The hike to the summit of Corte Madera is a 6.8 mile round trip, offering stunning views of the 350-foot rock face of Corte Madera and of the surrounding mountains.
Trail Type: Out-and-Back
Trail Length: 6.8 miles
Elevation Gain: 2370 feet
Trail Condition: Marginally Maintained
Dogs Allowed? Yes
Trail Activities: Hiking
Despite being only an hour and a half drive from downtown San Diego (plus a little hiking), Corte Madera Mountain feels far more remote. Hidden away in a Cleveland National Forest, the mountain is popular with hikers, climbers and off-road enthusiasts seeking solitude and adventure.
The hike starts on Espinosa Trail and continues 1.1 miles to a junction with Los Pinos Road and Corte Madera Road (GPS: 32.747521, -116.575392). Head north along Los Pinos Road for 0.4 miles to the trailhead for Corte Madera Trail (GPS: 32.750590, -116.574107), which continue for 1.7 miles to the Corte Madera summit.
Hike Difficulty: Moderate
Hike Duration: 4 hours
Cold, Forest Fire, Heat, Mountain Lions, Snakes
From San Diego, head west on I-8. A few miles east of Sunrise Highway, take the exit for Buckman Springs. Head south off the exit, to the right on Buckman Springs Road.
Go 3.3 miles and make a right at the entrance to Corral Canyon onto Moreno Stokes Valley Road, which winds around the north side of Lake Moreno. Follow this this road for 4.8 miles and continue straight onto Kernan Road. Continue on this dirt/paved road for another .4 miles. The hike begins at the Espinosa Trail trailhead, located just as Kernan Road makes a hairpin turn to the left (GPS coordinates:32.740323, -116.562046). There is a small parking areas on the left.
Trailhead Coordinates: 32.747521,-116.575392