San Diego Airedale Hike

Cowles Mountain – San Diego Airedale Hike

Last week, after an almost three-month maternity leave, Annie and I started back on our hikes up Cowles Mountain, here in San Diego.

San Diego Airedale Hike
Annie my Airedale Terrier @ Cowles Mountain summit


Cowles Mountain, at 1,591 feet is the highest point within the city of San Diego. Of the three main trails that go up to the top, I prefer the Barker Way trail, which some people refer to as the back side trail.

San Diego Airedale Hike

Cowles Mountain trail
Cowles Mountain Barker Way trail

For dogs it’s the ideal trail, it’s nice and wide because it’s also serves as an access road to the microwave facility at the top of the mountain. Plus, and it’s a big plus for me, it’s a lot less crowded than the traditional front trail.

Airedale Terrier summit
Airedale Terrier summit

Also if you’re walking your dog late in the afternoon, it is definitely the best trail to take. That’s because you’re coming up the east side of the mountain, when the angle of the setting sun puts most of the trail in shade.

Barker Way Trail San Diego
Barker Way Trail Cowles Mountain San Diego

So, when we got back to hiking up the trail, Annie and I set our first goal as to the first third of the trail. After that, our second goal was to get up to the two thirds mark of the trail. We were going to do that for a couple of days and work up to the top of the trail sometime next week.

Cowles Mountain summit
Cowles Mountain summit looking West

But just a few days ago, we decided to move up our timetable, and we managed to do the summit, a week ahead of schedule.

The trail is about a mile and a half each way and takes Annie and I about 55 minutes up and 25 minutes down.

Cowles Mountain summit
Cowles Mountain summit


From the summit if you’ve timed it just right, you can usually catch a great sunset over San Diego and the Pacific Ocean. But, no matter what time you go, there are always great views to be had in every direction. Looking a little Southwest you can see Lake Murray and downtown San Diego and just a little past that, into Mexico. Also on a clear day, you can see the Coronado Islands. The Coronado Islands are 15 miles south of San Diego and about 8 miles off the coast of Baja California.

best dog hikes San Diego
South view towards Lake Murray

But probably the best thing about hiking up Cowles Mountain with your Airedale, is the fact that it provides great exercise for both of you that’s combined with spectacular 360° views.


Prior video of Barker Way Trail

San Diego official website



San Diego Airedale Hike

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