Hike Mt. McGinty

Details

Distance

4.8 miles

Elevation Gain

1263 ft

Route Type

Out-and-Back

Added by Cameron Catanzano

Balancing a good workout, gorgeous views, and minimal time commitment, this 4.8-mile steep trail is definitely a San Diego point of interest, and despite its proximity to the city of San Diego, it remains a low trafficked hike.

Balancing a good workout, gorgeous views, and minimal time commitment, these 4.8-mile steep trail is definitely a San Diego point of interest, and despite its proximity to the city of San Diego, it remains a low trafficked hike.

The Hike:

Right away the trail weaves you through beautiful vegetation that will really kick the hike off to a good start, and after a quick minute, it will build to the more challenging incline that I love about McGinty.

After ascending up a bit you will climb to a “T” intersection in the trail. If you’re looking for a break this will be a good spot to stop. It includes nice views from a bend on the right side of the “T” and some cool trees.

Without clear trail markers or prior instruction, I took a left at this “T” intersection because it seemed to be going up. Taking that path got me up and back from the peak, so you can always play it safe and follow my footsteps.

From my observations, however, It seems that both paths meet back up later on. In fact, that seems to be true for every split I ran into on the trail, butIf you want to play it safe, I went left at each intersection on the way up and I’m still alive to tell the tail.

No matter how you do it though, this is a fun trail. The slope sets this hike above a gentle walk in the park, but its length ensures that you can knock it out in 2 hours and leave room for the rest of your Saturday.

Directions:

Finding the trailhead, however, is half the struggle. We looked online and the address given to us shot our car right past the trailhead deep into the canyon. It wasn’t until we used the satellite function on apple maps and combed the whole canyon before we were able to lead ourselves to the trailhead.

Although the map I included for this adventure looks accurate, be careful about your phone accidentally autocorrect to a slightly different address.

BUT, if your phone corrects to these, don't fret. I've included a picture above of google maps on satellite mode so you know what to look for. Siri might not be able to guide you all the way there, but if you stay alert as you’re driving and know what to look for ahead of time, you shouldn’t have a problem.

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

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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