Distance: 3 miles | Hiking time: 2.5 hours | More info.
The hike to the summit of Viejas Mountain trail begins with a steep 1.5 mile ascent up a rugged trail from the trailhead. A good pair of hiking shoes or trail runners will give you confidence when navigating the more technical sections of the trail.
Hiking Viejas Mountain Trail
The hike to the summit of Viejas Mountain begins with a steep 1.5 mile ascent up a rugged trail from the trailhead in Alpine, Ca. A good pair of hiking shoes or trail runners will give you confidence when navigating the more technical sections of the trail.
As you climb, the valley view expands into a panoramic scene that reaches from the Mexican border to Orange County and beyond. From the top of Viejas Mountain trail, you can either head north towards the summit or south towards the two neighboring peaks. All three peaks are easy to reach and offer a unique perspective of the surrounding landscapes.
What is that Mysterious Stone Structure?
The summit of Viejas Mountain is marked by a stone wall structure that was erected after campers destroyed the original site during the 1970s.
According to Jerry Schad’s Book, Afoot & Afield San Diego County, “ the original site featured an arrangement of stones that anthropologists believed was a winter solstice marker used for ceremonial purposes by the Kumeyaay Indians hundreds of years ago.”
The Rewards of Hiking Viejas Mountain
The view from the summit of Viejas Mountain on a clear day is astonishing.
During my hike up Viejas Mountain, I could see the snow-capped peaks of San Gorgonio and San Jacinto to the north beyond Cuyamaca and the Palomar Mountains. The eastern views were filled to the brim with the towering peaks of the Cleveland National Forest.
To the south Lawson Peak, Gaskill Peak and Otay Mountain were all visible, as well as the Coronado Islands to the southwest. Looking west past El Cajon Mountain and Mount Soledad was the glimmering Pacific Ocean.
Hiking Viejas Mountain trail is an ideal way to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life and reconnect with nature. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or a beginner looking for a challenge, this trail has something to offer. From the breathtaking views to the unique stone structure at the summit, Viejas Mountain is a must-visit.
- Wear a good pair of hiking shoes or trail runners
- There’s no shade, so dress accordingly and wear sunscreen
- Look for the trailhead a couple hundred yards after passing the gate
- Contact the Descanso Ranger District for overnight camping permits
Additional Info & Resrouces
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