This hike started in the Green Valley Campground, at the Arroyo Seco Picnic Area. I’m calling it the Green Valley Loop, which was what I found on Alltrails.com, but it is a combination of a few trails together to make the loop, and we did it a bit different than the original poster on alltrails. This is the best hike so far!! OMG guys this hike was AWESOME. The views were stunning and abundant, and talk about solitude. We did not encounter any other hikers at all. The whole 3 hours was just P and me, and the wind.
To make the loop we started at the Green Valley Campground, at the Arroyo Fire Road. This goes to the Horse Camp, and right after the camp, pick up the Arroyo Seco Trail. Do not take the Fox Trail, you will miss most of the views. Then pick up the West Mesa, to the Monument Trail, which will return you to the parking lot you started in.
I loved this hike, it was challenging, but so beautiful. The hike up was much, much more engaging than the hike down. This felt the most like a hike than any of our other adventures. The trail was very varied, going from fire road, to narrow, to grass covered, to rocky. The down part of this hike was very challenging. It required all your focus as it was extremely rocky. Honestly, I felt fine the whole hike until about halfway down, and my legs felt like jello and my ankles were complaining. It was just so hard to walk on the trail being SO rocky (see last picture below), that was pretty much the whole trail down.
While the Hollenbeck Canyon felt desolate, this felt serene. It was very peaceful and the view could not be beat. I loved it. The top was quite windy, we went when it was in the 80s. On a cooler day I’m sure you would need long-sleeves or jacket. There was quite a bit of grassy, grown in bits of the trail, so you may want to consider pants. We both had on shorts, and I did not come away with scratches, though I was a bit worried about ticks. We didn’t find any so I guess we got lucky 🙂
Other than the downhill challenge this hike was the BEST!!! P and I want to go back and do the longer Burnt Pine section of the trail.
- Bug repellent is needed, the lower part of the trail was quite fly/gnat ridden.
- Hiking shoes, honestly I don’t think we would have made it down in tennis shoes. You needed the stiffer soles.
- Sunscreen & hat
- Plenty of water
- $8 cash for parking
- It’s about a 45 minute drive to get to Cuyamaca Park from San Diego.
- Make sure you have gas before HWY 79.
- This hike was 6 miles.