Grasslands Loop Trail

MODERATE 132 reviews

Grasslands Loop Trail is a 4.3 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near San Diego, California that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

4.3 miles
403 feet

dogs on leash

kid friendly



nature trips

trail running





wild flowers


7 months ago

Eh. I chose this trail because I wanted something easy for a first time hike with my 8 yr old. It's pretty flat and wide. The photos show areas in mission trails that are not on this particular loop trail. The Grasslands Loop trail is completely open, no shade available, and all dry. There's a pretty lake area that can be seen from this loop, but cannot be accessed unless you take a different trail. There was no respite from the sun whatsoever. It was a good place for a starter hike but we won't be doing the Grasslands Loop again.

9 months ago

Loved hiking along the water rocks. Hiked it with the kids and they loved it!

10 months ago

Wide open spaces. This is a very leisurely walk.

10 months ago

This was a fun hike with my 2 dogs. Be sure to grab a map or follow AllTrails to be sure you stay on the right path as there are many paths branching off. There was no water running during our visit but it was still an enjoyable hike. Near the last mile there's a pretty steep incline. Half of the trail is shaded and the other is not so just be prepared.

Sunday, January 07, 2018

Trail starts out in open space, no shade, and gravel/rocky ground. There are many other trail options so follow the signs for grassland loop. As you begin to curve around a canyon you’ll see the freeway to the side for a brief moment. Then after that the hike becomes a little more interesting. You walk across bridges and under trees. The water is currently all dried up. Nice easy loop trail.

Sunday, January 07, 2018

Just okay. Brought our 2 kiddos and dogs with us and it was just right for them. Next time we will go down the oak creek trail also, that looked like a more worthwhile trail.

Friday, January 05, 2018

Nice starter hike

Monday, November 13, 2017

Eventho it's gotten little hard at some points my 7 year old still loved it.This is one of the most kid friendly and moderate hike.

Sunday, November 05, 2017

Nice little hike to take the dog along with you. The most interesting parts of the hike are the ruins of the dam, the mortar/pestle rocks used by the Kumyaay nation, and the various plaques on the importance of grasslands.

Monday, October 02, 2017

This trail is a bit convoluted, so the app and the mission trails map came in handy. Park in the East Fortuna staging area, and yes, there are restrooms there. :)
There are 2-3 steep areas toward the beginning of the hike, and rather rocky terrain around the middle. The trail runs along the river beds for a distance. The rocks are beautiful right now, and I look forward to returning to see water flowing in the river and down several small waterfalls.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Really enjoyed this one. Followed the main map trail. Loose rocks on the down hill- take it slow. Saw a deer, bunnies, tadpoles... streams and mini waterfalls! My 4 and 5 year old girls liked the 4.4 mile loop. Went counter clockwise from mast. Good direction to take this hike

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Loved the streams and mini waterfalls. Great hike.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Great hike!!

Thursday, March 09, 2017

A pleasant and peaceful hike. The stream surprised us and was so neat. Would def do it again and plan to wade in the water a little bit. Easy with a kid in a carrier

Monday, January 30, 2017

Surprisingly nice trail. Half of the trail is flat and open, half runs along a stream, so lots of shade for that part. Since the rain last week, some of the trail is partially flooded, so expect your feet to get wet. Little bit of rocky terrain by the stream. Would rate this as easy/moderate, especially with the minimal elevation change. Watch out for poison oak when near the stream!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Fun trail!

Saturday, July 02, 2016

Beautiful scenery, especially in winter. I wouldn't call this trail moderate - especially when compared to Cowels or Iron Mountain (also listed as moderate). Good hike/walk for beginner/intermediate hikers - just watch for rattlers during the warmer summer months!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Nice view of the dam located on this trail.

trail running
Friday, May 22, 2015

Great trail for running

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Where to start...

Within the first 30 seconds of being on the trail we watched as three toddlers and an unleashed dog almost got run over by two mountain bikers because the mother was off in lala land. We started on the trail labeled Grasslands Loop but as with most of the trails, there is a trailhead with a list of 6-8 trails and no directional pointers or mileage. The trails were super crowded (hundreds of people, no exaggeration), very wide (10-20 ft), and some even had cars driving on them. My husband and I are avid hikers and most trails were completely flat. Most of the summit trails we tried to follow were shut down to rebuild the habitat without any warning. We did a lot of turning around. When we finally found a viable trail, we got to the summit along with 20 other people. We will not be returning to this area. It was very disappointing.

Friday, April 11, 2014

This area is awesome. It has many trail heads and lots of parking. I went on a Friday morning, I only ran into maybe 7 people on my 10 mile journey. I started in the grass meadows, and it's a very easy hike. I then ventured up to the old dam and it was still very easy. There was a ton of wildlife to look at. From there I cut back across the grass meadows and followed highway 52 up to the peak (1200"). This part of the trail I would consider moderate to hard. The view from the top was beautiful, I could see all the way to the coast. If you make it to the highest peak there is a cool treasure chest up there. I won't ruin it and tell you exactly what it is. In closing, this area has many trails to chose from and is a great place to test yourself. Easily one of my favorites.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A very nice beginner's trail. It loops through relatively flat terrain with low rolling hills. The trail is in very good condition and there is plenty of wildlife in the grasslands habitat. We split off from the loop trail and went up Spring Canyon then back.

28 days ago

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