Viejas Mountain Trail in Cleveland National Forest

Nestled in the heart of San Diego County, the Viejas Mountain Trail offers outdoor enthusiasts a thrilling ascent up the western face of this majestic 4,189-foot peak. With its challenging yet invigorating terrain, this hike promises a rewarding adventure for those seeking a quick workout in the great outdoors.

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Trailhead Information and Facilities

Accessing the trailhead is a breeze, located within the scenic expanse of the Cleveland National Forest. Ample parking is available, ensuring a hassle-free start to your hike. Remember to secure an Adventure Pass when hiking in Cleveland National Forest. And if you plan on doing any backcountry camping, permits are required. It’s important to note that no facilities are available at the trailhead, so come prepared.

About Viejas Mountain Trail:

This trail boasts diverse natural wonders, from its rugged topography to the lush vegetation that lines its path. Its moderate difficulty makes it suitable for a wide range of hiking enthusiasts. Clocking in at 3 miles, expect an exhilarating 1,500-foot elevation gain. The trail is also dog-friendly, welcoming furry companions to join in the adventure.

Hiking Viejas Mountain Trail:

Embarking on this journey, you’ll encounter awe-inspiring vistas and well-traveled trails. As you ascend, take in the breathtaking views of San Gorgonio, San Jacinto Peak, and local summits like Cuyamaca Peak and Palomar Mountains. On a clear day, the Coronado Islands are visible to the southwest.

Completing the round-trip hike usually takes around 2.5 hours, so it’s ideal for a quick outdoor adventure. Late fall through spring is the best time to tackle this trail, as the weather is more forgiving during these months.

What to Expect on Viejas Mountain Trail:

The trail offers a dynamic terrain, ranging from rocky stretches to dirt paths, providing a varied and engaging hiking experience. Be sure to wear sturdy footwear and pack essentials like sunscreen and at least a liter of water. As always, look for the diverse wildlife and vibrant flora that call Cleveland National Forest home.

When to Go

  • Fall
  • Spring
  • Winter

What to Bring & Wear

  • At least one liter of water
  • Adventure Pass is required in most areas around Cleveland National Forest
  • Hiking shoes or boots with plenty of traction
  • Sunscreen & hat