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

to-hike Map
VIEW FULL MAP

1st hike ever! Spent a few days in San Diego which we usually do once a year, wanted to do something different with my wife and two daughters 6/3. Drove to the South Beach parking lot from Hotel Circle (15-20 min) paid $15 for parking on a Monday and headed up the hill to get to the trails, that was the hardest part, my 3 year old was already on my shoulders and my 6 year old was already starting to complain. Finally got to the trail and they were more enthused. 6 year old did everything herself, with a helping hand on some steeper steps and sandy rock towards the bottom. They loved the end result of the ocean being right there at the last staircase. She now wants to do a hike again. I would recommend 5+ for newbies, yes younger can do it, but expect them to want to be carried for a bit.

Love this trail! It can get a little crowded but if you go early in the morning or later in the afternoon you’re usually okay. Also there’s no shade so bring plenty of water!! Both my dogs have made it all the way up and back, it’s a great workout!

Nice running trail. Very well maintained with 1/4 mile markers on trail. Great views of lake with lots of birds and rabbits. Park in Storm baseball free for the trail.

Nice hike, but can get very crowded. I have done this hike twice, both on weekdays mornings with a 7:30 start time. No line at the rock either time. By the time we started back down there were quite a few people on the trail. It's basically uphill all the way to the top but worth it for that cool photo. It's definitely not a casual stroll, so be prepared for a workout.

Good work out on a consistent uphill slope all the way to the top. Coming down is tough on knees and toes. But , it is all worth it! Good view and yes, the special Potato Chip rock!

Great trail for all ages and abilities. Plan on checking tide levels if you’re looking to take the beach trail back to the parking lot. High tide hit around noon.

Where does everyone park? Where is the trailhead? How long did it take you to complete the trail? Thanks

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.

The ocean is my only medication!

Great flat trail which brings exercise and tranquility into a nice mix. Lots of plants and water foul and a great nature center that also has a free book exchange library.

Good trail and easy to follow. Bring plenty of water and use sunscreen during the summer. Had my 4 kids with me (10 and under) and they were able to get to the top. It was definitely hot with minimal coverage, I’d like to do it again once it’s cooled down a bit. The views were worth the climb. The distance is a little off, it says it is 4.6 miles but we went 5.41 miles total.

on Balboa Park Trails

walking
9 days ago

Beautiful hike & great views! Agree with other posts, not well marked & bring hiking sticks. Also keep an eye out for rattlers...especially in the evening.

Surprisingly scenic! Plus we got to hike alongside a river for awhile which was pretty awesome. Solid elevation changes, I wore my toddler in a carrier on the uphill and we admired tons of wildflowers. Really enjoyable little hike.

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!

Beautiful locale, would be amazing if the County revived it for theatre and live performances!

Easy Hike and Beautiful Views!

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.

This trail was awesome!! Nice view almost all around, no shade however is worthy

There are a few places to park along the trail. Its great if you're looking for something flat. there's lots of shade so its great as a trail to walk/jog on a hot or humid day. very dog friendly and relatively wide paths. only downside is that it's close to highway 5 freeway and there's some noise from that as you get closer west.

Very hot! Would be best early am hours. However it was a very nice work out.

hiking
19 days ago

A very relaxing hike. The 5 mile distance will give you a nice exercise.

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

Great layout but the dry climate over the past few years has forced all of this once beautiful flowered reserve into hibernation. A few cactus blooms were evident but the rest of the coastal vegetation is mostly dry green or dead brown. The long beach strut concludes at a climbable rock formation extending into the sea, the hill climb up is a good short walk with some new erosion barriers and steps, and the ocean views get better and better at each level. Torrey Pines despite the current sad hiatus of beautiful plant growth remains one of America and California’s most stunning sites.

Great workout

hiking
24 days ago

I used the directions from the app and found a sign in the parking lot with a map. I wanted to do trail #12 and tried to follow the directions to the trail. I walked around the park for an hour before finding what might have been the trail but it was so secluded I didn’t feel safe going on it alone so I turned around and went to my usual walk in Encinitas. The park itself is nice with very nice tennis courts and several areas to relax and have a picnic. I just really wish there were better signs to show you where you are and where you’re headed.

You hike up Cowls Mountains and off to the side at the top you proceed to Pyles. Take plenty of water. Get there early because parking can be limited and turn wheels to curb. It took 2 hours and 23 minutes to do both hikes.

Load More