This is an out and back hike of 11+ miles with a nice side trip to the El Capitan cliff area if you've still haven't had enough (14 miles with the side trip). There are some nice views and some interesting points along the trail including an old mine shaft and what looks like either an old military or fire vehicle.
This is a big hike with a lot of ups and down including some steep sections. Take plenty of water as normally it is very arid and hot in this area.
This was my first hike in San Diego and it was defenitely a tough one. People are not exagerating. However I am not an advanced hiker, but in great shape I believe. It is nothing but ups and downs with steep inclines as you cross the moutains. The views are fantastic and it is well worth the trip. Just be ready to hike vertical and don't give up before the end. Just keep pushing and take a moment to pause and enjoy the level parts of the trail. Recommend this to anyone who wants a challenge. Visited on Mar 10, 2013