Cowles Mountain

  • Navajo Road and Golfcrest Drive, San Diego, CA 92119 | Directions

As both the highest peak in San Diego and one of the most popular hiking destinations in the county, Cowles Mountain is better known for spectacular views of Southern California than quiet, wilderness solitude. Indeed, the popular southern route that begins near the corner of Navajo Road and Golfcrest Drive accommodates at least several hundred hikers daily.

Ongoing Events

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The front trail up Cowles Mountain is scheduled to re-open on Friday, May 17, in time for Mission Trails Day on Saturday, May 18th. There are plenty of family activities from 9 AM to 2 PM at the Visitor Center off Mission Gorge Road and the Equestrian Staging Area near Mast Blvd. The event is free and open to the public. More information can be found at

Cowles Mountain Trail Reopens: Here's a link to my story about the reopening on May 18: Check out the Mission Trails Regional Park website for info on fun activities that day and many other days … and nights:

Glad the trail is open again! I love to hike it in the early morning hours. Used to be easier when I worked in El Cajon - I could hit 24 Hrs. for a shower after the climb and head in to work. Not quite as convenient now that I'm working in Pt. Loma, but I'll get up there again soon, one way or the other.

I hope you get to hike there soon. Today was a perfect day for hiking, and I saw many people on the mountain as I drove to an event at the Mission Trails Park visitor center. It’s been years since I hiked Cowles. After doing this story, I put climbing to the top of the mountain n my to-do list because the view up there is incredible. Hiking around Cabrillo Monument is also fun, with awesome views.

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