hiking

dogs on leash

walking

views

nature trips

trail running

birding

wild flowers

wildlife

mountain biking

kid friendly

Mission Trails is an open space preserve located a short 8 miles outside of downtown San Diego. The park is the one of largest urban parks in the United States with over 7,000 acres of open space. With its 60+ miles of hiking trails and mountain bike trails, rock climbing opportunities, camping areas such as Kumeyaay Lake Campground, and Lake Murray for boating, this park truly has something for everyone. The park can be accessed from Father Junipero Serra Trail off of Mission Gorge Road. Visitors should be sure to check out the state-of-the-art visitor and interpretive center prior to heading into the park. The park has trails for every level of ability whether you are walking, running, hiking, or mountain biking. The visitor center loop trail is a great option for families. For more experienced hikers looking for a challenging adventure, sign up for the 5 peak challenge, which climbs all 5 peaks in the park, Cowles Mountain (the highest point in San Diego), Pyles Peak, Kwaay Paay Peak, South Fortuna, and North Fortuna. Make sure to take a selfie at each of the 5 peaks and once you are done and then to submit your challenge so it can be reviewed by a park ranger. Once approved, you can stop by the visitor center to pick up your official certificate! The park is home to plenty of wildlife - excellent for birdwatchers. This is a great place to escape from the urban life into nature without having to drive very far.