Explore CA Coast - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

CA Coast Map

Beautiful wilderness area. Lightly trafficked. Takes between 4-5 hours to complete. Bring 6-8 liters of water and 2,000-3,000 calories.if summiting in winter bring emergency blankets in case you need to bivy at the top.

Morning and daytime (during cooler weather) hikes here can be extremely busy! I go at night (bring head gear or hand flashlight). When using a flashlight at night please be mindful of either sticking your beam on the trail or just turn it off until they pass (some hikers prefer using the natural moonlight). Don't shine it in their eyes! It's rude and unsafe. Once at the summit, incredible views!

Loved backpacking this trail. I did this over three days and two nights. Beautiful views and very peaceful. I loved hearing the waves crash all day (and night). Do your planning and research about trip logistics and high/low tide times. Backpacking in the sand was challenging at first, but I got used to it after a few hours. July 2018.

it was great hike.

We did an 6am morning hike and it was perfect not too many people going up or coming down.

Love love love this place! This time of year there were hardly anyone, very peaceful.

Nice scenery, easy stroll up and down the hills. Husband and I had a good conversation about the history of Lover's Lane Trail. The trail has paved walkways, mostly, if I recalled correctly.

6 days ago

trail running
6 days ago

Great trail with a killer hill or two, it connects to a flat trail that goes down to Rockaway beach. I enjoy it.

6 days ago

Trail is EXTREMELY crowded on the weekend (even at 7 AM).
Overlooks urban sprawl.
Peak is dominated by an ugly transmission tower.
I think one star is generous.

Fantastic walk. Good path. Stellar views.

We started by the fire station trailhead- that way gives you a steep climb to start the trail. Going the other direction is a longer, steady climb.

Phone gps trackers put the total hike at about 7.2 miles.

Trail pretty well maintained and easy to follow- we never found ourselves wondering which trail to follow.

There is a nice outcrop with a good view of Stinson beach- maybe around 1.5 miles in.

Nice changes between forests, grass hills, and then along a creek on the Dipsea trail portion.

All in all, a good hike.

Remember to dress in layers..

8 days ago

We only had a little bit of daylight left and were in the vicinity so we chose this short, beautiful trail. Only problem was you could hear the street noise (hence the 4 stars). The park service is trying to re-establish the waterfall and creek which were covered over years ago due to logging…hence the pipe that someone complained about. But we found it quite beautiful.

Been hiking Cowles since 1986

11 days ago

We took this trail after Canopy-Lost-Fern Creek trail. This trail passes Cathedral Grove, Bohemian Grove and Founders Grove. This trail is popular for public even children and elderly.

My dad and I hiked this on a Tuesday felt like it was just us I suggest parking at Stinson beach beautiful views saw a coyote deer squirrel birds finished in three hours amazing time bring a friend or family member and do it!!!

Went at night, the hike had awesome views of San Diego, including downtown. The trail was wide, in most parts with lots of switchbacks and fun, rocky terrain. Great hike overall!


on Trillium Falls Trail

15 days ago

Was really disappointed to find that Trillium Falls was water coming out of a pipe. Wouldn’t waste your time on this if you are just traveling.

Prairie> Big Tree>Cathedral was a great loop! I highly recommend it, easy, and beautiful trail.

nice easy trail with great views. . .

If you are new to San Diego, it's a great way to get the lay of the land. Expect crowds and in our case, some unusual people hiking with Bluetooth speakers playing rap music for all to hear. Other than that, great views ranging from the ocean, downtown, East County, Mexico, San Jacinto Mountain near Palm Springs and even the San Bernardino mountains way off in the distance. Enjoy!

16 days ago

My favorite part about this hike is at the top it has a map telling you what landmarks are in each direction and you can see Mexico!

mountain biking
17 days ago

What seems to be missing in these reviews is that this section of the trail does, indeed, go through the Ritz Carlton and its golf course which is all paved, but also one can continue north and south. Going north from the Ritz Carlton, the official paved path goes across a bridge and heads north all the way through Half Moon Bay and above. The signage is scarce but the trail does go through. Heading south is a bit more interesting. Near the end of the golf course along the coast there is a sign that says "coastal trail ends" and immediately after that on the coast is the beginning of a well used flat and winding dirt trail (fine for hiking but best for mountain bikes) that runs along the bluffs (pretty close in places so not so great for young children) for a mile or so to the Cowell Ranch Beach and the start of the new Cowell -Purissima official trail which is only open on weekends and holidays under a deal reached with the local growers. This official trail continues south for miles and is great. The entrance is well gated closed on weekdays and not possible to go around. From the beach is a short road that leads to a good sized parking lot just off highway 1. So, going northwards from the parking lot one can go to the beach, head north on the unmarked dirt trail to the south end of the golf course, then onto the paved trail along the golf course and through the hotel property and continuing on the official trail to and past Half Moon Bay. My wife and I have ridden our mountain bikes and seen people hiking this way for years.

mountain biking
17 days ago

Ok, if you park in the parking lot just barely off Highway 1 a few miles south of Half Moon Bay, you can walk or bike this road to the beach overlook and go down to the beach . Nice views. From here you have 2 choices. On weekends and holidays you can head south for several miles on the cowell-purissima trail which is new and well constructed. The deal with the adjacent growers was to keep out the public on weekdays. The trail entrance is heavily gated here and not possible to go around. The second choice (not shown on maps and not signed) is to head north along the coast from where the trail starts just before the beach overlook all the way up to the Ritz Carlton golf course and Hotel where the trail continues (and is now official) through the Ritz Carlton and all the way through Half Moon Bay and above. This unmarked section of the trail is very heavily used, goes right along the bluffs (pretty close in places), is flat and beautiful, and takes you right to the beginning and into the official trail along the golf course.

All paved (for better or worse), nice views, good work out.

Unfortunately, lots of air traffic noise pollution (right by the airport).

Great hike

19 days ago

Beautiful overlook and well maintained trails. It is a popular spot to visit with lots of parking.

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