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Jamul, California

Hiking Otay Mountain

15.3 Miles Total - 2903 ft gain - Out-and-Back Trail

Originally added by Kat Carney

360 degree views of San Diego. Views of the San Diego skyline, the lights of Tijuana, and local mountains. Set up camp and watch the sunset over the ocean.

The trek begins on the Otay Mountain Truck Trail at Pio Pico Resort & Campground. You can either park and hike the entire trail, or drive up to a point a couple miles and park before the road becomes steep and rough. The distance on here is if you hiked the whole way. If you have a 4-wheel drive vehicle you can drive most of the way to the top of the mountain. We parked about 4 miles from the top and hoofed it the rest of the way.

Hiking is on the road and easy although steep at times. It can be very hot in this area so be sure to pack plenty of water, the best times are Nov-April to avoid the heat. I went through three liters of water in no time. We made it to the summit and hiked a mile down to set up camp on a ridge with views on both sides.

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Easy Parking
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Overall rating: 

Golden hour

Started this one a tad late in the afternoon - leaving San Diego city limits around 2:30 and arriving at Otay Truck Trail around 3:30. We drove a little ways up and pulled off 3.5 miles from the summit. We hiked from there and upon reaching the top were greeted with beautiful views of golden hills and mountains of the surrounding San Diego County. Hiked down as it got dark, but that isn’t a big deal if you bring a headlamp or other light source.

Super Fun

Couldn't believe how amazing this was

over 5 years ago

Awesome Aaron! Border Patrol did ask us what the heck we were doing, so clearly there aren't many regular campers. But they were fine when we explained.

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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