Hike to South Fortuna Peak

5 Miles Round Trip - 1000 ft gain - Out-and-Back Trail

Mission Trails Entrance - Search Nearby - Added by Ben Huntley

Chances are, if you head into the wilderness at sunset, you'll have the place to yourself. From the top of South Fortuna you can rest your quads, bask in the glory of defeating "The Stairs", and soak in the sunset views.

Hiking at sunset/night is a great way to beat both the heat and the crowds. On a clear day you can see from Mexico to Catalina Island! If you stay long enough, you can see all of San Diego's city lights turn on, or the marine layer fog creep into the canyons.

South Fortuna Peak is part of Mission Trails Regional Park, and there are several options for gaining access to the peak. The recommended route is from the parking area at the East end of Claremont Mesa Blvd. Just remember to park OUTSIDE the gate if you plan on watching the sunset (they close the gate at night).

Bring a map of the trails because there are a couple non-intuitive turns along the route. Follow signs for "South Fortuna Trail". Retrace your steps by flashlight/headlamp on the way back. If you enjoy this hike, consider trying the Mission Trails 5 Peak Challenge! Watch out for some cool wildlife after dark - mice, rabbits, bats, and owls, among others.


Dog Friendly
Easy Parking


5 Miles
1000 ft elevation gain
Out-and-Back Trail

Stay Nearby

Chula Vista, California

San Diego Metro KOA

Encinitas, California

Outsite // San Diego

From $60/night

Valley Center, California

Chandelier Springs Stream

From $75/night

Valley Center, California

Chandelier Springs

From $155/night

Nearby Adventures

Hike the Fortuna Mountain Trail

6.2 Miles Round Trip - 1459 ft gain

Explore the Visitor Center Loop Trail

1.4 Miles Round Trip - 190 ft gain

Carefree Walk on the Visitor Center Loop Trail

1.4 Miles Round Trip - 170 ft gain

Hike Oak Canyon in Mission Trails Regional Park

3 Miles Round Trip - 200 ft gain

More Nearby Adventures


Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Valentines hike!

Great easy to moderate hike. We hit the lollipop loop up on Valentine’s Day and only saw two other people. Would highly recommend a map as there are many turns and roads that you will cross on the way! We did 6 miles by doing a lollipop loop and hiked down in the dark with headlamps after sunset. Trails are in great condition; lots of owls, rabbits and birds. The stairs are a lot shorter than I expected as I’ve done the real stairway to Heaven in Hawaii as well as Koko head. Still a good burner and they lead to great views up top!