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Join the Challenge

The San Diego Six-Pack of Peaks Challenge is a self-paced hiking and trail running challenge up six iconic San Diego County mountains, including “the hardest hike in San Diego” and the high point of San Diego County.

You choose whether you want to complete them in six days, six weeks, or take the entire year. Set the schedule that works best for you. 

You can climb them in order as you build your strength and endurance, or mix it up. The choice is yours. Your registration will help support Big City Mountaineers, so you'll be doing good for others with each peak you climb.

2022 San Diego Six-Pack of Peaks Challenge

Overview Map of the San Diego Six-Pack of Peaks Challenge

The Peaks of the San Diego Six-Pack of Peaks Challenge

2022 Volcan Mountain

VOLCAN MOUNTAIN – Elevation 5,353′ (1632 m)

This 5,353′ peak has views of a transitioning landscape, with views that extend to the Pacific Ocean and even Catalina Island on a clear day, and to Anza-Borrego and the Salton Sea to the east. It was considered as a potential site for the observatory that was eventually built on Mount Palomar, and you can still see the remains of the outpost built during the siting study. It's also home to a USPS Air Mail signal tower that dates back to the 1920's when such towers guided pilots across the country at night.

Recommended Six-Pack Route: Hiking Volcan MountainSoCalHiker
Distance: 5.1 miles; Vertical +/- 1,170 feet

CORTE MADERA – Elevation 4,633′ (1,412m)

A perfect introduction to the Pine Creek Wilderness, this hike takes you to what some describe as “San Diego's Half Dome.”

Recommended Six-Pack Route: Corte Madera Mountain Trail – SoCalHiker 
Distance: 6.7 miles; Vertical +/- 1,469 feet

2022 Cuyamaca

CUYAMACA PEAK – Elevation 6,512′ (1,985m)

San Diego's second highest peak, with views that on a clear day can stretch from Mexico to the Coronado Islands. Located in a State Park, dogs are only allowed on paved trails, and there happens to be one to the summit. 

Recommended Six-Pack Route: Cuyamaca Highlands – Scott Turner Hikes
Distance: varies; Vertical +/- varies

 

HOT SPRINGS MOUNTAIN – Elevation 6,533′ (1991m)

At 6,533′ Hot Springs Mountain is the tallest in San Diego County, making it a must-hike peak for high-pointers. It's located on the Los Coyotes Reservation, which requires a $10 entrance fee.

Recommended Six-Pack Route: Hiking Hot Springs Mountain
Distance: 10.2 miles; Vertical +/- 2,118 feet

2022 El Cajon Mountain

EL CAJON MOUNTAIN – Elevation 3,675′ (1120m)

At 3,675′ El Cajon Mountain is not the tallest by far, but this 11 mile trek climbs 4,000 vertical feet, making it one of the toughest in San Diego.

Recommended Six-Pack Route: El Cajon Mountain (El Capitan) – Uphill Both Ways 
Distance: 11 miles; Vertical +/- 4,000 feet

HIGH POINT – Elevation 6,138′ (1871m)

The highest point on Mount Palomar is 6,138′ High Point, with a strenuous 13 mile hike to match.

Recommended Six-Pack Route: Hiking to High Point on Palomar Mountain
Distance: 13.8 miles; Vertical +/- 3,509 feet

Latest San Diego Challenge Hike Logs

Corte Madera
Robert

Corte Madera

Second hike of our San Diego 6-pack of peaks complete. Beautiful day but it was warm on descent. We started around 8AM and it took

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Volcan Mountain
Brittany

A Molten-less Mountain

Hike #31 of 2022 ✔️ Volcan Mountain to Five Oaks Trail ✔️ What a beautiful day. ☀️ There was a slight chill to the air

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Volcan Mountain
Amy Schwenck

Volcan

Beautiful! An absolute must do again. I’d love to bring my dog but there are a lot of foxtails on the more single track route

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Cuyamaca Peak
Amy Schwenck

Cuyamaca paved?!

We were doing a double so chose to take the fastest route up which was paved. Yuck. Powered thru to just get it done. Ran

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Hot Springs Mountain
Taralyn

Hot Springs Mountain

Like a few reported on alltrails.com, there were three or four spots where gnats were annoying – but not enough to detract from the hike.

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Volcan Mountain
Burt Repine

Volcan/Cuyamaca Double

Did Volcan and Cuyamaca in the same day. Volcan: trail and weather were perfect. Very scenic hike with lots of variety. Did the fire road

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