Ho Chi Minh Trail

MODERATE 211 reviews

Ho Chi Minh Trail is a 0.6 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near La Jolla, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

DISTANCE
0.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
246 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

birding

hiking

nature trips

rock climbing

walking

beach

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

washed out

no dogs

9883 La Jolla Farms Rd San Diego, CA 92037

hiking
11 minutes ago

Don’t let the short distance fool you. This is a real hike

Trust your GPS to find the trail head. The entry is basically unmarked - a 6’ gap wedged in between 2 fences bordering amazing homes in this upscale neighborhood. TIP - When you see cars parked on the road you have found it.

The trail is very dusty. Makes it slippery and you will be a filthy mess. Don’t plan on heading to church until you shower

It’s all downhill as you descend into the canyon toward the ocean. The top section is simple.

The middle section is highlighted by 12 foot long plank across a small stream. Don’t panic. It’s 12” wide. You can make it. Just focus. Then you’ll find yourself squeezing into a deep and narrow crevasse cut into the sandstone. Good Kodak moment.

The bottom section has the most tricky footing as you are frequently perched precariously on the Edge of the ravine - although it’s only 10 feet of drop off. You will come upon a high waterfall with a trickle of water. Just enough to make footing treacherous. A 30’ long rope helps you balance as you navigate the final segment and hit the beach.

The climb back up is significantly easier from a footing perspective. Depending how fast you go you will feel the cardio.

And just when you feel winded and take a short break some bare footed young surfer dude will come running past you with board in hand and cruising up the hill like an antelope.

Good hike. And don’t forget to enjoy the views of the amazing homes as you climb out.

hiking
2 days ago

A couple of spots are clearly very eroded and hard for shoes to grip. I was wearing chacos and was completely fine, but my 3 other girlfriends who were wearing their running shoes (brooks, ASICS, new balance) were slipping on the steep areas. Overall, great views and very pretty scenery. On the last part of the hike where you exit down a rope, go backwards like you’re belaying down a rock wall. It was much easier.

hiking
5 days ago

Short and steep hike. Going up hill is way safer than downhill. Start from La Jolla Farm Rd and follow the paved road down to the beach and walk about half a mile to find the beginning of the trail and just walk it up. Don’t take children! That was my mistake.

hiking
1 month ago

Very challenging in spots, but beautiful views and worth it!

1 month ago

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.

1 month ago

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.

1 month ago

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

hiking
2 months 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.

2 months ago

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.

hiking
3 months ago

I love this hike! challenging but fun. Beautiful from start to finish! I hiked the last half without shoes as it was very slippery but if you have good hiking shoes I'd reccomend wearing them. Stay safe.

hiking
3 months ago

I entered this trail through the top and parked in the neighborhood as opposed to the bottom. The entrance at the top can be very easily missed. I came here with a few friends and we're all moderately athletic and my friend brought her dog. I don't recommend this trail if your dog is not athletic. I was able to get through the trail ok but I wished I would've had better shoes as it can get slippery. You cross part of the trail on a plank and can be very intimidating. Another part of the trail you scale down on a rope, this is at the bottom of the trail, again I wish I would've had better shoes. Overall, this trail is amazing and you scale down through canyons and there's also a part of the trail where you can chill and it overlooks the entire beach. Do it!

3 months ago

I was surprised by this Trail. I had done Annie's Trail north in Carlsbad along the cliffs from the beach. That was nothing like this one. You have to start out going up a rope to pull yourself up to the trail. And we asked people coming down the trail were there places that dropped off 50 to a hundred feet? They said yes there were but the trail at that point was 2 or 3 ft wide... easily accessible. They lied!!! There were parts that were just maybe 6 inches wide... with a toe hold you got across. I can see where people get stranded and need to be rescued out of there. There was even at two-by-four to walk across a gully. I would suggest if you are afraid of heights or you are not in good shape... this is not one for you.

hiking
3 months ago

Short trail to the beach. But very fun and pretty with the slot canyons

hiking
3 months ago

I love this trail for the sick slot canyon. There are a couple different branches to take, and one of them you’re squeezing through this gorgeous, striated slot. The colors are phenomenal, perfect for photography. The trail is for sure challenging and slippery. Recommend barefoot (for purchase on sand over stone) and all fours at some points. I usually see people stuck and struggling. Go slow and be prepared to fall.

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

A slippery little trail. Gorgeous views all the way down, though!

4 months ago

A little sketch but it makes it fun!

4 months ago

Beautiful trail that leads to the beach, but please wear proper footwear. You can literally die here! It looks very simple, but it turns very slippery near the end.

4 months ago

Very difficult and scary towards the end. Please only go if you’re experienced. My boyfriend and I had a moment where we thought we were going to fall to our deaths.

5 months ago

Very short but very fun!

5 months ago

This is a pretty fun trail but can be tough if the sand is dry and slippery

hiking
5 months ago

There’s naked people on the beach when you make it down there! Lol, I didn’t know I was hiking to a nude beach. Mostly men of course....anyway.... yes it’s very challenging and yes the locals go barefoot and say it’s safer. Awesome sandstone washouts and a rope to get you down the last 50. Head north on the beach and take the stairs back up, then head south along the ridge to get back to the original starting point.

6 months ago

Best trail in SD by far :) definitely a hidden gem

Scary but so worth it.

hiking
7 months ago

Beautiful, slightly out-of this-world trail for experienced risk takers. Three very sketchy places where “horizontal” part is 1-2” wide and made of loose sand. Cling to the wall with your belly but don’t grab what appears to be a good hold too hard – you may end up with a detached piece of sandstone in your hand. Prayers won’t help traction – wear good shoes. Although locals claim that doing it barefoot is the best (not for me). Don’t start the 1st narrow part (either way you go) if not sure, you may find yourself in an impossible situation. Consider yourself warned.

hiking
7 months ago

For locals only unless you are experienced! The path is eroding away, so hike at own risk! Have fun though!!

7 months ago

Has eroded a little bit since the last time I did it. Wear shoes with good traction!

hiking
8 months ago

It was such a beautiful view from top to bottom of the hike. But due to the rain and mud slides I would suggest waiting a week or so because my partner and I both slid down a few muddy hills...still worth it :-)

hiking
8 months ago

Challenging, but not strenuous at all. Mostly all downhill to the beach. We took our shoes off halfway because some parts of the trail are so sketchy that it was safer to walk through the water. You will slip at least once, with good shoes or no shoes. I would not want to hike back up this route and we did not—there’s a way to go back up via the main road.

rock climbing
8 months ago

Get off the beaten path and find the hidden goat trails. This is where you will get your sweat on. This is some serious sand stone no traction slip away from everything you step onto. Know your limitations!!!

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