Fortuna Mountain Saddle, North and South Peaks: Mission Trails Regional Park, Santee, CA

Mission Trails Regional Park offers many distinct, scenic and challenging hikes each with their own personality and the Fortuna Mountain Saddle does not disappoint in this area.

The Fortuna Mountain Saddle includes both North and South Fortuna Peaks.  While you can do each at separate times, why not take in the beauty and the challenge of both trails on the same hike.  The loop to do both starts from the visitor center entrance and covers nearly 8 miles.  You can park your car on the service road area and walk a short distance to the trailhead start, you will see the Mission Trails Regional Park sign on our right.

Sign landmarks the start!


Off we go!

The trail to the saddle starts out on the South Fortuna trail and is well marked and consists of well-packed earth covered in a sandy beginning.  The relatively flat trail loops around through dessert brush with a great view of your destination, the South Fortuna Summit off in the distance.  The trail widens with a sloping hillside on your left and a wooden fence on your right.

Great view along the road

Soon you will get to the Jackson Crossing area of the San Diego River.  Here trees and cover give this area of the trail a forest feel.  You will walk along a concrete wall to cross the river and head up the trail to the road.

Sam at Jackson Crossing



This is where the trail gets fun as the road ascends at a rather steep incline which will get your heart pumping, lungs puffing and legs burning!   The road switches back a few times and before you know it you will be at the top of the hill near the Twin Towers where the trail returns to a rocky sandy consistency and winds on gentle slopes and soft inclines through brush, small trees and rock.  On this day we hiked it was in the low 90’s, so as always make sure you have plenty of water.  The heat is much less a factor when you are well hydrated which keeps your energy level up.

This road is a heart pounding burner!


The trail opens up as you hike along a well-compacted stone and earth trail surrounded by dried brown low lying brush.    Off in the distance you see the steep slope to the South Summit and the much talked about “Stairs” that lead you up this wickedly steep side of the mountain.  As you hike towards the steps the landscape and geography take on a real dessert feel as the dirt gets redder and the trail itself is much more stone and rock.

The Stairs

As you head up towards the “stairs” large boulders dot the scenery.  The stairs themselves are made up of wooden steps that lead you up towards the summit of South Fortuna Mountain.

Once at the top don’t be deceived you are still have a bit farther to go to get to the summit but the hard part is over and the challenge well worth it as the panoramic view of Mission Trails and the vista of San Diego is gorgeous.  At this point I was pretty gassed, but after sucking down half a bottle of Gatorade and getting back my breath I was ready to push onward towards the summit.  After a short hike we were soon at the South Fortuna Peak where a sign and cluster of rock landmarks your accomplishment.  From here you get a good view of the winding ascending trail over the

saddle to the summit of North Fortuna.  So far the distance traveled is about 3 miles with just about a mile separating both summits.

Sam on South Fortuna Summit

After a short break, some fried chicken and more water we were off to the next peak!


The trail over to the North Fortuna summit is layed out in front of you and very plain to see from your starting point at the South Fortuna summit.  The trail is mostly rock and ground up earth and wide.  The trail dips, twists and turns until the final ascent the last ¼ of a mile up the slope.


Once you reach the summit you will see the sign marking that point and the wonderful view it offers of all the peaks in the Mission Trails system; Cowles, Pyle’s, Kwaay Paay and besides the North Fortuna you also can see the South Fortuna summit from here.

North Fortuna Summit

Walk a bit more up the trail and you will come to a very large boulder and two marine ammo boxes which contain journals where you can sign in and write about your experience on the saddle!

Write about our adventure at the North Fortuna Summit!


Hiking back can be as adventurous as you make it.  You can retrace your way back over to the South summit and head back down the stairs or you can do what we did and followed the SDGE power lines trail back down.  Distance wise all ways that lead back are about the same mileage or about the 4 miles it took you to ascend the saddle.  However, the SDGE trail was steep and very rocky so be careful.  Soon you will meet up with a trail that leads you back to the visitor center via the road you took to ascend up to the Twin Towers.  Signs will guide you!

