Coast to Crest Trail: Highway 79 to Volcan Mountain Summit
ElevationAscent: 1,205' 367 m
Descent: -20' -6 m
High: 5,328' 1,624 m
Low: 4,132' 1,259 m
GradeAvg Grade: 9% (5°)
Max Grade: 19% (11°)
Current trail conditions
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“Conclusion of the Coast to Crest Trail”— Matthew Kidd
Family Friendly Good views and many opportunities to rest in shade
Parking is available on the shoulder of Farmers Road. Follow a gravel road 0.15 miles and step through the artistic Hubbell Gateway, designed by local artist and architect James Hubbell. Then begin an ascent along a wide doubletrack which was probably a dirt road at one point but is now closed off to regular traffic. Up to the junction with a dirt road heading north at 1.8 miles, the trail is often shaded and appealing in a way not captured well by photos. For variety, I recommend taking the alternative singletrack Five Oaks Trail either on the way up or way back even though its twists and turns make it a slightly longer journey.
The final 0.7 miles to the summit is completely exposed but shade and even a picnic table await at the summit near the fence enclosing the KBNN-FM Julian radio tower. About 0.1 miles into the final ascent you pass a chimney that is the only remains of an outpost constructed when Volcan Mountain was under serious consideration for the Hale Telescope which ended up at Palomar Mountain, 25 miles to the northwest. About halfway up the final ascent there is a tourist telescope to better enjoy the fine views.
Land Manager: County of San Diego - Parks and Recreation