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Hike Mission Trails 5 Peaks

San Diego, California



15 miles

Route Type



Added by Cameron Catanzano

Some people make a month out of hitting each of these peaks, but why wait when you could wake up early and charge them all!

The 15-ish mile route we took made it a great workout, but it didn’t crush us. We left the apartment at 6 am and were back home with plenty of time to prep cook and eat a big dinner before 5 pm.

Although I completed the hike in 1 day(and I highly recommend it)many people completed each hike individually over the course of weeks. Splitting up the peaks would make for another enjoyable challenge and an even higher total length at23.02 miles.

If you take a look at the maps I've included in the pictures you’ll notice 2 things. First, I traced out the route we took and we were able to knock out multiple peaks at a time which made for less milage. Second, not all of the peaks connect. We actually took a car between the 3 parking spots I marked out in the pictures.

Splitting the hike up like this also allows for some creativity. My friend Adam and I took on the 1st and 2nd routes together, but we were able to meet up with our girlfriends for the 3rd route up Kwaay. They got to sleep in a little extra and we all got a hike that fit what we were looking for.

Here are links to the 3 addresses for parking on Google Maps:

  1. Clairemont Mesa Trailhead (For North and South Fortuna)
  2. Big Rock Trailhead (For Cowles and Pyles)
  3. Mission Trails Parking Lot(Kwaay)

My only additional parking note is that the actually trailhead for Kwaay Paay Peak is a bit down the road from the parking lot I included. It isn't far, but I don't want you to think I included the wrong address.

Getting Your Certificate of Accomplishment:

If you’re one for souvenirs, make sure to take your picture at each of the 5 summits. You can use those photos to receive a certificate of accomplishment and a logo pin.

We forgot to collect our souvenirs, but we did take some grade A photos at each marker.

As I write this, the visitor center is closed due to COVID, but click here for up to date information and more detailed instructions.

For more general information on Mission Trails Regional Park click here.

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Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


Hike to South Fortuna Peak

Visitor Center Loop Trail

Oak Canyon in Mission Trails Regional Park

Kwaay Paay Trail

Pyles Peak

Cowles Mountain via Big Rock Road