Decided to start the San Diego Six Pack of Peaks Challenge early and finish fast! We began this journey at 0001 on Saturday, January 1,
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.
Overview Map of the San Diego Six-Pack of Peaks Challenge
The Peaks of the San Diego Six-Pack of Peaks Challenge
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 Mountain – SoCalHiker
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
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
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