The views back are just as pleasing and beautiful as they were on the ascent.  By now the heat was taking it’s toll and we (my son and I) were pretty worn out after our return to the visitor’s center and our completed 8-mile hike.  Again, make sure you brig plenty of water, something to eat to restore your electrolytes and as always be on the watch for wildlife.

Didnt see this on the trail

We did not encounter any snakes on the hike but keep in mind that the Missions Trails system is rife with rattlers but so long as you don’t bother them they wont bother you.  I recently read that the majority of snakebites occur when the hiker starts to improvise the trail or the hiker hassles the snake, both not smart!





The Mission Trails system has become one of my favorite places to hike as well as home of more strenuous level hikes than any other area in the county.  For variety, a good workout and a pleasing accomplishment I highly suggest hiking the Saddle and taking in both the North and South Fortuna summits!


 See More Photos at Trail Shots

Distance:  8 miles out and back

Hike Date and Time:  Saturday July 21, 12PM-3: 30PM

Hike-ability:  Strenuous

Water:  75 oz. plus 1 liter of Gatorade 

Lunch:  Chicken pieces and a banana 

Temperature:  low 90’s



About Mark

My name is Mark Lees and I was born in Detroit, Michigan and moved to San Diego in 1976. I now live in Oceanside, California. I have a son age 26 who is my hiking parter, and thankfully got me started into hiking four years ago. I have a Masters degree in psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy from Chapman University, as well as a certification from the California Association of Addiction and Recovery Resources as an Addiction Recovery Specialist. For fun and self-care I like to Hike, Starbucks to both energize and relax and see as many baseball games as I can each season. The spirit of this website is the same passion that led me to create HikerTherapy.... "Hiking for the Mind, Body and Soul..."
This entry was posted in Hikes & Trails!, Hiking Trails and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

56 Responses to Fortuna Mountain Saddle, North and South Peaks: Mission Trails Regional Park, Santee, CA

  1. Officials are concerned that people may have been trying to save money in Todaro’s case by demolishing buildings without prior pricey asbestos testing being performed.

    Most of the radioactive elements, radioactive iodine and strontium,
    are also mixed with this sludge, and they are then removed
    by sedimentation and filtration. In Todaro’s decision to submit false reports of lead and asbestos in New York City’s buildings, he left many at risk of developing mesothelioma lung cancer, an incurable disease.

  2. Everyone loves it when folks get together and share views.
    Great blog, continue the good work!

  3. Begin turning your wrist backward and forward, slowly, as you glide the iron completely down to your ends.

  4. says:

    Start at the roots of the hair and even transfer to the end in one liquid motion, then duplicate
    a number of times making sure that area of hair is directly.

  5. Many ceramic level irons on the marketplace usage plates
    that are made of aluminum or titanium, then coated with numerous baked on levels of

  6. Hortense says:

    Warmth not just makes your fragile, transitioning hair brittle, but you could dry it
    out and modify your all-natural hair pattern as well.

  7. According to consumers who have actually been confirmed as actual buyers by Amazon,
    the Babyliss titanium level iron has not disappointed them.

  8. Nichol says:

    You wish to get a moisturizing deep conditioner that has actually
    hydrolyzed healthy protein in it. The dampness is visiting help your hair to dissipate the heat, originating from the
    flat iron so, it’s uniformly dispersed as well as the healthy protein is visiting fortify your hair to make
    sure that, your hair would certainly not become destroyed as quickly as it would if it
    didn’t have that extra boost.

  9. A Tourmaline level iron is great for everybody that wishes to preserve his or
    her beauty parlor style in the house.

  10. I payed a king’s ransom for it. I have acquired my various other standard
    irons and still absolutely nothing compares with it. My hair remains straight
    much longer, smooth, sleek and also I don’t use
    hair gloss with it. I offered ny chi and also instyler away.

