At just over 3,000 feet in elevation, Mount Gower is the highest point within the 1574-acre Mt. Gower Preserve - a pristine San Diego wilderness area. Hiking Mount Gower will give you view os the surrounding mountains and landscape, as well as woodlands, meadows, streams, and a variety of photo-worthy wildlife. If you're lucky, you'll spy a golden eagle!
What Makes It Great
The first 3.5 miles of this trail is relatively smooth sailing, with a few steep grades here and there. After that, the trail all but disappears and you will have to channel your more adventurous side for some rugged scrambling to get to the summit. But don't let this discourage you - the higher up you get, the more interesting the rocks are. There are the boulders that look like fangs, and the "Teepee Rock", which is actually two rocks that lean into each other at an angle.
Also be on the lookout for wildflowers and other native plants, as well as a variety of trees. There are some great views along the trail, and one viewpoint is about halfway up, making for a great turnaround point if you don't want to scramble all the way to the top.
Who is Going to Love It
The first 3.5 miles of the trail is accessible to just about anyone in hiking shape. There isn't much shade on the trail, so it can get hot, but the trail is easy to follow. After that, the trail disappears and there is some scrambling involved, so assess your navigational skills and sense of adventure before progressing further.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
Mt. Gower Preserve is located at 17090 Gunn Stage Road in Ramona.