Hike Bernardo Mountain Summit Trail

Rate this Adventure San Diego Mission Road to Bernardo Summit Trail

Added by Robb Keele

This hike, part of the growing Coast to Crest Trail, features amazing views of the lake and surrounding mountains. It's dog and family friendly, so pack up all your little ones.

Bernardo Mountain is located on the Coast to Crest Trail in San Dieguito River Park.

The 7.36 mile out-and-back trail to the 1150 ft. summit starts on the east side of I-15. It's a relatively easy hike all the way to the top. It picks up a little once you make it to the Summit Trail junction, where you will begin to gain some elevation. But even this part of the trek isn't all that difficult if you're in moderately good shape.

At the base of the mountain, you're welcomed by the Lake Hodges nature preserve, a beautiful lush, green area that even has a palm tree lined oaisis with a small creek running through it. Further up, the trail becomes more typical of other trails in San Diego with the dense vegetation and chaparral we're all familiar with. At points, the trail overlooks the houses of lucky homeowners whose backyards butt up against the preserve. If you start to feel like your prying eyes are unwelcome, simply look back to the trail ahead and your attention will once again be nature bound.

Once standing atop the peak, you will be rewarded with stunning views of the surrounding hills and mountains. Mt. Woodson and Iron Mountain are both visible to the east, and Black Mountain to the South, and Lake Hodges sitting in between.

And remember to sign the summit register to let everyone know what you accomplished on this day.

Pack List

  • Day pack
  • Sunscreen
  • 2 liters water per person
  • Snacks or a picnic lunch
  • Camera
  • Smile and a sense of adventure
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Hiking, Mountain Biking, Photography, Running

Skill Level:



Year Round

Trail Type:



7.36 Miles

Elev. Gain:

1150 Feet


Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Picnic Area

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Added by Robb Keele

Robb is a native San Diegan and avid hiker, backpacker and picture taker. He created GetgoOutdoors.com with the goal of giving back to the outdoor community and inspiring others to get outdoors.

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