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

In a word, gorgeous. Hardest hike I've done but the views were worth it. The hills are no joke and that last half mile straight up the mountain was brutal. Definitely take poles. We went the day after a rain and felt like we hit the jackpot on the timing. It seems like it could be pretty slippery when it is dry. Our group of eight finished this in about six and a half hours with plenty of breaks and a long stop at the top for a snack.

If you get there before 8 am, park off the road/highway. Being extra water. There are a ton of ups and downs which make the hike back pretty difficult. Apparently the old mines are only 50 yards from the trail. Never did, but wish I had just checked it out. Took me a little over 5 hours. Challenging hike with only ok views.

This tops 3 sister falls on difficulty! Hardest hike I’ve done! Between 3-4 miles. Take the 40 yard off course trail and see the old gold mines. They are only about 8 feet deep. But they are great for a nice lil break or to cook your MRE

It was a nice little out and back. We ran it on the way back which kicked it up a few notches. There are a few decent inclines, and nice views where you can see all of lakeside. We also found a cute pit bike track towards the top. It is nice to have a good little trail like that nearby so travel time is no issue, and being in the midst of so much housing I would feel safe doing it on my own but can still get the feel of being out in nature.

This is one of my new nearby favorites. It isn't too long but if you go all the way to the top you're sure to feel the burn. The camping area where you start looks like a great place to picnic as well, I'd like to make a day trip out of it some time. There are great lookout points, and a cool forest area; plenty to see. I've gone twice now and it hasn't been too crowded either time, you can hear the traffic from the road though that is my only complaint, and parking is $3.

This hike is hard! That ain't no lie!!! One note, gates to parking dont open until 8, so street parking if you are are an early bird.

This hike was a KILLER leg workout. Def recommend good hiking shoes but amazing hike overall!

Wow not for beginners, take plenty of water . Atleast 3liter . I drank that and wanted more . It was only 71 out. Anyhow no much to see on trail other then wildflowers, and surrounded hills. Once at summit nice views of surrounding mountains. We missed out June gloom came early. Anyhow great hike its about 11 miles round trip. If you get to summit and think it was easy just wait for trek back. You will see . Wear comfortable clothes . Start early . Bring extra water . Have fun be safe......

Great hike. Definitely recommend hiking poles.

grueling hike but absolutely worth it!

We did a family hike last Saturday and this is the hardest hike that we ever did so far. Lots of uphill downhill and most of them are steep. We did it for 8 hours back and forth. I was hurting for 2 days lol The views are amazing! it was totally worth it.

Hardest hike I have ever done, but it was so worth it! Definitely bring a lot of water and snacks. It’s a long hike, prepare for an all day adventure of crazy inclines!

Nothing like the opener to this one! A quick quad and calf smoke to get the ball rolling can catch you a little off guard early. Start early. It gets hot out here. The trail is amply marked and the signage is good. It will keep you posted as to where you are and you’ll see the steeper pitches coming. Steep is steep here too. Two or three long pulls later in the hike as you go toward the summit. This is a good, hard hike. 5 hrs at a 30 minute pace. There’s a lot of scree and the rutted sections are a little challenging at times. Coming back down was a little hard on the knees. Power through. When you’re done with this one, you’ve earned it.

4:30 hours hike...hard ,but awesome
brakes just for pictures

Great trail for an early morning hike, possibly the best in San Diego County. Best enjoyed while the sun is still low and temperatures are reasonable...

Great challenge. Save at least a half day for this trail. Rewarding!!

Love it - super peaceful in the mornings. I only saw a couple of people within 2.5 hours. Great views and scenery along the trail. ❤️

Hiked at the end of April.
Pretty cloudy day w/ wind & rain on the way back, so 2 L of water/ person were plenty sufficient.
Started at 6 am, finished at 11 am. 5 hour hike.
Minimal breaks.
Definitely recommend trekking poles for the way down.

Great hike!! Was easy enough to take two dogs and a toddler. There was some parts about halfway that were a little rocky and steep.

Sunscreen, water and your A game.

Hiked this on April 20. Didn’t start until 12:50 but that’s because I flew into town in the morning. As others indicate, you will need protection from the sun. I had long sleeves and a wide brim hat. Nothing on the calves though so they got a little toasty. The hike took me 2:35 to the top and 2:20 down. I saved the “mine shafts” for the way down. There are some great views to be had throughout the entire hike and lots of wildflowers this time of year. I didn’t really think the water requirements were that exceptional - I think I had 3 liters overall. Granted had I done this in July or August it would be more. I personally thought the uphill on the second peak was the toughest - that’s where I had to stop the most to rest. While not the most physically difficult trail around, the technical (sure footing) difficulty is enough that you need some experience to expect to do this trail in a reasonable amount of time. It is a good idea to go early though it was nice seeing my last other hiker by mile 4 as a result of starting so late.

tough hike but a great work out. the down hills are steep on way back..

trail running
1 month ago

Loved running El Cajon mountain this morning. It was a definitely a challenge with constant inclines and declines along with some rocky areas that watching footing was a must. Beautiful views. Can’t wait to go back!

1 month ago

This hike is challenging but worth it. The only thing I would strongly recommend is bringing plenty of water and sunscreen. There is a sign at the beginning of the trail with recommendations on the amount of water to consume on this hike. We went on a day that was a little too hot and brought 5.5 liters of water and that wasn’t enough for the both of us. We ended up rationing water the last 1.5 miles of the hike. There is not a lot of shade to give yourself a reprieve from the sun and I ended up getting sunburned really badly. The hike has a steep incline on the way up and plenty of incline on the way back as well. In final, plenty of water, snacks, and sunblock.

$2 per person fee
No dogs allowed
Very pretty view 98%
Easy with just a little elevation in parts.
Only 5 miles according to my Fitbit

1 month ago

always a beautiful place to go on a clear day.

1 month ago

I found it really hard but I made it....I did puke at the end as it was very challenging for an old guy like me. Tough hike, only take it on if you ready to work.

1 month ago

Nice easy trail. Best to go in the morning, as it can get warm. Even if the temperature reading is not high, the sun feels hotter b/c of the altitude gain compared to San Diego.
I gave it 3 stars b/c there is nothing remarkable about this trail, it's just a leisurely walk on flat pavement.

1 month ago

Went there today. Nice walk! Love seeing all the birds.

mountain biking
1 month ago

Id rate this trail as easy although there were short sections that were steep and rocky. But those sections are too short to make this trail above and easy rating.

It was a Quiet but came across 30 people and 5 dogs. It was busy. Trail is mostly cleared and all of it can be ridden. Short vertical section on the west side. This is NOT lake Jennings. The map is clear what is what if you take the time to study it.

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