The hardest hike in SD

Peak Summited2021 El Cajon Mountain
Type of HikeDay hike
TrailheadEl Cajon Trailhead
Road ConditionsRoad suitable for all vehicles
Bug StatusBugs were terrible
Snow ConditionsSnow free
Trail ConditionsTrail in good condition
Additional Informationhttps://www.instagram.com/happyrunningeverafters/

This hike is considered “the hardest hike in San Diego” and I absolutely agree! It is important to do your research for this one. For research, I followed a hiking guide from hikingguy.com. This guide gives you directions on reaching the summit. It was helpful for me by keeping me on track and not stray from the path by taking a wrong turn! The trail also has lots of signage of safety, restricted areas, and mile markers.

Time: It took me 6.5 hours to finish. I started around 7:30 A.M. Reached the summit at 10:45 A.M. Returned to my car around 1:55 P.M. I took many breaks while hiking the steep inclines. Try starting at 4 A.M. to beat the heat. The parking lot opens at 8 A.M., but you can park on the side of the street to start your hike early.

Water intake: Please bring at least 3 Liters of water. I recommend freezing some water bottles and letting it melt along the hike so it's really cold when you drink it on the way back. I also brought 2 small frozen bottles of gatorade for electrolytes.

Snacks: Bring fruits and snacks! According to hikingguy.com, Blue Sky Ranch has produce that you can take and pay through Venmo. However, there was only a cooler full of water, sage, and no produce when I was there.

Bugs: Lots of bugs and flies you will hear buzzing around your ears. Please bring bug spray!

Heat: It was really hot and sunny by 9 A.M. Barely any shade. I used sunscreen 3x and wet a towel to cool my face/neck area. Wearing a hat is a must!

Good luck!


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