Tag Archives: Corte Madera Mountain Trial

Corte Madera Mountain Trail


Activity: Day Hike, Peak Bagging

7 miles, 1500’ elevation gain, 3.5 hour duration, rated HARD

Date: 11-29-21

San Diego’s Half Dome

The trip to the trail head is 5 miles along a bumpy, dusty, country road. You need an Adventurer Pass or other National Forest Pass for Cleveland National Forest. 

The trail head is not marked so having a hiking App, (preloaded, as you will not always have cell coverage), would be helpful. There is only room for maybe five cars. Hike passed the locked gate then work your way up a windy dirt road for less than a half mile, (again an GPS App could beneficial to find the trail), just passed a sharp turn in the road turn left onto the Espinosa Trail. The trek is through heavy overgrown thorny brush that wants to reach out and scratch, so long pants and sleeves are something to consider. Along the way there are some lovely oaks for shade until you break out into bright sunshine with green hills sprinkled with boulders where you can marvel at the sight of Corte Madera, “San Diego’s Half Dome.” 

Work your way up to a junction to Los Pinos Trail. You are dumped out on a 4×4 rough road for a short distance until back on the trail again. 

This hike get prettier and more difficult as you go. The last quarter has some scrambling, and the trail is narrow, steep and rocky through manzanita all the way to the summit.  On top there are spectacular views of the Cuyamaca and Laguna Mountains. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy.

I hiked two peaks both Corte Madera and Los Pinos Mountain. This post however, is covering the first.
PBTA YouTube Channel, CLICK THE PIC!
“Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain.”
-Jack Kerouac

Note: I actually combined this hike with Los Pinos Look Out Tower, which I will post separately as not everyone might want to add on another four miles to this hike.

Thanks for joining me ’Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’ to Corte Madera, known as ”San Diego’s Half Dome. Please stick around for more adventure by doing a couple easy tasks: COMMENT, LIKE, FOLLOW and SHARE. The menu above will enlighten you to the many fabulous locations and activities that PBTA ventures to throughout the West. Each is a separate Website and thus needs to be FOLLOWED independently. This should wet your appetite and give you ideas about your next adventure. In business they sometimes say to take the pack off and put your feet up every once in awhile. In other words take your nose off of that grindstone and relax a bit. While I agree that you need a break from the hustle and bustle of our busy work-a-day world- I contend that you put the back on and hit the trail and get out into Nature, take on Adventure. Nature and Adventure is what will put Humpty Dumpty back together again, not sitting on the couch. If you like what I am wearing in the picture then I invite you to checkout SHOP APPAREL for your adventure wear.

Happy Trails-

Roger Jenkins

Pursuing Balance Through Adventure