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Trail of the Month: El Capitan Trail


El Capitan trail map

Great for

Difficulty Level

12 miles out
and back


Get there: Take I-8 East to 67 North. Turn right on Mapleview Street and left on Ashwood Street, which turns into Wildcat Canyon Road. Parking lot is at the intersection of Wildcat Canyon Road and Shenma Road. Trek up paved Shenma Road to the trailhead.

Why We Love It: The trail up one of San Diego County’s highest points is rigorous but has unbeatable views. Go soon to take advantage of the cooler weather—you’ll still work up a sweat. In winter months, the parking lot closes at 4:30 p.m., so be sure to arrive early enough to have time for the four- to six-hour hike..

Where to refuel afterward: Get traditional diner fare at Café 67 (12381 Mapleview Street, open until 3 p.m.) or go for beers and brunch with a rowdier atmosphere at Eastbound Bar & Grill (10053 Maine Avenue).

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