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Cowles Mountain to Pyles Peak

This is the Cowles Mountain Region of the Mission Trails Regional Park. This is an intermediate to advanced ride.
Rating: 4 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Strenuous
Length: 8 miles
Duration: 1-3 hours
Family Friendly

Overview :  Mission Trails Regional Park is a short distance from downtown San Diego and provides easy access for those who live near San Diego.... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Big Rock Park trailhead

This is the trailhead off of Mesa Road. Don't get it confused with the trailhead at the end of Big Rock Road. This is the start of the ride. The trailhead is right next to a schoolyard, so make sure you don't change into your bike clothes at the trailhead. We don't want anyone getting the wrong idea.

2. Trail intersection

This is the intersection with the trail that starts from the end of the Big Rock Road.

3. 1.2 miles

This is the intersection with the Mesa trail. This trail starts at the trailhead off of Mesa Road, further south from where this ride started.

4. 1.7 miles

The trail intersects with a jeep road. This is the intersection of the Big Rock, Cowles Mountain and Barker Way trails. Turn right onto the jeep road, following the sign for Cowles Mtn Summit/Pyles Peak.

5. 2.2 miles

Intersection with the Barker Way trail. The sign is misleading. I believe this is a hiking only trail. Continue on the jeep road, do not take the Barker Way trail.

6. 2.5 miles

You will pass the sign for the hiking only trail to Cowles Mountain Summit.

7. Pyles Peak trail

This is the intersection with the Pyles Peak trail, the start of some fun technical singletrack. You can also see the weather station from this intersection.

8. 3.5 miles

You will pass the sign for the Viewpoint. Continue onward to the end of the Pyles Peak trail.

9. End of Pyles Peak trail

This is the end of the Pyles Peak trail. Congratulations on making it. Enjoy the view,rest and eat something. Now prepare for some uphill work as you turn around and head back the way that you just came.

10. View of Pyles Peak trail

From this vantage point, you can see what lies ahead of you after your initial descent, a pretty good climb.

11. Big Rock Road trailhead

12. Mesa trail trailhead

13. Barker Way/Cowles Mountain trailhead