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

Good hiking

It is good, less people on the Pyle trail

Great trail for training. l less crowded than the main Trail.

Stowe trail goes along a water treatment plant then through the Marine corps base. Nice and secluded, but the signs every 20 feet reminding you to stay on the trail kind of ruin the experience. Once you get to the Preserve it's much more enjoyable. I skip Stowe's trail and go straight to Sycamore now.

Extremely fun! Great flat piece for photos

short, steep, and sweet view at the top. Not many people either. Tranquillity.

Finished it on a not so hot day. 2/5 five peaks challenge finished

The majority of the trail was pretty tame, though it got steep towards the end. Lots of people on the trail at 8 am on a Saturday. Nice views of the city at the top. The trail is well maintained and easy to follow. It starts by a city park with bathrooms, so that's a bonus!

hiking
1 month ago

Great short hike.Strenuous effort to give you a workout. Short enough to do anytime.

If one must do cowles, I definitely suggest this route. It is much less crowded than the front way and there is tons of shade. Doable for children as young as 5.

Definitely moderate even though the signs are rated difficult. Went early to beat the sun. Not too busy of a trail although there were some working cars driving up and down. Very steep part towards the summit for about .5 miles. Make sure you wear proper shoes!

hiking
1 month ago

great for an after work hike. takes us about an hour to get up and down. dont underestimate it though. the last part is pretty steep and will give you a workout. watch out for rattlers.

Challenging steep hike. One of 5 of the 5 peak challenge. Not a whole lot of view but great leg without.

This was much more challenging than Cowles Mountain but beautiful none-the-less! It was steep with some loose footing areas. Also not as good of a view as Cowles but to have the challenge is part of the fun!

once again alltrails has a trail mislabeled. the trailhead sign lists this as difficult, not moderate. this is pretty much all uphill and probably should be classified as hard based on the park’s signage.

overall a nice hike tho, pretty views.

Well, not much to say. If you’ve already done 4 of the 5 peaks of Mission Trails, might as well walk up there and scratch it off the list. It’s delightfully steep in spots. Unremarkable summit, not much to write home about. If you’re looking for a real challenge though, try the bouldering/scrambling route from the top of the Climber’s Loop up to Kwayy Paay Peak. Great training for some of those cross country summit hikes out in the desert. Just be super careful if you go up that way!

on Big Rock Trail

hiking
1 month ago

a great way to go to the top of Cowles Mountain without all the traffic. A good workout fairly steep in places lots of stairs to climb. Go early it gets hot! the only reason not five stars is because it's pretty dusty in the summer months.

mountain biking
2 months ago

Nice bike ride next to the water that leads you under a bridge while riding fast (pretty cool).

We timed it so we'd be descending back down Cowles at sunset. It's too hot otherwise. Fun hike! Beautiful little micro climates along the trail.

More enjoyable, more strenuous approach to Cowles than the "main way."

Heavy trafficked trail and dog friendly. First part of the trail goes behind home houses, then eventually merges to the main trail where you will see many other hikers. The hike up is a steady incline with a few steeper parts. once you get to the top, you get a panoramic view of San Diego. Be careful on the way down. If you are not wearing shoes with enough traction you may slip at some parts. Overall, it's a good hike to go with kids and dogs.

walking
2 months ago

why is this trail moderate i’ll never understand

hiking
2 months ago

This place is a hidden gem! I happened to find it because my dog’s groomer lives nearby and I saw the signs. My friend and I went on a 7.9 mile hike. We took Martha’s Grove Trail to Ridge Trail and then went to a trail on the left that went straight uphill (veering away from the military base) to the Hwy 67 Ranger Station and then down Cardiac Hill back to the Goodan Ranch starting point. The hike along the hilltop was awesome. We climbed over 120 flights on this hike so it’s a great workout. The scenery is constantly changing and we saw tons of wildlife. We saw mostly rabbits and large hares (with the biggest ears I had ever seen). We also saw a coyote. There was hardly anyone on the trail which was awesome because you really felt like you were getting away.

2 months ago

one of my favorite hikes in San Diego County. So nice to be hiking for four and a half to 5 miles and find a beautiful Visitor Center with information about local species and nature and a ranger there to chat with.

This was super fun to do for a hike after work! It was pretty steep with stairs and such but the view was pretty nice!

hiking
3 months ago

Basically a climb up to a lookout and back down. There was one spot where you have a nice look into the gorge, but other than that this is not spectacular.

Great hike but very hot at 9am. Felt sorry for the kids and dogs. Great workout!

Quite a bit more difficult than Cowles mountain, just because it’s a steep incline the entire way. Yes it may be shorter but doesn’t feel like it haha. Still enjoyed our hike and our dog cane with us and did well.

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