there's no shade but the views are breathtaking. you can see so many lakes and reservoirs

3 months ago

great trail for a run, beautifully tucked down below houses up on the Hills so you feel like you are in the wilderness but you are still near civilization

Loved this hike- starts an uphill trek to get the heart rate going- pretty little creek then somewhat levels at one mile up- beautiful views of olevhain reservoir and lake Hodges- spotted red tail hawks and other birds ,a roadrunner and nice trails along the way- definitely going back.

I love this hike- flat enjoyable path around lake to gradual incline to pretty steep hike as you get to the top- Im older so I find this challenging enough for exercise- always see quail and roadrunner or two with nice view of lake- love it!

Load More