Hike to Cowles Mountain via Big Rock Trail

Hike to Cowles Mountain via Big Rock Trail

Rate this Adventure Mesa Road

Distance

5 Miles

Elevation Gain

1000 Feet

Activities

Chillin, Hiking

Skill

Intermediate

Season

Year Round

Type

Out-and-Back

Added by

Jack Bradford

Dog Friendly
Easy Parking

In the iconic deserts of Southern California, summit a peak that lets you overlook all of San Diego, to the ocean, to Mexico.

Starting somewhat near sea-level, Cowles Mountain via the Big Rock Trail climbs about 1000 ft in elevation.  This trail is about 5 miles total, out and back.  Arrive at Big Rock park which has good parking.  At the park you will walk to the left of the tennis courts past the limits (the fence) of the park and turn right where you will see a wooden figure with papers on it.  The trail head sign is right there (see pictures).  The first 1.5 miles of the trail is on a strenuous incline complete with dust,  and not much shade.  The trail is however well kept and easy to follow.  There are trail markers every now and then that tell you that you're on the right trail and how much farther you have to go.  After this stretch of trail you'll reach a service road that leads to the top of Cowles Mountain.  This last mile of the hike is not rocky but there is not shade and the last .5 miles is steep to the summit.  I mean very steep.  But getting to the summit is rewarding with the view so don't give up!!  

We did this hike a little after Christmas and it was HOT.  But we're a bunch of Utah boys and girls so we were use to the freezing cold.  Some people had sweaters and long pants on (crazy in my opinion).  It is a dog friendly trail (but is littered with poop so do your part and clean up after your doggo).  

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations.

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Distance

5 Miles

Elevation Gain

1000 Feet

Activities

Chillin, Hiking

Skill

Intermediate

Season

Year Round

Type

Out-and-Back

Added by

Jack Bradford

Nearby Adventures

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Hike to the Antenna Station on Cowles Mountain

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Hike to Crystal Cave

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Hike to Kwaay Paay Summit

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Hike to Pyles Peak

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