Cowles Mountain—East Approach Trail

San Diego, California

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If you tire of the hordes of Cowles Mountain regulars on the popular south trail, try this loop on the east slope instead. Partly on the service road leading to the antenna facility near the summit and partly on a narrow foot trail, the route draws relatively few travelers. Since I live close to the mountain and use it as a training ground, you’ll sometimes find me jogging up either the road or the trail by the light of dawn. When early morning fog hugs the ground, most commonly in the fall, a quick trip up the slope allows me to punch through the cloud layer and witness a scene every bit equal to the famous sunrises over the cloud-wreathed crater of Haleakala on Maui.
Afoot & Afield: San Diego County

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Afoot & Afield: San Diego County

by Jerry Schad (Wilderness Press)

If you tire of the hordes of Cowles Mountain regulars on the popular south trail, try this loop on the east slope instead. Partly on the service road leading to the antenna facility near the summit and partly on a narrow foot trail, the route draws relatively few travelers. Since I live close to the mountain and use it as a training ground, you’ll sometimes find me jogging up either the road or the trail by the light of dawn. When early morning fog hugs the ground, most commonly in the fall, a quick trip up the slope allows me to punch through the cloud layer and witness a scene every bit equal to the famous sunrises over the cloud-wreathed crater of Haleakala on Maui.

©  Jerry Schad/Wilderness Press. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: San Diego
Distance: 3
Elevation Gain: 1,000 feet
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: 2 hours
Season: October through June
Accessibility: Dog-friendly
Local Contacts: Mission Trails Regional Park
Local Maps: USGS La Mesa
Driving Directions: Directions to Cowles Mountain—East Approach Trail

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May 2018