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

Awesome trail! Gradual incline on the switchbacks. I am fat and hate switchbacks but this was moderate and doable. Some areas are Rocky ankle twisters, also a few rock scrambles. Pay the $10 to park at the campground don't cheat it that money helps maintain the trails. Don't be a ass. Bathrooms at the campground are clean picnic tables for lunch, nice place. Julian up the road is nice stop for an ice cream reward.

great trail. one of my favorites. I hike it all the time.

Good hike. Just the right amount of challenging. We took two kids with us 5. & 7, they did great. Highly recommend it!

hiking
8 days ago

Gets your heart pumping at the top :) beautiful views the whole hike short but definitely worth putting on checklist

hiking
16 days ago

Good quick, flat hike, nice views of the desert, a historical marker about half way that has some good views going south. Looks like it is mostly a road for people driving up to camp or check out the Pictographs a few more miles up.

17 days ago

Nice hike, definitely going again

It was my first time here and I loved this hike! This is one of the most beautiful hikes I’ve done in California! It’s more of a 4-mile trail, round trip. Definitely start this hike early in the morning to take advantage of the shade!

on Stonewall Peak Trail

hiking
1 month ago

9/13/2018: Short, sweet...perfect. We planned to come here for a sunset hike, but we misjudged midweek traffic and an unusually busy workday for me, so it ended up being a sunset/night hike. We arrived at 6:15 PM on a Thursday afternoon (an hour later than planned). Paid $10 and parked at the Paso Picacho Campground lot (if you’re arriving later in the day like we did, be sure to bring exact $$$, since there isn’t an attendant later in the day to provide change. One could argue that you don’t NEED to pay the honor system pay envelope “after hours,” but who wants to chance it? Not me; I have no idea where Park Rangers check the lots later in the day. And who wants to be that person anyway?) Walked across the 79 to the trailhead and embarked on the ascent. The “hardest” part of this easy hike is in the very beginning. Once you’re past that initial hump, the rest of the hike will be easy switchbacks, with a fun section at the very end “scrambling” up the rock faces (there are railings the entire way at the top, so fear not. It’s easy).

Made it to the peak in about 45 min, exactly at 7:00 PM to catch the sunset (with a couple short breaks along the way for photo ops). We made it back to the car by 7:30-45. It was full dark by the time we made it back down to the parking lot, so we took it slow coming down (good thing we had headlamps to help us along the way). The headlamps attracted a bunch of flying insects, so be sure to bring bug spray if you’re doing a night hike. It won’t stop them from flying towards the light, but it will keep them from landing/crawling on you.

We came across just two other hikers and a bunny on the way up, but otherwise, it was quiet and peaceful (save for a rattle from the brush we heard earlier in the hike, but didn’t see the critter itself). Overall, would highly recommend as a midweek sunset/night hike. The stars were drop dead gorgeous on the way down. It was absolutely worth the drive.

I love this hike!

One of my favorite hikes.
Gorgeous views, not strenuous but you feel like you went on a hike when you're done.
Completed without complaint by kids 5-12.
Pros - Nice workout, beautiful views, pretty campground at the beginning.
Cons - I didn't feel comfortable taking the 5 year old and 7 year old up the rocks to the peak (I've been called paranoid), although I didn't see any, there was a lot of chatter about rattlesnakes by other hikers.

hiking
1 month ago

Very enjoyable walk/hike.
Completed without complaint by kids 4-14.
Pros - Flowers were gorgeous, pictographs were really neat, rock formations made great climbing for the kids, views at the end of the hike were memorable.
Cons - Very hot, more a walk than a hike.

off road driving
1 month ago

I grew up camping out in Blair Valley and Little Blair Valley. The Morteros Trail, Marshal South and Pictographs hikes are all amazing. The road is always nicely groomed, I've even seen a Prius or 2 bombing the road.

I liked this hike because you can do some exploring I found three mines the biggest one was on a path that leads down a kind of steep hill when you get to where the trail forks off in a few directions some time I want to go back and explore the mines inside

hiking
1 month ago

Excellent hike. Not to hard and view at the top is great. Short hike but great gain at the end, as far as the final visual reward. I have done it 3 times now and will do it again.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike. Relatively speaking, there is more shade here than in most trails in this area. Gentle grade most of the way up; the handrails at the top are very helpful. In contrast to posts a few weeks ago, we didn’t see any termites at the top - just great views in every direction. Would recommend this hike.

