Don’t let those 3 miles intimidate you, or “mountain,” or if you’re anything like me, the numbers. Here’s quick breakdown of the basic information about the trail, but I’ll also give you a review and some tips about the area and getting there, including parking (source: http://www.trails.com/tcatalog_trail.aspx?trailid=HGS043-059):
Distance: 3 miles
Estimated length: 2 hours
Dogs allowed: yes
Area: La Mesa
Elevation gain: 950 feet
Starting place: 7055 Golfcrest Drive, San Diego, 92119
This trail is a fairly easy one and well kept. It’s perfectly fine for every level hiker, from young to old, young children and dogs included. If you are a more experienced hiker, feel free to challenge yourself to a jog while everyone else walks. The trail is narrow, but there is enough room for everyone.
I don’t suggest bringing a stroller though, especially if you’re going alone. It would require two adults to take a stroller. There are steep steps where the stroller would need to be carried. Although the trail is narrow, there is ample room for one though. Your little passenger just might get a very bumpy ride. It’s also very dog friendly with dog water fountains at the base.
This is a very popular hiking spot. The view of the amount of people going up and down the mountain reminds me of colorful Easter eggs with legs. It makes one feel safe with the idea of “safety in numbers,” so it’s fine to go by yourself. There will always be someone on the trail too if anything were to happen.
The only worry or concern you should have is parking. Knowing the popularity of this spot; be aware that parking will not be easy to find in the trails parking lot. Street-side parking is available, but on busy days, such as weekends, those will fill up quickly. Most park in the residential area. However, it doesn’t seem like the most secure places to park. On the street where we parked, right behind our vehicle was broken glass. A car was obviously broken into, as a piece of the glass read, “THIS VEHICLE IS SECURED WITH ANTI-THEFT…” Just plan your trip for the daytime and don’t worry too much. We found our vehicle perfectly intact after our hike.
Make sure to bring lots of water. There are restrooms and water fountains at the base of the trail, but only at the base of the trail. The trail is very dog friendly and even has dog water fountains. Remember to bring bowls for your dogs. They’ll need to drink too once you both reach the top. A hat and sunscreen are also advisable, as this trail is mostly rock and bush with very little trees for shade.
What You’ll Find:
Once you get to the top you will be met not only by a 360° view of San Diego, including the ocean, but also by butterflies during the right season. We went early May and witnessed fluttering everywhere. However, even without the butterflies, the view and the sense of accomplishment are rewards in themselves. You’ll have fun locating various places in San Diego and maybe guessing where you live.