Hike to South Fortuna Peak

Rate this Adventure San Diego Mission Trails Entrance

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.

Pack List

  • Water (It's hot and dusty out there, folks)
  • Trail map
  • A trustworthy light (or two) for the return trip
  • High-steppin' knees for those stairs
  • A camera for the inevitable beauty
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



Fitness, Hiking, Photography, Running

Skill Level:



Year Round

Trail Type:



5 Miles

Elev. Gain:

1000 Feet


Dog Friendly
Easy Parking

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

Have you done this adventure? Have something to add? You could be the first to leave a review!

Added by Ben Huntley

Tolerable husband. Maniacal engineer. Troglodytic adult. Postulant mountaineer. Erstwhile cyclist. Transitory Earthling. Character-building expert.

More Adventures Nearby

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
12 Saves

Catch a Sunset at Twin Peaks Mountain

San Diego / Silverset Park

Start by parking at Silverset Park. You will see the trail head for Twin Peaks just behind the park.

Alex Seger
9 Saves

Hike to Crystal Cave

San Diego / Crystal Cave Trailhead

Starting at 8100 Mesa road, you will see parking along the side of the road in a few places, take advantage where you find it.  Pass over the trail gate that marks the start of the journey.

Alex Seger
9 Saves