Frequently described as being, “the toughest hiking trail in San Diego,” El Cajon Mountain hiking trail is well-known for its relentless elevation changes and remarkable 360 degree views from the summit. Also known as “El Capitan” or simply “El Cap,” El Cajon Mountain is a beast of a hike that challenges your will and tempts your spirit.
Grab your day pack, stock up on water, slather on the sunblock, throw on those hiking shoes and head out for El Cajon Mountain. You’ll be tested and you’ll be tired, but in the end you’ll be proud to say you conquered El Capitan!
El Cajon Mountain trail info.
- Distance: 11.0 miles (round trip)
- Hiking time: 5-6 hours
- Type: Out and back
- Elevation gain: 4000’
- Difficulty: 8/10 (distance, elevation gain)
- Elevation: 3675’
- Rank on 100 peaks list: 55/100
- Usage: Hiking, Trail running, Mountain biking, Dogs allowed
- When to go: Spring, Fall, Winter
Map & directions for El Cajon Mountain
- Directions to trailhead (via Google Maps)
More trails near El Cajon Mountain
Additional links & resources
- Article: San Diego Reader
- Trail report: ModernHiker.com
- Trail report: 100peaks.com
- Trail report: IronHiker.Blogspot.com
Photos of El Cajon Mountain
- John Muir Trail Day 5 – Past Donahue Pass to Red’s Meadow. 19.5 mile lake tour hike. - March 7, 2017
- John Muir Trail Day 4 – Tuolomne Meadows over Donahue Pass. 16.4 mile shakedown hike. - March 2, 2017
- John Muir Trail Day 3 – Sunrise Lakes to Tuolomne Meadows. 10.1 mile hike for hunger. - December 28, 2016