Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Elevation Gain
1,550.00 ft (472.44 m)
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
3.00 mi (4.83 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Viejas Mountain is a short and strenuous hike nestled in the rugged foothills of eastern San Diego. Climbing 1,600 feet in under 2 miles, this trek is not for the faint of heart. There is little to no shade to be found along the trail, so be sure to bring adequate sun protection and avoid hiking during hot weather. Spring is an ideal time for this hike, when wildflowers such as wooly blue curls, prickly phlox, and cow parsnip dot the landscape. The region is also populated by waist-high chaparral consisting mostly of chamise, manzanita, and yucca plants. At the summit hikers are rewarded with 360-degree views of the surrounding countryside. On a clear day the view stretches from the Pacific Ocean to Mexico.

Native Americans who at one time lived in this region built a winter solstice marker at the summit; however, it was destroyed by campers who rearranged the stones into a windbreak. Remember the impact that you can make on the landscape, and always try to Leave No Trace

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Fall

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Panoramic views. Solitude.

Cons

High summer temperatures. Strenuous.

Trailhead Elevation

2,700.00 ft (822.96 m)

Highest point

4,200.00 ft (1,280.16 m)

Net Elevation Gain

1,500.00 ft (457.20 m)

Features

Big vistas

Typically multi-day

No

Permit required

No

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Lodging + Camping

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