Ultra-endurance athlete, outdoor-adventure blogger and social media expert based in San Diego, California.

When I'm not online connecting people to the things they love to do, I'm out training for my next big adventure.

Check out my blog and connect with me on the social web.

Cowles Mountain Hiking Alternatives

Posted by Unknown Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Cowles Mountain trailhead at Golfcrest Drive and Najavo Road is closed through May so here are a few practical alternatives for accessible hikes in San Diego. Now get outside and go enjoy the beautiful scenery and a great workout!

The image above was taken just below the strairway to heaven aka "1,000 steps"

1. North Fortuna: ~4.4 miles r/t
From the Tierrasanta Portobelo trailhead off Santo Rd. 
More info: http://www.benjaminsphotos.com/100-peaks-in-san-diego/135-october-2-2010

2. South Fortuna: ~4.5
From Clairemont Mesa trailhead up the staircase to heaven  
Directions: http://www.mtrp.org/directions.asp?idno=18

3. Kwaay Paay: ~2.2 miles r/t
From Mission Dam parking lot up and down. 
More info: http://100peaks.com/2009/09/02/kwaay-paay-peak-peak-9/

4. Pyles Peak: ~3 miles r/t
Add-on from Cowles Summit. Trail starts by radio tower on Cowles summit
More info: http://www.mountainbikebill.com/cowlesmt.htm

5. Cowles
Here are 2 different ways to get to the top of Cowles that are still open:

Barker Way: ~3.2 r/t
La Mesa side, wide service road
Directions: http://www.mtrp.org/directions.asp?idno=7

Big Rock Park: 
Mission Gorge Rd. Santee side. Winding single track with tunnels of shrubs, partway up it connects to Mesa trail and then connects with Baker Way.

6. Mother Miguel
I haven't done this one yet, but here's some info about it from James Walsh: http://www.strava.com/activities/38640169 

I wrote the corresponding numbers on the map below:
Download here: http://www.sandiego.gov/park-and-recreation/pdf/missiontrailstrailmap.pdf
I frequent these trails and hope you’ll enjoy them safely and respectfully. All data and descriptions in this post are estimates, which usually means the trail is a bit longer, gains a couple hundred more feet and is rockier than advertised. So be careful out there!

Check out the interactive trail map: http://www.mtrp.org/trail_map/trail_map.asp