5 Peak Challenge – Mission Trails Regional Park

We’re rounding the corner into week 5 of the COVID quarantine. So, in a perfect combination of extra time and nostalgia for the outdoors, I’m back here and ready to write some blog posts.

I completed the 5 peak challenge in San Diego’s Mission Trail’s Regional Park back on February 16th (those fantastic before COVID times). I hadn’t hiked in a LONG time, and this was perfect for jumping back in.

The 15-ish mile route we took made it a great workout, but it didn’t crush us. We left the apartment at 6 am and were back home with plenty of time to prep cook and eat a big dinner before 5 pm.

Although I completed the hike in 1 day (and I highly recommend it) many people completed each hike individually over the course of weeks. Splitting up the peaks would make for another enjoyable challenge and an even higher total length at 23.02 miles.

Individual Hikes
Our adjusted (1 day) route

If you take a look at the maps above you’ll notice 2 things. First, I traced out the route we took, and we were able to knock out multiple peaks at a time which made for less milage. Second, not all of the peaks connect. We actually took a car between the 3 parking spots I marked out.

I’ve never driven from spot to spot like this during hikes, but it made it for an interesting experience. Driving time between locations was limited, but they provided for nice snack breaks.

Splitting the hike up like this also allows for some creativity. My friend Adam and I took on the 1st and 2nd routes together, but we were able to meet up with our girlfriends for the 3rd route up Kwaay peak. They got to sleep in a little extra and we all got a hike that fit what we were looking for.

#1 North and South Fortuna

Parking: North and South Fortuna

#2 Cowles and Pyles

Parking: Cowles and Pyles

#3 Kwaay

Parking: Kwaay

If you’re one for souvenirs, make sure to take your picture at each of the 5 summits. You can use those photos to receive a certificate of accomplishment and a logo pin.

We forgot to collect our souvenirs, but we did take some grade A photos.

As I write this, the visitor center is closed due to COVID, but click here for up to date information and more detailed instructions.

For more general information on Mission Trails Regional Park click here.

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