Sunday, September 2, 2012

Take a hike!

The Great Outdoors


Anyone who knows me knows that I love to hike! Hiking is a great form of exercise and an awesome way to explore your city. We are lucky enough to live in San Diego, with year-around great weather and lots of great hiking trails. I have found some trails that I really love, and I continue to explore new places. Hopefully, I can give you some good tips about some of the trails that I have been to, and I will continue to update you when I try new ones.

First, we will start with Cowles Mountain. Cowles has outstanding views at 1,591’ above sea level and is arguably the most popular (and populated) trail in San Diego County. Round trip, Cowles is a 3.08 mile hike. I can usually complete the entire hike in an hour and a half. The trail is usually very populated, which is great if you are hiking alone! Sometimes, it can be a little too crowded for my liking, as I find myself spending a lot of time trying to get around people. Btw, hiking etiquette is to walk single file on a crowded trail. People want to pass you and it's impossible if you are double wide. Anyway, back to the mountain, it's a great, beautiful hike. I definitely recommend it for the great views and the fact that it can be done rather quickly. One other item to note, I frequently see broken glass along the street. Use common sense and don't leave valuables in plain site in your car. I believe this is a problem at Cowles. So, just use caution. I have never had a problem. I just feel that that is something to disclose. Also, it gets warm there during summer. I recommend sunrise and sunset hikes during summer. Otherwise, it gets too warm. For more information on Cowles, including directions, please visit their website is located at http://www.mtrp.org/pop_map_details.asp?area_idno=0&habitat_idno=0&trail_idno=3
 
 
All first time must touch the stone at the top of Cowles :)
 
 
One of the many views from the top of Cowles.
 
 
You never know what you'll see.

Torrey Pines State Reserve is also a great place to hike. There are a lot of trail options, so you can easily customize your hike for your needs. Usually, we park at the bottom and hike up the asphalt. Once you get to the top, there are several trail options. I recommend the Broken Hill trail. It is longer and a bit less crowded. It connects to the beach trail and will take you up a different direction. The views are definitely gorgeous. I love this hike for that reason. Roughly, this hike is around 2 miles, but adding in the hike up to the top to begin it, and parking far away, I would say it ends up about 5 miles or longer. It usually takes me about 3 hours, usually because I stop and take pictures along the way (it's too gorgeous not to!). Just a quick tip, it costs $10 ($15 during summer) to park at the bottom of the bottom. I recommend finding street parking on Caramel Valley Road and walking under the bridge to get there. More information, including directions, is located at http://www.torreypine.org/activities/hiking-trails.html

 
The bottom of the Torrey Pines trail.
 
 
The way back up on the beach trail. Don't forget to stop by Flat Rock on the way up!

The last trail that I would like to discuss is Iron Mountain. I tried it for my first a month ago and I loved it. The entrance alone is stunning. The cast iron sign is very cool, and the beginning of the hike is lined with trees and it's just very cool looking. It is a 6.63 mile hike round trip and can take 4-5 hours, but I definitely recommend it. The views from the top are magnificent and it's a really great work out. The trail is located in Poway and it can get a bit hot during the summer. I don't recommend doing this hike in the middle of summer, but I think it is great the rest of the year. I couldn't find a specific website for Iron Mountain, but I did find this trail site with a lot of useful information. http://www.trails.com/tcatalog_trail.aspx?trailid=HGS518-056

 
The entrance to Iron Mountain
 
 
Don't forget to bring lots of water and maybe even a light snack when you hike any trail.
 
Happy Trails! xox
 
Amy

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