San Diego Trail Tramps - Scheduled Hikes for 2011

Fortuna Mountains in Mission Trails Park

Date:   Sunday, May 15, 2011  09:00 AM -  05:00 PM

Hike Group:    San Diego Trail Tramps

Info. URL:   Current NOAA weather forecast for the Fortuna Mountains in Mission Trails Park

Location:   Located in the Mission Trails Regional Park, about 12 miles northeast of Hillcrest/San Diego.

Hiking time, distance, elevation gain, etc.:
This loop hike is set up to be done counter-clockwise. The approximate length of the loop hike is 6.12 miles R/T, with an elevation gain/loss of 1,733'. It will take about 4 hours to complete the R/T hike, plus time for breaks. Best time of year to hike it is November through May. Skill Level: Moderately strenuous -- There are marked trails, obvious routes and moderate terrain. As always, sturdy shoes, water, lunch, sun protection, walking poles, and a rattlesnake advisory are in order.

Begin by following one of the many trails (past the obvious twin water towers) toward and into the Suycott Wash area. Then connect to the upward South Fortuna Trail (rattlesnakes often appear near the rocky ridges) to 1,094' South Fortuna Peak. After that, proceed northward along the high ridge toward 1,251' North Fortuna Mountain, break for lunch, shedding of shirts, and play. Then continue northward down the north side of North Fortuna Mountain toward Route 52, and connect to the Rim Trail. Return along Rim Trail to the Clariemont Mesa Blvd. parking lot where the hike began.

Location & description:

Located in the Mission Trails Regional Park, about 12 miles northeast of Hillcrest/San Diego.

Though Fortuna Mountain has a seemingly miniscule place in American history, the trail up is hallowed nonetheless. Fortuna stood for many years in an area used by the US Marines known as Camp Elliott. Many of these Marines were the same units which climbed/fought up Iwo Jima. They trained on this mountain and it will forever echo their footsteps marching up.

If you come up here, you come to hike and see what you are made of. Not for whiners. Do it for the love of your surroundings and the enjoyment of pushing your limits. Follow the signs and feel the burn that you came out here for. As you start up the fire road (you'll know the one) it seems like the climb might be too easy. But every corner you go around, you will see a steeper road ahead of you.

Some of you will make it with no problem if you're in hiking shape. The up hurts, but sometimes the hard ups make you enjoy the times you descend the trail that much more. Once you reach the summits, take a break at the top. Look around and find the lungs you just hacked up. You're alive, living in America, in San Diego! You're hiking and not at work.

Dogs: are allowed on trails, on leash.

Directions to the trailhead:

From Hillcrest/San Diego, take I-8 East to I-15 North, and exit at CLAIREMONT MESA BOULEVARD. Drive EAST for about 3 miles along CLAIREMONT MESA BOULEVARD TO THE VERY EASTERN TERMINATION of CLAIREMONT MESA BOULEVARD. There, at the end of the street, is a parking lot and access to Mission Trails Regional Park. We'll meet there at 0930 Hours
Below is an image of the Fortuna Mountains (South-North ridgelines) Loop Elevation Profile:


Google Earth:
Google Earth streams the world over wired and wireless networks enabling users to virtually go anywhere on the planet and see places in photographic detail. This is not like any map you have ever seen. This is a 3D model of the real world, based on real satellite images combined with maps, guides to restaurants, hotels, entertainment, businesses and more. You can zoom from space to street level instantly and then pan or jump from place to place, city to city, even country to country.

Below is the Google Earth .kmz file for the loop hike itself. To preview this actual hike in Google Earth, right click on the link and save the file to your desktop. Then double click that desktop file and it should launch Google Earth, if you already have Google Earth installed on your computer. (If you do not have the free Google Earth application already installed, first go to

After Google Earth launches, scroll down to the bottom of the "Places" column on the left and locate the hike file "South and North Fortuna Mtns.kmz" in the "Temporary Places" folder. Click the side arrow to expose the "South and North Fortuna Mtns. Loop Hike" file. Then select that file, and click on the triangular "Play Tour" button just below and to the right of it. Enjoy!

South and North Fortuna Mtns.kmz

If you'd like to check out the elevation profile of the hike, just right-click the "South and North Fortuna Mtns. Loop Hike" file and select "Show Elevation Profile". Move your cursor over the profile and watch the arrow move along the loop hike to determine the altitude at any point.