  11. Irons with this attribute are made to particularly shield hair
    that is artificially colored.

  12. To obtain the stunning S formation, with the iron clamp
    closed, relocate your restore and even forth in a wave motion as you pass it via each part
    of hair.

  13. Yukiko says:

    SO if you are in search for Free Clash Royale Treasures and also
    Gold, simply click the above web links and also adhere
    to listed below Actions.

  14. There is an additional Hay Day Derby Tips for various other jobs also like
    Pumpkin Pie making activity, woolly hat task, blackberry muffin activity and other comparable food manufacturing

  15. Among the most frequently requested Clash of Clans cheats is how
    you can break out treasures.

  16. Thus, you need to likewise prioritize finishing the dungeons in this mode so
    you can get even more heroes as well as obtain them earlier.

  17. Love it or despise it, Boom Coastline operates the freemium model-the video game is cost-free
    to play as well as download, however the designers make their cash by
    offering in-app purchases in the form of in-game currency (rubies).

  18. When the one in charge begins to ruin your heroes (typically right away), click the white wreath magic symbol near the
    bottom left to activate invulnerability magic.

  19. Many players have this concept that hacks could only
    be used by those who know to oppose the gaming system as well as therefore will go unnoticed while
    using the hacks.

  20. The point is, if you truly intend to play this online game without having to pay (and it could set you back
    a great deal!), you will certainly have to conserve the Gems you gain levelling up and clearing terrain for more long-term items.

  21. I wish you enjoyed this tutorial quick guide as well as
    if you have any type of concerns or responses,
    please allow us understand in the comments listed below!

  22. Because that could be a daunting thought to brand-new gamers,
    we’ve compiled a few suggestions for success.

  23. The issue with Boom Beach is that you’ll should pay in order to gain access
    to more treasures without hacks or cheats.

  24. Just to provide you one instance of how important the level of cards is, a level 4 Fireball has the ability to eliminate a degree 3
    Musketeer in 1 shot, but not a level 4 Musketeer.

  25. I know a key university lady who has a black dragon as her spirit
    guide/companion, and also she told me that while
    he is an instead authoritative, he is truly kind and attentive.

  26. Howard says:

    Ce split placed 2 fonctionne en ligne sur nos serveurs personnels
    vous protège, et comme tel to Shadow Fight.

  27. In instance you have actually not begun to play this online game, there are preview of the video game created below so that you could
    acquire info and also make use of the wonder competition of champs cheats appropriately.

  28. While it holds true that the treatment is a bit various from that of Android gadgets, it
    does not need to be complicated as well as convoluted; go ahead as well
    as tap setups, and afterwards take a look at the game directions to understand where to go
    next concerning game data backups, access, and also transfers for iOS tools.

  29. You have actually been working on hacking devices
    for numerous years now, and have comprehended the importance of 8 Round Swimming pool Hack.

  30. kik online says:

    I think this is one of the most vital information for me.
    And i’m glad reading your article. But should remark on some general things,
    The site style is ideal, the articles is really nice :
    D. Good job, cheers

  31. Bramah manufactures locks for domestic and commercial
    use. That is absolutely true, since you will be able to improve in each aspect.
    These companies may present specialized talent and gear needed for
    the work.

  32. kik on pc says:

    This web site certainly has all the info I wanted concerning this
    subject and didn’t know who to ask.

  33. I delight in, cause I found exactly what I used to be taking a look for.

    You have ended my four day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a great day.


  34. Hi there I am so happy I found your webpage, I really found you by error, while I was searching on Aol for something else, Nonetheless I
    am here now and would just like to say thanks a lot for a
    remarkable post and a all round interesting blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time
    to read it all at the moment but I have saved it and also added your RSS feeds,
    so when I have time I will be back to read a great deal more,
    Please do keep up the great work.

  35. Another option to have a secure home is to change your lock rather than install a new.
    Usually a security code is used to open these kinds of locks.
    Only the pins and tumblers of the locks are replaced, thereby invalidating existing

  36. Wow, wonderful blog layout! How long have you been running a blog for?
    you make blogging look easy. The entire glance of your website is
    great, as well as the content!