At 82 degrees, a little hot; but this is a fine trail with varied terrain and lovely views north to Palomar and east to Volcan Mt. The cattle have been “grandmothered” in so don’t be disturbed by them. We did it years ago in the spring, which is indeed better.

What a great hike! I took 5 Oaks up and the road trail back down. I LOVED the views from 5 Oaks, and all the shade. I was super slow on the ascent because I was taking so many pics. It was very windy once I was about a mile from the summit - it felt great!! If you’re not hiking with dogs I would definitely recommend doing the 5 Oaks trail, at least on the way up (dogs aren’t allowed on the 5 Oaks trail). The other path was pretty steep and seemed to never end, but was fine for the descent. Some people I met while on their way up that trail were pretty winded. I would definitely do this one again.

Nice and more shade then you would expect.

on Blair Valley Trail

1 month ago

Easy to moderate hike. The weather is a lot better than Borrego Springs - still high desert, altitude keeps it cooler.

This is one of my favorite spots not just to hike but to STARGAZE. It’s flanked by mountains all around. That keeps away the light pollution from the big cities west and north.

Saw the Perseid meteor showers. Wow! Shooting stars, Milky Way looks best on a no moon night / the night was perfect.

Start early and get a good camp site. Campers - please keep noises down. Nature is for everyone to enjoy. The amazing dark sky, stillness of nature is what we want to enjoy - not your constant ramble.

Very nice and easy hike, great for kids. Saw deer, turkies, squirrels, all kinds of birds and lots of interesting vegetation.

Park at the Trout Pond sign and follow the trail. Once on the trail there are many options to custom tailor your hike. If you are looking for an easy hike this is a good one.

hiking
2 months ago

nice easy hike. At the end of the hike there's huge rocks and boulders you can navigate through to take in the beautiful views that stonewall peak has to offer.

I took the trail on Sunday and I didn’t see some areas in the pics people took the ones where you drive between the rocks the trails were never that wide and couldn’t find that area and I drove everywhere and didn’t see those spots

One of my favorites! If you go right after the last snowfall you manage to see two seasons. Beautiful!

hiking
2 months ago

Very easy trial. Small incline at the beginning-maybe a tenth of a mile and that’s about it. Lots of switchbacks and the views all the way to the top were amazing. Loved the stairs leading to the summit. However huge infestation of termites at the summit. So definitely didn’t hang out at the summit for too long. They flew and landed all over my friend. The views at the summit are definitely worth it. It was beautiful. We went early enough we didn’t see any snakes at all but we were definitely definitely wary and watching out for them. Definitely do this hike. You won’t be disappointed.

mountain biking
3 months ago

Went blind on this trail looking for a challenging ride out of William Heise campgrounds. Very tough climb lots of melon sized rocks, couple of fallen trees along the way.
This trail is probably hardly ridden or hiked. No foot prints, no sign of any activity on the trail what so ever!
Had a blast, very tough, remote, beautiful, for biking this definitely black diamond.
Bring lot's of water!

Great little hike. Plenty of shade in the am hours. At the peak monument there is a huge infestation of termites, pretty gross!

This is definitely one of my favorite hikes. The scenery was amazing and the views were beautiful. You are basically surrounded by wildlife (cows, wild turkeys, even saw some coyotes..) the hike itself was very relaxing although there was a section where the incline was quite challlenging..

hiking
4 months ago

Very nice afternoon hike. I took my son and 4 year old grandson. My grandson did fine walking down, but was too tired to walk back up so my son put him on his shoulders and carried him back. A good workout for all of us. We found two mines along the way which is what makes the hike worthwhile. Bring plenty of water and do it while everything is still green.

This hike was beautiful. Slightly better than Santa Ysabel West and with more variation in terrain. A good trail to hike if you don’t want to see many people. Great for enjoying the beauty of birds, butterflies, dragonflies, wildflowers etc. One of my favorite San Diego county hikes.

Quiet. Very nice hike. Enjoyed the flowers. Saw a deer and wild turkeys. Took 5 oaks trail up and stayed straight coming down.

Load More