Explore the best trails near San Diego with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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Great hike and just long enough for an evening outing

Go early before the sun shines and it gets hot!

hiking
2 days ago

Went the long way, from Big Rock Park on the Santee side. This route brings you up the back side of the mountain, about 8 miles in total out-and-back. Definitely the way to go if you're looking for a challenge. I never much liked going up Cowles on the obvious south approach because of the pedestrian atmosphere and not challenging enough, but this route is a whole different experience. It's definitely the road less traveled, and it's enjoyably savage. After reaching Pyles summit, you head back up to Cowles summit on your way back, where you'll log in another decent bout of elevation gain. A good training exercise to prepare you for the up-down-up-down brutality of nearby El Cajon Mountain. About 3.5 hours in total, and I'd recommend 2 liters of water on a 75F degree day.

hiking
2 days ago

hiking
2 days ago

hiking
2 days ago

hiking
2 days ago

hiking
3 days ago

hiking
3 days ago

Great place for an evening walk, run, or bike ride!

hiking
3 days ago

hiking
3 days ago

I hiked with my mother in law and wife, whom was carrying our two year old on a carrier the entire time. I thought the hike was moderate. as for them, they thought it was difficult. I will say though, those hills will get you if you are not a frequent hiker. I, for one, am not a frequent hiker, but do consider myself a monkey. So the hills we're relatively easy although really challenging because of how steep they were. Good hike and decent scenery too.

Such a beautiful lookout! Love cowells mouI just deposed a video titled "runadelic". It's an ode to cowled.' If you love running cowles you'll love this video. Check it out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DjFrnw6uGtA

walking
4 days ago

hiking
4 days ago