Hike Bernardo Mountain Summit Trail

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
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Share

Activities:

Hiking, Mountain Biking, Photography, Running

Skill Level:

Beginner

Season:

Year Round

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

7.36 Miles

Elev. Gain:

1150 Feet

Rating:

Features:

Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Lake
Picnic Area
Scenic

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

about 1 month ago

Awesome Hike

It's a long hike, but the view at the end is worth it

about 1 month ago

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.

More Adventures Nearby

Catch a Sunset at Fonts Point

San Diego / Fonts Point Trailhead

The best time to go to Fonts point is right before the sun sets. It is located in the desert, so be sure to dress warmly and bring a blanket or two.

Bianca Isidro
8 Saves

Visit the Rice Shoe Fence

San Diego / Rice Shoe Fence

If you're traveling on CA-62, keep an eye out on the south side of the road for the enormous shrine of retired footwear from passers by.

Isaac Orloff
15 Saves

Hike the Calcite Mine Trail in the Anza-Borrego Desert

San Diego / Calcite Mine Road Lookout

Open from March until October - but I would not particularly recommend this hike in the summer months, unless you started in the wee almost dark hours.

Fern Koan
28 Saves