Parks and Rec

Take the Warrior Hike Challenge on Veterans Day

You can mark this Veterans Day by marching yourself up one of the region’s most demanding trails in San Diego County Parks and Recreation’s annual Veterans Day Warrior Hike Challenge at El Capitan County Preserve.

There are three levels to this hike on Saturday, Nov. 11. All hikers should bring sturdy hiking boots, plenty of water and sun protection. Hiking poles are recommended. There will be a limited number of poles available to borrow.

Park rangers, staff and volunteers will be on site at the trailhead and at the 1 and 3-mile turnaround points, but the hikes will not be guided.

Boot Camp

The Boot Camp level will give families and beginners a chance to enjoy a 1-mile walk up to the picturesque ridgeline where they can take in breathtaking views of eastern San Diego County. This hike is considered easy to moderate and should take about 1 to 2 hours.


WarriorHike3More skilled hikers can soldier on to the next peak. The Recon level is roughly six miles round-trip and can take 2 to 3 hours. This hike is best suited to teens and adults in good shape.


And if you still have some fuel in the tank, the Warrior level hike will let the most skilled hikers continue to the top of El Capitan, also known as El Cajon Mountain. This roughly 10- to 12-mile hike is demanding. It includes multiple inclines and declines covering several hundred feet of changing elevation. This is a difficult hike that can take up to seven hours to complete.

WarriorHike1The Boot Camp and Recon hikes start anytime between 8 and 11 a.m. The Warrior hike starts promptly at 8 a.m.

Healthy refreshments will be available at the 1- and 3-mile turnaround points.

El Capitan County Preserve is located at 13775 Blue Sky Ranch Road in Lakeside. Parking will be limited at the trailhead. Additional parking is available across Wildcat Canyon Road at Oakoasis Preserve, located at 12620 Wildcat Canyon Road. Hikers can walk through an underground tunnel to reach the El Capitan parking lot.

For more information, call (619) 561-0580 or (858) 966-1331.

Michelle Mowad is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact