Touted as one of the largest urban parks in the country, Mission Trails Regional Park, in San Diego’s San Carlos district, preserves some of the last remaining open space close to the heart of this sprawling city. Cowles Mountain, centerpiece of the regional park, stands 1,591 feet above sea level and is recognized as the highest point within San Diego’s city limits. Hundreds of people walk the main south trail to its summit daily. Since several newer trails have been laid out on the east and north slopes of the mountain in recent years, hikers can choose from among several summit routes. We describe the ever-popular south route, which consistently offers vistas stretching from the Pacific Ocean to Mexico.
© 2013 Jerry Schad and David Money Harris/Wilderness Press. All Rights Reserved.