Cowles Mountain Trail

#1 of 17 trails in Mission Trails Regional Park

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Cowles Mountain Trail is a 3 mile out and back trail located near San Diego, California that offers scenic views and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running & walking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

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Ray Ferrer (152)

3 Completed2 Reviews

Yes it was busy... however the trail is wide enough to accommodate all. Perhaps because I went during the week. Will be going again tomorrow. Great hike, great views.

Stephen Raycraft (76)

15 Completed1 Reviews

Nice quick hike/run that's a decent workout. Late afternoon or evening recommended as morning is a zoo. Don't leave valuables in car, several break ins have occurred.

Mountain Chic (69)

3 Completed3 Reviews

I wasn't sure what to expect...then look
ed over to my left then above, and realized I was in for an interesting hike. I loved it! beautiful views...just take lots of water and hike during moderate to cool temp.

Andrey O (745)

18 Completed12 Reviews

This is one of the few trails out there that I did not like and could not wait to get out of there. First, parking was near impossible to find - on a Friday morning at 10am! Second, there were way too many people on the trail. I hike to get away from people and to experience nature. Third, the trail was very, very eroded. Fourth, many people were jogging and some of them almost ran into us. Fifth, what is it with people walking and playing music on their cellphones for all to hear? If I had the urge to mingle with obnoxious crowds, I'd go to a mall during holiday season, I wouldn't expect that from a mountain. The trek to Mt. Woodson was a much more pleasant trail.

Lorena Perez (67)

2 Completed2 Reviews

It's great at night and not creepy since there's always a lot of people doing the hike wether it's 6am or 9pm. A lot of families with their little ones.

Marnie Ravitch (520)

15 Completed15 Reviews

More of a workout than a hike. Extremely busy on weekends. Parking also extremely limited. Be prepared to park on street; no permits required for parking. Restrooms at bottom of mountain. I'm out of shape and overweight and had difficulty getting up the whole thing but I made it by taking several breaks. The terrain on the trail isn't all that interesting but the views midway up and at the top are awesome. At the top, it was disappointing to see empty water bottles overflowing the garbage cans by the hundreds. Also, most of the dogs on the trail were not leashed the day I was there. After having been bit a couple times in the past, I'm terrified to encounter them on a trail no matter how friendly their owners say they are. I think it's extremely inconsiderate of dog owners to put others in that position but they seem to care more about their dogs being able to run free than the rights of others.

Amanda Bollinger (198)

9 Completed2 Reviews

Parking sucks, the trail is overly crowded, but it's an easy climb.

Jeff M. (243)

Great view but a lot of people on the weekend.

Rose Farris (134)

7 Completed5 Reviews

A great way to get some exercise, but usually the switchbacks are quite crowded with families and dogs.

Randal Doering (56)

1 Completed1 Reviews

You start with trying to find parking. The parking lot is small and apparently fills up early in the day, and people park down the street. The trail is narrow, hot and dusty, and we hiked in the hottest part of the day (noon to one pm). There were a lot of people and dogs on the trail, and sometimes large groups went by and it was crowded. But for the most part we had a pleasant experience. This is an easy trail if you're fit. We brought my 5 year old goddaughter on the trail, 3 miles round trip, and she made it just fine with a few rest stops along the way. This is a good trail for kids and dogs. The view from the top is spectacular; you can see downtown San Diego some miles away and can see all the way out to Mexico on a good day. Bring lots of water, and wear clothing suitable to heat and sweat. Use lots of sunblock. A fun experience; I'll be back in the future.

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