Corte Madera Peak Trail
***December 2020 Update***
In the late summer of 2020 the Valley Fire burned over 17,000 acres in southeast San Diego County. Included in this burn area was the area surrounding Corte Madera peak. Due to this, the Cleveland National Forest has closed many trail access areas including this one until at least October 2021.
Yosemite National Park isn’t something that necessarily comes to one’s mind when hiking in San Diego. Yet this trail has earned the nickname of “San Diego’s Yosemite.” On the southern end of Pine Valley and near the town of Descanso, this trail will take hikers through the rolling foothills of the southern San Diego County. As for the name, Corte Madera translates to “cut wood” in Spanish.
As for the nickname of San Diego’s Yosemite, this trail resembles nothing of the sort. Most people who have visited Yosemite Valley would likely agree. The name is given for a very large exposed group of granite rocks where the trail ends. Nonetheless, this area is a great spot to enjoy the views below. On a clear day the glistening Pacific Ocean and Coronado Islands will be a backdrop of downtown San Diego. To the south will be the rolling foothills of Baja California. To the northeast will be the Laguna Mountains and Cuyamaca Peak.
On A Personal Note:
My wife introduced me to this trail when we were dating and it has remained one of my top hikes in San Diego since then. As the trail gains in elevation it soon becomes lined with an abundance of manzanita trees. These trees are known for it’s colorful red bark and twisting branches. During the winter these trees put on a wonderful display of pink flowers. Occasionally, the snow levels can get low enough to dust the peak, which I would imagine the large granite rocks would look quite beautiful.
Have you done this hike recently? Please share your pictures in the comments or leave an update about the trail.
- Corte Madera Trail Overall Difficulty: 40 % 40 %
Corte Madera Peak Quick Facts:
Corte Madera Peak Trail Pictures:
Who Corte Madera Trail Is For:
Advanced Hikers: For people who are in decent shape and/or regular hikers, this hike will be a fun way to spend a few hours of the day.
Expert Hikers: This hike will be fun with rewarding views.
It’s always a good idea to be aware of what type of hiking level you’re at.