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Pyles Peak via Cowles Mt. NE Approach

 

Trail Stats

 

Distance - 7.8 Miles

Elevation Gain/Loss - 2500 ft.

Max Elevation Reached - 1580 ft.

Difficulty Level - Moderate

Trailhead - Link

 

Description

   

This hike adds a couple of interesting twists to one of San Diego's most famous and most crowded hikes. The famous Cowles Mt. hike approaches the summit from the south and involves rubbing shoulders with several dozens of other health concious San Diegans along the way. Instead of starting off at the usual trailhead, this hike starts near the Big Rock Park and approaches the Cowles Mt. summit from the northeast. After summiting Cowles Mt., the hike continues on to another mountain, Pyles Peak, further northwest. 

 

The narrow trail ascends the northeast face of the mountain rather gradually through some thick chaprral and other desert shrubs. Some distance in to the hike the trail meets the service road heading up to the Cowles Mt. summit. Turn right and follow this dirt road all the way to the top. There are some segments that offer surprisingly steep grades and a serious cardio workout. After a well deserved break at the summit continue on the service road towards the antenna masts. The turn to the Pykes peak trail comes up on the left immediately. Take this narrow and sometimes rather rocky trail down to a saddle and then ascend again to Pyles Peak from where North and South Fortuna are clearly visible. 

 

Remember to plan for the climb back up to Cowles Mt. as you retrace your steps back to the trailhead.

 

Tracks

 

Tracks

Download Google Earth KML - Link   

 

Elevation Profile

 

Roundtrip Elevation Profile

 

Trail Log

 

February 8th, 2009

    

Started from Trailhead - 8:30 am

Reached Pyles Peak - 10:45 am

Started back - 11:15 am

Reached Trailhead - 12:55 pm 

Technical Analysis - Link

  

Notes - It was cloudy throughout. The ground was moist since it had rained the day before. It started drizzling slightly just as we completed the hike and entered our car. I had received my new Garmin eTrex Vista HCx just the previous night and was eagerly trying its features out for the first time on this hike. The various GPS plots and links are the result.

  

    

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