North Fortuna is the northernmost peak in Mission Trails Regional Park. This park is located in San Diego, California and is great for its views of San Diego County and wildflowers during the spring.
Hiking North Fortuna Peak
In the heart of the City of San Diego rest about 7,220 acres of open space land. This area is known as Mission Trails regional park and is available to the public for recreational use. Within the park are five distinct peaks: North Fortuna, South Fortuna
, Kwaay Paay
,, Pyle’s Peak, and the tallest, Cowles Mountain
The peak of North Fortuna sits at 1,291 feet of elevation and is the parks northernmost and third tallest peak. The peak is boxed in by Highway 52 and MCAS Miramar to the North Directly to the south lies South Fortuna peak.
Mission Trails Regional Park was founded in 1974 and is one of the few areas of open land in the city proper of San Diego. It is this park which essentially divides central San Diego to the eastern cities of the county. Prior to European settlers, the area was inhabited by the peoples of the San Dieguito’s, the La Jolla’s, and the Kumeeyaay’s. Of a special note, Father Junipero Serra, a important figure in San Diego’s early history assisted with the exploration of this area. His expeditions eventually led to the building of a dam along the San Diego River that runs through the center of the park.
The exact origin of the Fortuna peaks is unknown. In Spanish it means fortune. Perhaps the Spanish felt as if the views of the area from the top of the peaks would eventually lead to fortune for those who populated the area. Looking to the west is the City of San Diego, the Pacific Ocean, the hills of Mexico, and the Coronado Islands. To the north will be the Santa Ana Mountans, Mount Woodson
, and Iron Mountain
. Looking farther out east will be Palomar Mountain
, San Jacinto Mountain
, and San Diego’s second tallest, Cuyamaca Peak
North Fortuna Trail Entrances
Altogether there are about sixty miles of hiking available in Mission Trails Regional Park. Because of the park is so large, there are many trail entrances for this hike. This article focuses on the trail entrance from the park’s western end at Clairemont Mesa Blvd. Other notable entrances are from the Old Mission Dam via Oak Canyon and from near the visitor center off of Jackson Drive. This is one of the easier trail entrances and is about five miles in length. A complete map of all the trails can be found here
On A Personal Note
To be honest, the North Fortuna Peak is my favorite of all the peaks in Mission Trails. The height is a about two hundred feet higher than it’s neighbor, South Fortuna and the length provides for a fun workout. This peak offers some of my favorite views of the heart of San Diego with the luxury of being so close to the city. There will be a rare treat of larger wildlife here. I’ve personally seen bobcats and deer. There have also been reports of occasional bobcats in the area.
Have you recently done this hike
? Please post your photos in or leave an update to the trail conditions in the comments section.