Los Penasquitos Canyon Trail

EASY 637 reviews

Los Penasquitos Canyon Trail is a 7 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near San Diego, California that features a waterfall and is good for all skill levels. 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.

DISTANCE
7.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
111 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

wheelchair friendly

kid friendly

birding

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

paddle sports

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

rocky

This is a generally flat hike that you can make as long or as short as you like. There are runners, walkers, mountain bikers, horse riders and people of all sorts on this shady and sunny walk. The trails are well maintained and marked. You can stay on the main drag or jog off on the single lane trails that always eventually meet up with the two main trails.

Flat trail but next to a creek and a wooded area with shade and sometimes the trail is single track

walking
9 days ago

Very scenic trail,mostly flat until you reach the waterfall. Great place to go on a nice easy walk. Plenty of bikers and moms with strollers and kids. Easy going trail.

walking
11 days ago

Super easy and mostly flat until you hit the waterfall. It is very family friendly, but not too busy!

12 days ago

It was a nice trail to walk with additional trails to take and some historic information. The waterfall feature didn’t seem so prominent but that could be because there hasn’t been any rain. Overall it is a great hike and do recommend it.

hiking
13 days ago

Very easy hike, with beautiful scenery through the canyon!

walking
14 days ago

it's an ok trail. It's flat, and there isn't much to see. The "waterfall" isn't much, but it's a nice area to do almost any activity and the 7 mile length is nice.

hiking
15 days ago

Was looking for something easy today and it worked.

mountain biking
23 days ago

mountain biking
24 days ago

hiking
25 days ago

Very well managed trail, moderate traffic with a good mix of cyclists, runners, and walkers. Loved seeing the number of dog enjoying nature as well.

hiking
1 month ago

Very nice area for day hikes. The waterfall is interesting. I used the access on the south rim about half way through the park at the Camino Ruiz park.

hiking
1 month ago

Lots of different terrain, very pretty. Easy river crossing, but a little tricky with our dog. Not well marked, but alltrails map will keep you on course.

hiking
1 month ago

Never did in one hike. But have hiked all of it over three separate hikes. Beautiful location and lots of things to see

1 month ago

Beautiful trail!!

walking
1 month ago

This is one my favorite hikes/walks to do with dogs or kids. It’s very easy with almost completely flat terrain so I hesitate to call it a “hike” but there are several areas with some large stones, gravelly pebbles, and soft sand so tennis/walking shoes or hiking boots are probably best. The main trail on the south side of the creek (I haven’t done the full trail on the north side of the creek yet) is wide enough for people/dogs/bikes/horses to easily pass with plenty of room. The little single-lane trails along the creek are much narrower but there’s more shade and no mountain bikes so if you don’t mind stepping off of the trail to pass others, they’re pretty awesome. The “waterfall” at the end isn’t really a waterfall at all; it’s another creek crossing where the creek flows down some rocks. Although it’s pretty, the two times I’ve been there it was fairly crowded and there’s not a lot of room (there aren’t any little “beaches” to hang out on; it really is just a crossing spot) so it’s not too great to bring dogs. It is, however, a really cool place to climb around on rocks if you’re without dogs and/or small kids. There are often a lot of people biking, walking, running, with kids, with dogs (dogs are supposed to be leashed but there’s a good chance you’ll run into one or two who aren’t), etc., so be considerate and aware of who/what is behind and in front of you. About 0.8 miles from the waterfall, there’s a really beautiful creek-crossing spot that I actually prefer over the waterfall itself, especially if my dogs are with me. From the main south side trail, you’ll see a little sign indicating that you’re 0.8 miles from the waterfall, so if you go right (*not* the sharp U-turn type of right that takes you through a little trail with a wooden fence) about a quarter of mile or less, you’ll come across a bridge over a nice sized part of the creek with quite a bit of open area and lots of tree coverage. Great for a little break. Also, the main parking area where the trail starts on Mercy Road and Black Mountain Road is a pay lot (I believe it’s $3 but I could be wrong). The first almost mile is also the longest part of the trail sans shade so I like to park in the park’s parking lot just north of the main trailhead on Canyonside Park Drive (from Mercy Rd., turn right onto Black Mountain Rd. and then left onto Canyonside Park Dr.). Once you’re on Canyonside Park Dr., go all the down (if there’s parking...it’s a sport park so the lot can get pretty full) until just before it turns into a dirt road leading to the Ranch House. You’ll see a trail entrance just to the south (left) of the main parking lot Road. From that trail entrance, it’s just over 3 miles to the waterfall. This trail is usually pretty busy and very well maintained, so much so that despite our walk back from the waterfall today being at dusk (very dark on the trail, especially in the single-lane trails under all the trees), we still had no trouble navigating without falling or even stumbling and mostly without any flashlights (we took them out once the sun was completely gone for the last 20 minutes or so of our trip). It’s a really cool place to do an evening/night hike if you’re in the sports park parking area since it doesn’t close at dusk. Happy hiking!

hiking
2 months ago

Easy walk

mountain biking
2 months ago

This is my home trail and I ride here once a week. An all around trail that has almost everything to offer for mountain biking. If you want some extra single track fun, going up to the powerlines is the way to go where everything is at.

walking
3 months ago

Dog poop everywhere, lots of flies, dirty

3 months ago

I Really enjoyed this one has a little bit of everything not to hard not to easy. It's a long walk so bring some water. The Water Fall at the end was a nice spot to relax for the trek back.

3 months ago

Go early before the sun shines and it gets hot!

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