Horsethief Canyon Trail

Horsetheif Canyon Trail

Distance: 3.2-4.1 miles | Hiking time: 2 hours | Difficulty: 5/10

Horsethief Canyon Trail is a quick, family friendly out and back waterfall hike just outside of Alpine, Ca. The trail starts with a quick descent into the canyon before stopping at the Pine Valley Creek crossing. During the wet months, from late fall…

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Eagle Peak Hike

Eagle Peak hike

Distance: 4.2 miles | Hiking time: 3 hours | Difficulty: 6/10

Eagle Peak overlooks Cedar Creek to the north and Sheep Camp Creek to the south, which feeds Three Sisters Falls near Julian, Ca. This 4.2 mile out and back hike takes you along the southern edge of the mountain to the 3226′ summit. Once you reach the summit, you will be rewarded with 360 degree views of the county, including a clear view of many of the tallest peaks in San Diego.

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Garnet Peak Trail

Garnet Peak Trail

Distance:2.4 miles | Hiking time:1.5 hours | Difficulty: 5/10

Garnet Peak is located just off the Pacific Coast Trail on the northeastern edge of the Laguna Mountains. At 5900’ in elevation, it sits at number seven on the Sierra Club’s list of the 100 highest peaks in San Diego County.

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Los Penasquitos Canyon East Approach

Los Penasquitos Canyon waterfall hike

Distance: 6.4 miles | Hiking time: 3 hours | Difficulty: 4/10

Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve is centrally located in San Diego and is easily accessible from the 805, 15 and 56 freeways. The focal point of the canyon is Penasquitos Creek, which runs the length of the preserve. A little over 3 miles west of the Black Mountain Road trailhead there is a quaint, quiet spot with a waterfall, perfect for a picnic lunch.

Trails are abundant on both sides of the creek and there are several creek crossings, including a couple of bridges. Hike as little or as much of the trail as you like. This suggested 6.4 mile route is just one of many possible longer or shorter routes you may choose to take along the creek.

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Stonewall Peak

Stonewall Peak hike

Distance: 4 miles | Hiking time: 2.5 hours | Difficulty: 5/10

Stonewall Peak sits just outside Paso Picacho Campground in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park. The trail to the summit is a well maintained series of switchbacks that gradually ascends the western face of the mountain. This is a quick, relatively easy hike with outstanding views that stretch north as far as the San Bernardino and San Gabriel mountains.

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Cuyamaca Peak

Liebster Award Nomination

Distance: 6 miles | Hiking time: 3 hours | Difficulty: 6/10

Standing at 6512 feet, Cuyamaca Peak holds the top spot on the Sierra Club’s 100 Peaks of San Diego County list, and is officially the second highest point in the county. During the winter, Cuyamaca is one of the few places in San Diego that’s almost guaranteed to get snow. Aside from the views along the way, hiking the paved road to the summit isn’t that noteworthy. But if you don’t mind putting in the work to get there, the views from the summit are better than anywhere in the county.

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Bernardo Mountain

Bernardo Mountain Summit Trail

Distance: 7.2 miles | Hiking time: 3.5 hours | Difficulty: 6/10

Overlooking Lake Hodges and located along the Coast to Crest Trail in San Dieguito River Park is Bernardo Mountain. The vast number of wandering trails that wind their way around the lake and over the surrounding hillsides make the park a popular destination for hikers, trail runners, mountain bikers and birdwatchers. Bernardo Mountain is a fun, moderately challenging hike that is sure to please, regardless of your reason for going.

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Iron Mountain

Iron Mountain Peak Trailhead

Distance: 6.4 miles | Hiking time: 3.5 hours | Difficulty: 6/10

The “short trail” up Iron Mountain is a family friendly hike that will leave you invigorated and inspired. Get started early to beat the crowds, bring plenty of water, and you are certain to embark on a hike that you won’t soon forget.

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