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

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Great Hike! There are several side trails you can take, some of which take you straight up the the cliff. Bring a backpack, water, and good hiking shoes, some spots are very slick and you will be hiking on a narrow pathway.

For a continuous moderately paced hike, you can make it up to the summit in 1 hour. If you start right before 7 the mountain will shade you up until the last mile of the hike. Between 2- 1 1/2 mile point from the summit there seems to be an endless set of steps that are pretty challenging. Past the potato chip rock there is not much else and a radio station that ruins part of the view, but overall a decent hike.

If this trail was safe, i would give it the full 5 stars! This is my favorite thing to do in San Diego, but that being said, it’s now pretty trafficked and at points, can be very sketchy/dangerous. It’s amazing terrain, beautiful views when you get towards the water, but some parts of it just aren’t meant for people to be going through. If you’re not experienced or don’t have good balance, I wouldn’t tell you not to do it, just to take caution! I’ve seen kids on this trial many times but they also have a low center of gravity and can fit through the tight spaces like the slot-canyon portion. Again, amazing, but just be cautious! Keep in mind, this is not the only way to get to blacks beach. And pro tip: barefoot is easier in this trail.

Nice and easy trails, fun little hike

Beautiful trails and breathtaking views!

Awesome trail, friendly people along the way just enough incline to get a good workout

Did on a hot day. Bring a lot of water! worth it for the fun potato chip rock pictures!

This hike makes you work for it. One hour up & 30 minutes down. I started before the sun and there were plenty of other friendly folks on the trail.

Limited parking is available in the upper lot at the trailhead if you want to avoid a long walk up from the south lot. We arrived early on a weekday before our flight, and it wasn't overly crowded. Trail itself is easy with gorgeous views of the coastline and cliffs. You are exposed most of the time so sunscreen and hat is ideal.

A challenging hike with beautiful views!!! The potato chip rock at the peak was indeed very instagram worthy..

Great workout

Short but sweet. Good for an evening outing. Leads right to the picturesque beach.

DEFINITELY read these reviews before taking this hike!!!! It is worth it once you get to the top but getting there can be challenging especially in July when I went!!! Bring lots of water, hat, shades, and wear light clothing. Enjoy the workout!!!!

Loved this trail when I hiked it the first time. Unfortunately, I went at 7am and the trail was closed due to excessive heat. :(

hiking
22 days ago

virtual experience: https://youtu.be/tkQ9RVLUtKc

this beach is very beautiful! there were a good number of surfers. the hike down was easy, and there are a couple of alternate "bushwhacking" routes if you feel more adventurous than the paved road. you get to enjoy stunning views of the ocean through the small canyon you hike down to the beach. the hike out is steep, but it's no sweat. well maybe, a touch... lol

https://sptfy.com/1XO8 - bring some chill music with you to the beach!

This is an amazing hike but NOT FOR THE SUMMER! I went with a group of 6 including myself and we left way too late. Should note it was the end of July at 10am. Moderate hike but the sun is what killed us. Legit almost thought I was going to pass out. If you go during the summer don't bring your dog, and bring a crap ton of water!

hiking
24 days ago

Beautiful views and beautiful beach w/ many surfers and paragliders!! Highly recommend. The hike down is a piece of cake but the hike up is a tough one.

Awesome! Worth it when you get to the top

Extremely hot, and no shade at all. Wait for half an hour for the potato-chip photo. Good workout but too hot.

So crowded.. it is an easy level, definitely not a moderate one. Go there during the week and early if you want to enjoy without so many people.

It is super nice!

Great hike but it’s rated hard for a reason. I am an avid hiker and it was challenging. If you are looking for a less strenuous hike, start in Ramona. On a positive note, it is BEAUTIFUL & a great workout.

Very nice hike. Trail is well maintained and not too difficult. We started at about 6:15 am and it was still too crowded for my liking, but the scenery is beautiful and it is a good work out. If you go beyond the Potato Chip rock there are great boulders to relax on and enjoy some solitude!

Awesome trial! My husband & I never hiked & decided let’s try it. Wow did it kick our butts. We also started at 1300 on a 100 degree day (don’t do that). It took us 3hours round trip. Beautiful views. Definitely wish it had more signs on how far to go. We brought 2-40oz hydroflasks, & a gallon of water + don’t forget some protein or PB&J’s! Overall amazing!

hiking
1 month ago

Short hike but well worth it for the views! There are some challenging spots so take your time on the trails. Will be doing this one again.

go during the week and early. There's way too many people here otherwise.

