Horsethief Canyon

Alpine, CA
Length: 4.00 mi.
Type: Out & Back

About This Trail

[Total: 1    Average: 5/5]

This is a hidden gem in San Diego! The well maintained trails lead out to a seasonal water hole and small waterfall. It’s a great spot to rest and eat a picnic lunch. This is a reverse hike, so you will head down into the canyon and then hike uphill on your way back.

There are a few turns to make and tons of spur trials, so I highly recommend reading a detailed trail write up on one of the San Diego hiking blogs. Bring a copy if it’s your first time!

You’ll start out in the parking lot and hike out past the information signs to a metal gate. Continue on this trail for just over 0.25 miles, before you’ll see a wooden sign that says Trail and points to a trail heading downhill. You’ll follow this trail all the way down to the bottom of the canyon, where another trail intersects. You’ll make a right here and follow the trail (crossing a dry river bed) all the way to the watering hole. Rest up and begin your hike back out the way you came.

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Trail Features

Seasons Fall, Spring, and Winter
Surface type Dirt
Elevation gain 550 ft.
Stroller friendly No
ADA accessible No
Water fountains No
Bathrooms No
Cell reception None
Pet friendly Yes
Nearby convenience store No
Camping Nearby No
Emergency support
within 5 miles

Trail highlights

Creek / River, Viewpoint, Waterfall, and Wildlife Viewing

The creek/river is seasonal. This hike is best done in the winter/spring after rain and snow in the mountains.

Fee & Parking Details

Fee : $0.00

There is no fee required at this trail head.

Trail Contributor

[Total: 1    Average: 5/5]