The first time Sean took me to Cowles Mountain was on Labor Day 2014. We had just run the 6 mile out and back at Lake Murray and then climbed up so we could see the city.
Since then we’ve gone to Cowles Mountain quite a few times, it’s a moderately challenging climb up and then a nice run down. The whole up and down is about 2.75 miles – I’ve done it 3x in a row and it’s definitely a work-out.
Cowles is a popular spot in San Diego for all levels. It can get very warm though so definitely make sure to bring water and if you bring a dog, definitely have water for them. There are signs as you start the hike talking about how hot it can get and being safe.
At the bottom there are restrooms, a water fountain and a soda machine. Parking can be tricky since it is so busy – most of the time the small lot is full which means parking on the street. If you park on the street make sure to cramp your wheels in the proper direction or you will get a ticket. There are signs everywhere and I’ve seen cars with tickets on the windshield.