Descanso, California

Looking for the best hiking in Descanso? We've got you covered with the top trails, trips, hiking, backpacking, camping and more around Descanso. The detailed guides, photos, and reviews are all submitted by the Outbound community.

Top Hiking Spots in and near Descanso

  • Julian, California

    Hike Cuyamaca Peak

    4.5
    5.5 mi / 1700 ft gain
    This peak is one of the tallest in the county. Reaching the summit of the peak takes you to an elevation of 6500'. Although this peak isn't as challenging as others nearby, it's located in the center of San Diego, which offers up amazing views, which is the main reason to take this hike. The best...
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  • Julian, California

    Hike Stonewall Peak

    4.7
    3.82 mi / 820 ft gain
    This hike is one of the most popular in the Cuyamaca Rancho State Park. When you reach Stonewall Peak's summit, enjoy the view of the surrounding park and nearby Lake Cuyamaca. The hike up the east side is a popular and relatively easy trail. Although you'll be gaining 800 feet, the hike is relat...
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  • San Diego County, California

    Multi-pitch Climbing at Corte Madera

    5.0
    This is one of San Diego's finest multi-pitch climbing crags. South-facing and standing 500 feet tall, Corte Madera has a history of both traditional and sport routes. The traditional routes will offer adventure with some en-route bushwhacking. The newer sport routes climb the clean faces of this...
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  • Campo, California

    Hike Corte Madera Mountain

    7.75 mi / 2375 ft gain
    From Buckman Springs Road, turn onto Corral Canyon OHV/Morena Stokes Valley Rd and drive almost 5 miles to a green gate with a red heart on it, this is the trailhead. Just past the turn is the parking area that fits 5-6 vehicles. Walk across the road past the locked gate and head up the oak cover...
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  • Santa Ysabel, California

    Three Sisters Falls

    4.9
    3.42 mi / 906 ft gain
    Three Sisters Falls is by far the best hike, for the most reward, that I've gone on in the close vicinity of San Diego. Only a short hour and a half drive from downtown San Diego, the hike offers all the draws of a National Park: remote wilderness, strenuous hiking, scenic mountain views, and ama...
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  • San Diego County, California

    Hike Garnet Peak Trail

    3.0
    2.6 mi / 500 ft gain
    While there are a few trail options, the designated Garnet Peak Trail begins off of Sunrise Highway at Mile Marker 27.8. There is a small pull-off on the east side of the road with a sign denoting the trail. An Adventure Pass is required for parking in this area of Cleveland National Forest.The f...
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  • San Diego County, California

    Big Laguna Lake Loop

    5.0
    5.9 mi / 400 ft gain
    Big Laguna Lake Loop is a loop trail that takes you by a lake located near Pine Valley, California.
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  • Mount Laguna, California

    Red Trail Roost and Agua Dulce Trail Loop

    4.0
    4.63 mi / 591 ft gain
    Red Trail Roost and Agua Dulce Trail Loop is a loop trail where you may see wildflowers located near Julian, California.
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  • Campo, California

    Kitchen Creek Falls Trail

    4.0
    4.83 mi / 722 ft gain
    Kitchen Creek Falls Trail is an out-and-back trail that takes you by a waterfall located near Pine Valley, California.
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  • San Diego County, California

    Hiking the Laguna Hills via the PCT

    5.0
    20 mi / 2000 ft gain
    This trail is well-maintained, but gets a little rocky on the PCT, and the Chariot Fire burn-zone between Penny Pines and Hayes peak will have a few downed trees and some overgrown grasses. On the other hand, the trail network of the BLT is confusing to follow as the entire network is named "Big ...
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  • Mount Laguna, California

    Night Shoot at Mt. Laguna USAF Station

    This is a great stop when passing through the Anza Borrego Desert. The drive is very scenic, and passes through Sunrise Highway. Once you turn off the road, it's a very short drive up the hill where you will find a large spot to leave your car. There is a service gate that you can't drive through...
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  • Ramona, California

    Cedar Creek Falls

    4.8
    5.52 mi / 1024 ft gain
    The trail to Cedar Falls starts out at a hill in a residential area and ends in an unexpected spot where there is a beautiful waterfall complete with a swimming hole. Surrounded by 75-foot-high cliffs, a magnificent waterfall splashes into a pool known as the Devil’s Punch Bowl. Hikers have been ...
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  • Lakeside, California

    Hike El Cajon Mountain

    4.5
    12 mi / 4100 ft gain
    This challenging trek is a great way to get in shape for that spring or summer trip to the Sierras. You may have heard others tell you how tough the hike is and they're not kidding. You'll be gaining 4100 feet over the 12 miles to the peak and back. If you have the time and the energy, you should...
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  • Lakeside, California

    Hike the Oakoasis Open Space Preserve

    2.5 mi / 300 ft gain
    Starting at the trail-head, head down towards the oak-lined ravine marking the beginning of the hike. With trees already growing back from the 2003 fire, these sections of the trail are nice and shady, and quite relaxing. About 1 mile in you will start to see the San Vicente Reservoir to your lef...
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  • Julian, California

    Ghost Mountain Trail to Yaquitepec

    5.0
    1.29 mi / 443 ft gain
    Ghost Mountain Trail to Yaquitepec is an out-and-back trail where you may see beautiful wildflowers located near Julian, California.
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  • Jamul, California

    Hike Mt. McGinty

    4.8 mi / 1263 ft gain
    Balancing a good workout, gorgeous views, and minimal time commitment, these 4.8-mile steep trail is definitely a San Diego point of interest, and despite its proximity to the city of San Diego, it remains a low trafficked hike. The Hike: Right away the trail weaves you through beautiful vegetati...
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