Monserate Mountain Trail Loop Hike
|In This Guide|
|Total Distance||4.5 miles (7.2 km)|
|Other Options||3.2 to Summit and Back|
|Hike Time||2-3 Hours (Total)|
|Total Ascent (?)||1,490 feet (454m)|
|Highest Elevation||1,569 feet (478m)|
|Fees & Permits||Free|
|Alerts & Closures (?)||Monserate Mountain Preserve|
A local favorite, the Monserate Mountain Trail loop hike features a tough little climb with some unique trail markers. First off, you’ll climb about 1,200 feet straight up the mountain, which is challenging but doable. And along the way, you’ll have trail markers for every ten stories of the original World Trade Center, put there for the Fallbrook Firefighters 9/11 Memorial Hill Climb. The top offers panoramic views and a fun summit area that often includes a flag. You can head straight back down or hike a loop that rewards you with more great views into the Agua Tibia Mountains.
Where is Montserate Mountain?
Montserate Mountain is located just off of I-15 in Fallbrook, CA, in the northern part of San Diego County. Use this trailhead address:
243 Horse Ranch Creek Rd, Fallbrook, CA 92028
There are no bathrooms or water fills at the trailhead.
Gear for the Hike
While plenty of people do this hike in casual or fitness clothes, you’ll fare better if you have light hiking gear.
- The hike is totally exposed. In the summer it can get brutal, so avoid doing this when it’s hot out. Bring at least 1L of water and plenty of sun protection.
- The trail is rocky. Having good footwear will keep your feet happy.
- Trekking poles will help on the steeper and rocky sections.
The Most Comfortable Hiking Shoe Ever
For most people, the Altra Lone Peak 4.5 (Women: REI | Amazon + Men: REI | Amazon) is a solid choice that will leave your feet feeling great at the end of any hike. The feel is cushy and light, and if it had a car equivalent, this would be a Cadillac or Mercedes Sedan. The grip is great and they work great on the trail. It’s a favorite of PCT and AT hikers for a good reason!
Stay Safe Out of Cell Phone Range
If you’re not familiar with the Garmin InReach technology, it allows you to send and receive text messages where you don’t have cell phone signals. You can also get weather reports and trigger an SOS to emergency responders. Even if you don’t have an emergency, sending a quick message telling a loved one that you’re okay or are running late is well worth the cost. The Garmin InReach Mini (REI | Amazon | My Review) fits in your palm and weighs next to nothing.
Gaia GPS Mapping App
Smartphones are not backcountry instruments, but almost everyone has one today. And they all have GPS onboard. So I recommend getting a good GPS hiking app like Gaia GPS that supports offline maps. Just make sure to put your phone in airplane mode so the battery doesn’t drain. GaiaGPS not only has smartphone and tablet apps, but also an online planning tool. You can drag the GPX hike tracks from my (or any) guides into the online map and they will sync to your phone. You can also check for wildfires, weather, snow, and choose from dozens of map types with a premium membership (HikingGuy readers get up to 40% off here). Note that I also carry a paper map with me in case the phone dies or gets smashed.
Here’s my complete gear list that I personally use, have tested, and recommend, updated February 2021.
No company pays me to promote or push a product, all the gear you see here is gear I use and recommend. If you click an a link and buy gear, I get a small commission that helps offset website expenses. There is no cost to you.
Montserate Mountain Trail Maps
Download the Hike GPX FileView a Printable PDF Hike Map
How are you going to navigate this hike?
To start, you should always have a paper map and compass. And it helps to print this guide out or save it on your phone. I highly recommend a GPS as well. I use the Garmin Fenix 6 Smart GPS watch ( REI | Amazon | My Review) with maps (or the more affordable Garmin Instinct). The GPS smartwatch is nice because it’s rugged, works if your phone dies, and also has a billion other features like sleep tracking, workout recording, etc.
Monserate Mountain Hike Directions
It’s easy to say thank you for this guide!
Support these free hiking guides by buying anything at Amazon or REI using the links below. I get a small commission and there is no extra cost to you. I depend on your clicks to run the website without annoying ads or sponsorships.
Buy Anything on Amazon Buy Anything on REI.com Leave Me a Tip with PayPal
Watch This Video In 360/VR Why 360/VR Is Great
Turn by Turn Directions
If you want to just go back down the way you came, make the right here and follow the same path back down.
This guide last updated on February 23, 2021. Did something change on this hike? If so, please contact me and let me know. I'll update the guide.
Please help me make these guides better by answering a few short questions. Thank you!