A lot of fun, for the whole family. I took my 5 kids (ages 12 to 20 months). Carried the little one but the others did fine. Challenging for sure, and safe if you are smart and do not rush or try and blow past people. There are slippery parts, and one part that gets pretty narrow. We left very dirty, but the kids really enjoyed it and felt challenged.

It was one of the hottest forecast days of the year and we got off to a bit of a late start (7:30 ish) - we realized this when, on our way up, we noted lots of hikers already on their way down. What ever you do BRING LOTS OF WATER. Lots means a couple liters NOT one small bottle of Crystal Geyser! I can not tell you how many people we passed that were on their way to heat stroke. Shared our extra water with a few who were out far from the trail head! Bring extra water! (always a good idea anyway)
It's a well marked path, starting with a dirt road for the first mile or so, then up to singletrack through and up the rocks, with rock steps on some of the rockier sections. There is shade to be found. We were early enough that some of the brush provided a great place to just get out of the sun for a moment or two when catching your breath. Although it's a popular hike, we never felt crowded on the trail and never hit any traffic jams - perhaps because of the area high heat warnings. But there were a reasonable amount of people there. It's a nice UP and back Down hike, meaning it's easier to push yourself a bit harder at first knowing that it will be easier going down. The first mile or so had several porta potties and trash bins along the route and the trail was really clean. Not sure if it's like this all the time but perhaps they stepped it up for the July 4 weekend crowds. Really great local hike with easy parking, beautiful views away from the suburban sprawl and cool shaded grassy spots to crash in when you get back down to your car! Would recommend and would definitely do again.

I highly recommend this hike but read the cautions below.
My fiancé and I went in April and had an amazing time. We are a young and fairly active couple and this trail was not extremely difficult but I can see how it’s difficult for others. I recommend to head out first thing in the morning as the afternoon sun is VERY hot and with the dry heat, it becomes unbearable. There’s barely no shade on the trail so when that sun is blazing, you’re completely exposed to the sun and heat. Come prepared with plenty of water and high energy food. We brought eight bottles of water each and went through 6 easily. The trail is a 1 person wide dirt trail with no barriers and minimal markers. I’m scared of heights and the trail made me uncomfortable at times when it was steep and if I fell I felt like it would be to my death of tumbling down the rocky side with minimal to no shrubs to stop my fall. Other areas of the trail were fine. As we got closer to the waterfalls, there was more shade and trees but larger rocks we had to climb over. We got to a point that we weren’t sure if we were on the right track as there wasn’t a distinct trail to follow nor markers, but then we would randomly find a ribbon on a branch.
At the end of the trail are the waterfalls, they are awesome. I would recommend to bring a swimsuit and a towel, freezing water but a great way to cool off. To get to the top waterfall you have to climb the rocks which are smooth and steep and only have a rope to help you up. Bring good gripping shoes and gloves (if you’re hands are on the sensitive side).
CAUTION!!!
So this trail is completely do able, but be SAFE. On our way we ran into a group in which one of the guys broke his leg and since there’s no signal, they had to carry him back to the car (in which there is still no signal in the parking lot and only signal after an hour drive back towards the highway). If you have a radio, I would recommend to bring a radio with you so you can call for help incase. The man broke his leg going down the old trail in which the rope was removed to prevent people from going down, sever accidents will entail if you try this. Do not rush down the ropes at the waterfall, I saw someone loose balance and almost flew into the tree and stones and would’ve broken his back or head if it wasn’t for his friend saving him from falling to his death. Like I said, be safe, go prepared, don’t be stupid, and you’ll survive without any issues.

The trail begins at the back of the parking lot. It is very well maintained and I saw a few dedicated men picking up trash on the trail and at the top. The trail starts to get harder the last two miles. That is where the rock steps begin; however, it's not as difficult as other hikes that I have been on. I was at the gate at 6:00 am when it opened on a weekday and I had the rock to myself for a while at the top. I saw lots of people coming up the trail as I descended. The views are very scenic going up and at the top.

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