Cowles Mountain...Barker Way Service Road

Join us on this moderate hike of about three miles that leads to the top of San Diego’s highest point! The trail climbs the mountain slope via two or three switchbacks, making this side of the mountain a bit more challenging than the main trail.

The views extend in all directions and a number of “informal trails” on the way up lead to quiet overlooks.

Dress in layers and bring hiking shoes and water. We should be back down the mountain before the sun fully sets but brings a head lamp or flashlights just in case!!!

A walking stick is also recommended.

As a result of the numerous break ins at the main trail, I'm planning on hiking the other side of the mountain.

Here are directions:

Cowles Mountain from Barker Way Service Road...back side of the mountain

From Route 52 -

Take 52 to the Mast Blvd. exit in Santee. Driving east, turn left onto Mast Blvd., go under the freeway to the first traffic signal (West Hills Parkway) and turn right. Driving west, turn right onto Mast Blvd. and right onto West Hills Parkway. Take West Hills Parkway to Mission Gorge Road and turn right. Proceed down Mission Gorge Road 1.9 miles (past the Father Junipero Serra Trail entrance to Old Mission Dam and Kumeyaay Lake and Campground) to Golfcrest Drive. Turn left and proceed to the top of the hill. Turn left onto Navajo Road and proceed 0.7 miles to Cowles Mountain Blvd, turn left. Proceed down Cowles Mountain Blvd. 0.5 miles to Boulder Lake Avenue and turn left. Proceed to the end of Boulder Lake Avenue and turn right onto Barker Way. The trail head is approximately 75 yards down Barker Way on the left. Parking is limited at this location.

From Route 125 -

Exit at Navajo Road. Turn west onto Navajo Road and proceed 0.7 miles to Cowles Mountain Blvd, turn right. Proceed down Cowles Mountain Blvd. 0.5 miles to Boulder Lake Avenue and turn left. Proceed to the end of Boulder Lake Avenue and turn right onto Barker Way. The trail head is approximately 75 yards down Barker Way on the left. Parking is limited at this location.

From Interstate 8 -

Take 8 to the College Avenue exit. Turn north onto College Avenue. Proceed down College Avenue 1.0 miles to Navajo Road. Turn right onto Navajo Road and proceed 2.6 miles to Cowles Mountain Blvd, turn left. Proceed down Cowles Mountain Blvd. 0.5 miles to Boulder Lake Avenue and turn left. Proceed to the end of Boulder Lake Avenue and turn right onto Barker Way. The trail head is approximately 75 yards down Barker Way on the left. Parking is limited at this location.

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  • Mirelle
    Assistant Organizer
    Event Host

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