Looking for a great trail in San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve, California? AllTrails has 9 great hiking trails, walking trails, views trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. Just looking to take a quick stroll? We've got 8 easy trails in San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve ranging from 1.4 to 5.3 miles and from 9 to 262 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!


nature trips



dogs on leash

kid friendly

bird watching

wild flowers

Hours: sunrise to sunset

2.10.19 it is closed once you end get close to the freeway. Otherwise, everything is green and beautiful after the rain. It's a pretty easy trail , I brought my 71 year old dad and he loved it.

Fun hike! Going through the canyon was unique! Easy trail for anyone!

Nice short hike, fun short slot canyon.

my first to 12 hike challenge this year. I guess I picked the right one to begin with. easy, adventurous, surprisingly awesome. I highly recommend everyone to visit...

love this place.. quick and fun

25 days ago

Short, easy hike, but so fun for the kids. We ran through three times and hope to go back again soon.

There is a lot of construction going on now and for the foreseeable future. Still a nice hike but it, and the freeway, does detract.

Very fun through the canyon. worth the short trip

So, this is an extremely short trail but highly recommended. We entered through the neighborhood and walked down by the water. once we headed up to the canyon area, we encountered a couple of groups of kids on field trips. As we were entering the canyon, we noticed the No Dogs sign and off course we had our dog. Fortunately, he's really small because the area gets really tight and then you need to climb a small ladder. It was amazing climbing through the canyon and I can't wait to do it again.

We made the loop 3 times with our kids (4,6 & 9) who loved the slot canyon portion of the hike. Enjoyable short hike, great for those interested in exploring a slot canyon for the first time.

The slots are pretty cool. To get to the ladder take the "strenuous" route. There is a line but it goes quickly once people get over they have to squeeze through the slots to get to it. Views of the lagoon were great!

Short scenic hike and the canyon at end provides some challenges for kids and so, somewhat crowded on weekends. The portion of trail that runs next to the salt marsh is scenic with benches, great place to bird watch and seems quieter. In an area of 2 million dollar plus homes, lucky to have this open area for hiking and birding

1 month ago

Beautiful, easy to access trail but the strenuous way is to actually go thru the slots other wise you only view from above.

Nice easy trail, can’t take dogs all the way up the canyon because of the stairs. But really beautiful hike.

This is not a long hike, and there are limited portions of trails that are accessible due to construction. Also, the portion marked ‘strenuous’ up to the viewpoint, (there is also a not strenuous option to reach the viewpoint) is super cool, though very short. It takes you through a thin sand rock canyon with steep steps and a metal ladder to the viewpoint which allows you to see the marsh and ocean (& the 5 freeway). If you do the canyon portion while running/jogging a few times up & down, it can be a good workout, but good luck trying that in the evenings or on weekends because then it’s just a long line of people trying to get to the top. I bring friends here for the wow factor of the canyon portion, as it makes me feel like I’m in a very-mini Zion Nat’l Park for a few seconds. :)

i agree with the other reviews, it’s short but actually very fun! the trail to the canyon is fairly short, once you get to the sign that points to moderate or strenuous, take the strenuous route. mobile kids could complete this, toddlers in carriers maybe not so much. the canyon is really tight as mentioned. the slot canyon portion is short but fun while it lasts. you could actually do it twice if you wanted. all in all, pretty awesome.

Fun little adventure. Populated on the weekend but worth it. It’s a super cool trail something different

Definitely worth stopping by if you want to have a small adventure. Easy location, free parking, beautiful view of the ocean, pet friendly, kid friendly, and great local spot to hang out and eat if you want to make a morning or day out of it. Great photo opportunities everywhere, especially the little canyon. I suggest you make your way up the little canyon for it is a very tight squeeze. keep it at a single file line I guess towards the top.

1 month ago

I have been coming to Solano Beach for 9 years and did not know this place existed. It at end of a street, you go down and walk 0.6 mile next to the lagoon (very easy). At the end there is the canyon. Take the right o e way loop trail through the canyon. have to squeeze between the rocks. This is harder. The walk through the canyon itself is maybe 100 yards. Kids love it. Dogs cannot do it because you must climb a narrow ladder at the end

Make sure to take the loop to cover both trails. The “moderate” trail is actually more difficult that the “strenuous” trail. Too steep and narrow for dogs towards the ends and may be difficult for small kids. Overall nice short hike but if you’re trying to get away from people and the sounds ld traffic, this one is not for you.

Favorite backyard trail to run.

I have been doing this trail since I was born, it’s one of my all time favorites, I’ve seen so many beautiful birds and flowers doing this hike. Highly recommended for anyone who wants to be close to water, with great scenery. It’s an overall flat and easy hike!

Great “caves”

Short, fun, easier than expected.

was a nice run, easy. would do it again.

Was a short easy trail with kids. Views of the lagoon, birds chirping. Kids were thrilled to discover the canyon in the middle of the trails and hidden from the freeway noise. Be sure to wear easy to climb shoes, carry less stuff if you plan to go up the canyon.

Beautiful trail, but closed at I5 for construction about 1.5 miles in. Still well worth it.

Load More