|Peak Summited||2021 El Cajon Mountain|
|Type of Hike||Day hike|
|Trailhead||El Cap Preserve|
|Hiking Companions||Hiked with a dog, Hiked with children (12 & under), Hiked with a partner, Hiked with a group|
|Road Conditions||Road suitable for all vehicles|
|Bug Status||No bugs|
|Snow Conditions||Snow free|
|Trail Conditions||Trail in good condition|
El Cajon Mountain is located in El Capitan Preserve in Lakeside, CA. This strenuous hike is considered to be the toughest local hike and part of the Six Pack of Peaks Challenge.
All Trails stats: 11.3 miles, 3,576 ft elevation gain, rated as Hard.
This extremely difficult hike is best to attempt during winter, spring, and fall. There are times during summer when the trail is closed due to the potential extreme heat conditions. You will see water recommendation signs, take those seriously. This hike is NOT a stroll in any way. We began our hike later in the morning, around 9 or 10 am. The parking lot was already full. Important note, if utilizing in the parking lot please adhere to the gate hours (4:30 pm) as they are strictly enforced. Once we started our hike we realized we were not going to be back in time so we had to pause and move our car to street parking. With that potential problem solved, we began our grueling hike. The trail head is located about a mile from the parking area. Be prepared for a steep climb. The trail head offers restrooms and a rest area. Being mentally prepared for this roller coaster of hike is a must. You will go up and down the entire way, the elevation gains are killer. We were lucky enough to hike on a clear day. Ocean & mountain views are epic. Let's not forget the beautiful views of the Barona Indian Reservation. There is a halfway point with a bench and trail info. We recommend you take your first break there. You will need to reenergize for the latter half. There is an old pickup truck on the side of the trail, its a great marker to announce you are almost there. The official trail ends prior to the summit. You will need to follow the green hiking flags/posts and do some boulder climbing. The views at the top are the ultimate reward. Staring later than most, means we tend to be the last group on the trail. Which is kind of awesome as we catch epic sunsets. The night views of twinkling city lights were a fantastic way to end our long day. We spent just over 9 hours on this hike.