Hot Springs Mountain

Peak Name: Hot Springs Mountain
Distance: 10.1 miles
Date: November 26, 2017
Summit: 6,533 feet

I decided to tackle the tallest peak in San Diego, Hot Springs Mountain. Ted was able to tag along as we drove out past Warner Springs to the Los Coyotes Indian Reservation. We drove toward the road that would lead us to the summit. As we pull up, the chain was down, some other hikers were gearing up to begin their trek up to the peak. We decided to continue up the road, bypassing some of the steeper sections. We found a nice turnout and parked. From here we simply followed the road to the abandoned fire lookout tower.

We had a fantastic view from the base of the tower. You can no longer access the tower, and it only a matter of time until it needs to be fully torn down.

We opted not to work our way to the formal summit block, as I was feeling the effects of my increased hiking cadence. We returned back down the road, enjoying the shade from the trees.

As we drove out, we once again looked for someplace to pay our entrance fee, but no luck. I had to chuckle to myself, the highest point in San Diego was still lower than my starting point for my recent summit of San Jacinto.


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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