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 - 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 MountainSoCalHiker
Distance: 5.1 miles; Vertical +/- 1,170 feet

Corte Madera - San Diego Six-Pack of Peaks Challenge

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 - San Diego Six-Pack of Peaks Challenge

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 - San Diego Six-Pack of Peaks Challenge

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 - San Diego Six-Pack of Peaks Challenge

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 - San Diego Six-Pack of Peaks Challenge

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

Alternate Peak

You can swap out any of the six peaks above with Mount Woodson.

MOUNT WOODSON – Elevation 2,881′ (878 m)

Hike to the top of Mount Woodson and take your picture with the iconic Potato Chip rock.

Recommended Six-Pack Route: Mount Woodson Trail
Distance: 7.4 miles; Vertical +/- 2,109 feet

Latest San Diego Challenge Hike Logs

Volcan Mountain


This hike is short and sweet. The trees are beautiful! There was lots of wind toward to the peak and it was cold! There were

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Mount Woodson

Mt Woodson

There are plenty of restrooms on this hike from the trail that starts at the park. There is little to no shade. There is elevation

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El Cajon Mountain

Roller coaster to the top

I got to the parking lot and hit the trail at 8am. It started out with a nice incline and a pretty level hike gradually

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Volcan Mountain

Volcan Mtn.

Great hike if you’re looking for some workout too; inclined about 90% of the trail. Very cold and windy, some muddy spots but not too

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