9.5 miles | +780'
Across the road from a sprawling strip mall in Rancho San Diego lies a hidden gem of San Diego Hiking. The San Diego National Wildlife Refuge encompasses the majority of San Miguel Mountain (aka Mount Miguel, Mount San Miguel, etc) and surrounding areas. The Sweetwater River runs along the northwestern edge of the Refuge which provides riparian as well as coastal scrub habitat for a number of threatened and endangered species. This is a hike that provides a surprising amount of quiet solitude considering how close it is to civilization.