Monday, October 15, 2012

Cowles Mountain Hike…

Sharon on Cowles Mt trail

Cowles Mt summit

Well it looks like the main water leak was repaired and we only have a small intermittent drip when flushing the toilet.  We plan to have La Mesa check it out before we leave the San Diego area if it doesn’t stop. It looks like we are going to leave this Thursday as we plan to extend our stay using Passport America,

The other day while our motorhome was getting repaired we had a whole day to kill so we decided to return back to the Mission Hills Regional Park. The trail that we most wanted to do was the Cowles Mountain trail. There are apparently several different trails that will take you to the top of Cowles Mountain . We took the one at the entrance at Golf Crest and Navajo. This particular trail is 1.5 miles up to the top of Cowles Mountain for a total 3 miles round-.trip.

Cowles Mt trailCowles Mountain’s summit is 1,593 feet tall and is the highest point in the city of San Diego. The trail is a very popular trail for hiking, trail running, and power walking. Dogs are also allowed on the trail and we saw many people walking with their dogs. In fact we must have passed at least 50be people on the trail so if you are looking for privacy or a wilderness experience this will not be the hike for you.

The trail itself is a fairly worn rock and dirt path. For the most part the trail is well kept. However it can be a little misleading at times as it looks like lots of people have made their own shortcuts because the trail often splits into several traveled paths. I really wish people would stay on the central trail and reduce the amount of trail erosion that occurs. Paths such as this one will eventually have to be shut down and re-vegetated only because some lazy or careless people want to make their own trail.

Mission TrailsThe round trip hike was 3 miles long with an elevation change of nearly 1000 feet over the first 1.5 miles. Thus, we began to climb from the very beginning with a very steadily climb the entire time it took us to get to the summit. The hike itself is not difficult as long as you pace yourself and simply take your time but it will definitely get your heart pumping. The trail is a bit dusty and the there is little relief from the sun so bring plenty of water.

Mission Trails Cowles Mt trailWhat makes this particular hike worth doing are the breathtaking 360-degree panoramas of the San Diego metroplex below. All throughout the climb we were treated to one scenic vista after another and there were some fabulous views of downtown San Diego. You can even peer into Mexico’s city of Tijuana or look out over the blue Pacific waters. At the summit there is also a summit plaque which of course we took the requisite photo of. We also watched as the climbers took turns touching the plaque saying the hike is not complete until the plaque is touched! To totally enjoy the view we had packed a lunch and found a spot on the summit where we sat on a few boulders to relax, eat and just enjoy the panorama below.

A great hike in a great city with a great view… hard to beat with such great weather…


  1. That looks like a great hike. Are you sure you want to leave? It seems like you've had a great time.

  2. Always hard to leave San Diego, glad you had such a good time there.

  3. Its nice to know there are places to hike like that, even though you are in a big city.

  4. we will have to try working that hike into our Christmas visit.

  5. We're always up for a good hike with a view! This one looks worthwhile.