Denk Tank Mountain

Denk Tank Mountain is located in the Rancho La Costa Preserve and is a trek up switchbacks that offers panoramic views of the Batiquitos Lagoon, the Pacific Ocean, and the city of San Diego. I decided to summit this peak one Friday after work since the family was not going to be home and I work in Carlsbad. Well, the best-laid plans…I packed everything except for my hiking shoes. I opted to race home and fight the traffic back to the trailhead.

The trailhead is near the beginning of Corte Romero street, where you’ll see a wooden trail marker with a pouch for informational brochures.

The trail up Denk Tank mountain is a narrow single track that winds through the coastal sage scrub. There is a network of trails that criss-cross the mountainside, so depending on your mood, energy or time can make this hike fit your needs. I knew I was going to be fighting daylight and opted for the quickest route up.

Along the way, I did encounter a few mountain bikers enjoying the trails as well.

As you near the summit you will see a wood awning in the distance. Follow the trail straight toward the awnings to complete your hike to the summit of Denk Tank Mountain. At the top, you’ll find two benches and a picnic table where you can sit and relax in the shade. Additionally, there is a workstation for mountain bikers.

With light fading, I began my trek back down to the car. Soon, I was rewarded with a spectacular sunset.

I made my way down in no time, taking care in the dark with my footsteps, looking forward to tomorrow’s summits…


I am an avid peak bagger, sometimes backpacker, and former sea-kayaker living in San Diego. In 2019, I became the third person to complete the San Diego 100 Peak Challenge. Not stopping with that accomplishment, I set my sights on the harder San Diego Sierra Club 100 Peak list, which I completed in 2021. In addition, I have conquered several Six-Pack of Peaks challenges (SoCal, San Diego, and Arizona-Winter). Beyond attempting the San Diego Sierra Club 100 Peak list a second time, I am looking forward to exploring new summits and new adventures across the southwest. 

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