60 Hikes within 60 Miles: San Diego
by Sheri McGregor (Menasha Ridge Press)
© Sheri McGregor/Menasha Ridge Press. All Rights Reserved.
My husband and I are in pretty good shape and this was a very challenging, but extremely enjoyable hike. We are here on vacation from Indiana and wanted to see a bit of nature (do something other than wine tasting!) and thought we'd start with this. It took approximately an hour and 15 minutes to get to the top---this included several breaks for taking pictures, enjoying the scenery and various views, drinking water, and sitting to enjoy a banana once at the top. The views changed dramatically depending on what elevation you were and which curve of the mountains you were on---very beautiful. From ground, it doesn't do the height justice as several smaller hills are blocking your view from how high you will actually hike. Coming down was of course quicker, but we had to be extra cautious because of the steep decline and loose rocks, etc. but still great exercise! In total it took us 2 hours and 10 minutes to get to the top and back to our car; however, it could take much less for those who aren't as interested in sight-seeing and are more focused on the physical benefits of the hike---we did burn approximately 1000 calories (~900+ for me and ~1100+ for my husband). We went in the morning hours to beat the heat of the day--there is no shade at all. I would highly recommend this hike to any teenager or adult who considers him/herself physically fit. This hike requires good stamina as well as balance and stability. One thing I will add is that it is a bit difficult to find. Once on Stewart Canyon Road, after crossing under the freeway, immediately turn right on Pankey Road and park on the right. The trail entrance is on the opposite side of the road (you will see a small 'conservatory' sign). On Pankey, if you've reached the cul-de-sac, you've gone too far. Turn around and park on the side of the road just before Stewart Canyon Road. I will post pictures later. Very rewarding once you reach the top! Do it, you won't regret it!
Started off with this hike around 1pm today and it took me about about an hour and a half to get to the very top. Steep climb almost the whole way up and lots of big loose rocks that you have to navigate around. But towards the top it is rewarded with a panoramic view of the entire area including the ocean miles away and San Jancinto mountian to the North East. Great hike but make sure your in shape. If your not in shape this is not a good one for you but i highly recommend it to anyone who likes to hike
We're a middle age group of Moms that just love this hike. It's a challenging and great workout. It's well marked and you can go to the summit or loop all the way around to the water tower. Tough but you get better every time you do it. It takes us about 1-1/2 hours or less to do it all the way around-4.2 miles.Well marked trails but uneven footing. You can see the ocean on a clear day. Watch your footing but don't forget to look at the view. :)
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