Corte Madera Mountain Trail

Cleveland National Forest, California

Elevation Gain1,039ft
Trailhead Elevation4,078ft
Elevation Min/Max4076/4645ft
Elevation Start/End4078/4078ft

Corte Madera Mountain Trail

Corte Madera Mountain Trail is a hiking trail in San Diego County, California. It is within Cleveland National Forest. It is 1.5 miles long and begins at 4,078 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 3.1 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,039 feet. The trail ends near Corte Madera Mountain (elevation 4,633 feet). There are also an information board and a viewpoint near the end of the trail. This trail connects with the following: Los Pinos Road.

Corte Madera Mountain Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

101 Hikes in Southern California: Exploring Mountains, Seashore and Desert (Wilderness Press)
Jerry Schad and David Money Harris
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"On a clear day atop Corte Madera Mountain, you can see forever—or at least as far as Santa Catalina and San Clemente Islands to the west and the mile-high Sierra Juarez plateau in Baja California to the south. From many parts of San Diego, Corte Madera Mountain’s sheer south face appears as an abrupt drop in the profile of the eastern horizon. On the summit, you stand near the edge of that 300-foot-high precipice."

Corte Madera Mountain Trail Trip Reports

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Easily accessible from the S-22, just east of Ranchita and only a few miles into the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, the signs for Culp Valley are unmissable as you head further east down Montezuma Grade. There's good off-road parking and you don't need a 4-wheel drive to access the trailheads here. There's lots of good walking here, even though most of the Valley up the hills to the east have been ravaged by the Julian Fire of 2002. Don't let that stop you - there's lots of new vegetation coming through with the recent rains. The main trail heading in and out of the Valley is the San Diego Sea to Sea Trail (go west and you'll hit the Pacific; go east and there's the Salton Sea) - this section is also the California Riding & Hiking Trail. If you've got a spare hour or so, follow the Trail out to the right of the Valley and in a short while you'll see a sign 'Vista 400 yards' pointing to your left/east - the view from the top across to the Santa Rosa Mountains, Borrego and the Salton Sea is awesome.

Corte Madera Mountain Trail Photos

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Trail Information

Cleveland National Forest
Nearby City
Cleveland National Forest
Moderate to Difficult
Skill Level
South of Pine Valley
Local Contacts
USGS 7.5-minute Morena Reservoir and Descanso
Local Maps

Trail Log