El Capitan County Preserve

13775 Blue Sky Ranch Road, Lakeside, CA 92040
(619) 561-0580

Hours: 8 a.m. – sunset, daily

Pedestrian access is available from sunrise to sunset, daily. No public vehicle access or restroom availability on December 25. El Capitan is CLOSED in August due to extreme summer heat.

View the video!

Take a walk on the wild side. El Capitan Preserve boasts a view of three reservoirs from one location in the park. Eight miles of multi-use trails provide a rugged route along a granite-ribbed ridgeline with stunning views of both ocean and mountains. The preserve’s 2,619 acres of open space provide room to roam through woodland, coastal sage scrub and mixed chaparral.

This hike is considered strenuous and can easily take up to 6 hours to complete. There is very little shade along the way. Make sure you wear the proper attire and bring plenty of water.


  • 8.2 miles of non-motorized multi-use trails
  • Viewpoints
  • Staging area
  • Restroom

Visit the News & Events page for park events, updates and closures.