Viejas Mountain Trail: Alpine, CA (difficult)

Trail Stats

3 miles
Elevation Gain
1,476 feet
Total Time
2 hours 15 minutes
Moving Time
1 hours 54 minutes

Viejas Mountain Trail is a 3 mile hike with 1,476 feet of elevation gain located in Alpine, California at the Cleveland National Forest. This is on the shorter side for a hike with almost 1,500 feet of elevation gain. Don’t let that fool you, it sure packs a punch on the way up.

Parking & Getting There

Driving to the hike is pretty straight forward if you are using GPS. If not, you might miss the trail head as the trail head is clearly visible… once you see it. If you don’t know where to look then chances are you will miss it. There is a turnout in the dirt road where 5-10 cars could park depending on how well everyone parked. This is another key identifier to where the trail head it. If you see a bunch of cars slow down and look towards the mountain to see if you can find the trailhead.

Directions to Parking: Google Maps

Viejas Mountain Trail - Parking
The trail is represented in Green and the parking in Red.

The Trail

When starting the hike it will start with about 100 yards of slight incline. Don’t let this fool you, after this short and quick portion, it will be up up up the rest of the way. The trail is extremely rocky, with lots of loose dirt. Because of this, I highly recommend that you wear the proper shoes (hiking shoes / boots). There are many section of the trail that are narrow with bushes on both side. I would not say overgrown at the time I hiked, just narrow with brush / plants on either side.

There is not any shade on this hike so make sure to plan accordingly bringing plenty of water and starting early if it is going to be a hot day. For most, this hike will be a good workout and you will probably drink a little more water than you normally would on other hikes.

Once you get towards the top of the mountain it becomes easy to get lost. Either I missed the main path or it was not clearly worn in. So I scrambled over rocks until making it back to a clearly defined trail and the top of the mountain. You know you are at the top when you see the rock house. Another good indicator is the American Flag flying atop the mountain. Please comment below if the flag is still flying when you hiked the trail!

Because I could not clearly see the trail atop the mountain, I had a slightly difficult time syncing back up with the trail on the way down. Luckily I always download my maps and record hikes using the AllTrails app and was able to use this to get back on trail and heading down the mountain.


Overall Viejas Mountain Trail was an awesome hike that was not only a great workout, but rewarded with amazing views at the top. Next time I think I will try climbing the top using the Southern Approach. I will update the blog with a link once I have more details on that approach.

Photo Gallery

Wrap Up

Is there a specific hike that you would like to see next? Leave a comment down below or reach out via the Contact Form and hopefully I will be able to get a recap and virtual hike posted soon! Thanks for stopping by, enjoy your adventure.

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