  37. says:

    After I initially left a comment I seem to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and
    now each time a comment is added I recieve 4 emails with the exact same comment.
    Is there an easy method you can remove me from that service?

  38. If you are going for most excellent contents like
    I do, simply go to see this website all the time
    because it offers quality contents, thanks

  39. Do you mind if I quote a few of your articles as long as I
    provide credit and sources back to your weblog?

    My website is in the very same niche as yours and my users would certainly benefit from some of the information you
    provide here. Please let me know if this okay with you.

    Many thanks!

  40. Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you knew of any widgets I could add to my blog that automatically tweet my newest twitter updates.

    I’ve been looking for a plug-in like this for quite some time and was hoping
    maybe you would have some experience with something like this.
    Please let me know if you run into anything. I truly enjoy reading your blog and I look forward to your new updates.

  41. Hey just wanted to give you a quick heads up
    and let you know a few of the pictures aren’t loading correctly.
    I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two
    different web browsers and both show the same results.

  42. Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you knew of any widgets I could add to my blog that automatically tweet my newest twitter updates.
    I’ve been looking for a plug-in like this for quite some time and was hoping maybe you would have some experience with
    something like this. Please let me know if you run into
    anything. I truly enjoy reading your blog and I look forward to your new updates.

  43. What’s up, I log on to your blogs daily. Your story-telling style is witty, keep doing what you’re doing!

  44. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on lock. Regards

  45. Please let me know if you’re looking for a article author for your site.
    You have some really good articles and I feel I would be a good asset.
    If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d absolutely love to write
    some material for your blog in exchange for a link back
    to mine. Please shoot me an email if interested. Thank you!

  46. I was curious if you ever considered changing
    the layout of your site? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.

    But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better.
    Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or two images.

    Maybe you could space it out better?

  47. I really love your blog.. Great colors & theme.

    Did you develop this website yourself? Please reply back as I’m planning
    to create my own personal blog and want to learn where you
    got this from or exactly what the theme is named. Kudos!

  48. I must thank you for the efforts you’ve put in writing this site.
    I really hope to view the same high-grade blog posts from you in the future as well.
    In truth, your creative writing abilities has motivated me
    to get my own, personal blog now 😉

  49. One of the ironic outcomes of this, is that many of my clients came to me asking “how can I lose weight without exercising. You can reverse the situation easily if you’re willing to. By planning out a series of smaller meals you can reduce hunger cravings and help to avoid overeating.

  50. Pretty section of content. I just stumbled upon your site and in accession capital to assert
    that I get in fact enjoyed account your blog posts. Anyway I’ll be subscribing to your augment
    and even I achievement you access consistently fast.

  51. Lasonya says:

    Unquestionably believe that which you said.
    Your favorite reason appeared to be on the net the simplest thing to be aware of.

    I say to you, I certainly get annoyed while people think about worries that they plainly do not know about.
    You managed to hit the nail upon the top as well as defined out the whole thing without having side effect , people
    could take a signal. Will likely be back to get more.

  52. Magnificent website. Plenty of useful info here.
    I’m sending it to some friends ans additionally sharing in delicious.
    And obviously, thank you to your sweat!

  53. WOW just what I was looking for. Came here by
    searching for optionsxo

  54. I loved as much as you’ll receive carried out right here. The
    sketch is tasteful, your authored material stylish. nonetheless, you command get bought an nervousness over that you wish
    be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come more formerly again as exactly the same nearly a lot often inside case you
    shield this hike.

  55. I got this site from my friend who informed me concerning this web page and at the moment this time I am browsing this website and reading very informative
    articles at this time.

  56. Another option to have a secure home is to change your
    lock rather than install a new. ‘ Locksmiths can also give genuine suggestions on the kind of
    security systems which should be installed. This is one of the miracles an auto locksmith can perform.

Comments are closed.