From the Cowles Mountain Trailhead, you will find a small roundabout and parking, with restrooms and picnic tables provided on-site. From here, begin your gradual ascent up the trail. The terrain is dirt, but is fairly compact. However, it's wise to wear non-slip hiking shoes as it is loose terrain. As you can see via satellite map, there is little to no shade on the trail, apart from the thick shrubs lining the pathway. Make sure to take breaks, catch your breath, and drink plenty of fluids. The trail begins to zig-zag up to the summit and parts will become steeper. Just watch your step and let faster hikers pass in front of you on sections of the trail that are narrower. Don't forget to look around you every now and then to take in woofderful views! On clear days, this trail offers magnificent vista views of Cowles Mountain and of downtown San Diego.
This out-and-back trail will be a breeze to complete with your pup, with proper gear. The trail does get congested, so keep that in mind when planning your trip. Pet owners are encouraged to respect the rules and properly dispose of dog poop. Remember to be a courteous hiker so that everypawdy can enjoy their day hiking the Cowles Mountain Trail!