Just outside of Poway is one of San Diego area’s most popular hikes. Despite its popularity, it is still possible to visit without running into too many other visitors. Even though the hike is not too far from civilization, adventurers can feel like they are miles from nowhere during off-peak times. The vista offers 360-degree views of the surrounding hills, including the San Vicente Reservoir. For rock climbers, some of the granite formations along the trail make for good bouldering.
For roughly the first mile, the trail seems more like an old forest road that maintains a straight and gradual incline. Horses share this section of trail, but they are more likely to be found on trails that run vaguely parallel and to the south of the main trail, where there are staging areas. After this first mile, the trail begins to switchback and becomes steeper, running over some rocks that require mild scrambling.
At the summit, enjoy the views either unaided or through a coin-operated scope. Stay for a picnic, and sign your name in the logbook found in a mailbox.
The vast majority of the trail is exposed, so be sure to wear sun protection.