Saigon Trail is a 0.7 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near La Jolla, California that offers scenic views and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible year-round.

Length0.7 miElevation gain282 ftRoute typeOut & back
HikingBeachViewsMuddyRockyScrambleNo shadeNo dogs
Description
Waypoints (0)
Getting There

Use extreme caution when on this trail. Many ledges are slippery and unsafe. This is a fairly technical trail that includes a lot of rock scrambling and maneuvering through rock canyons.

9883 La Jolla Farms Rd San Diego, CA 92037

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (609)
Photos (639)
Activities (394)
Completed (1,634)
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Eric Smith
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarApril 17, 2021

I hiked this trail in August 2020 and it was great. It was easy and did not feel dangerous. I'm a fit male in my 20s, and have done difficult hikes around San Diego. I hiked this trail this morning, and there is a 30 foot stretch that is EXTREMELY DANGEROUS. It's slick rock that is at a 30 to 45 degree angle toward the creek, bad handholds, with a 10 -15 foot drop off into the creek. If you slip, you'll fall into the creek and get seriously injured. I went barefoot and made it through, but felt very close to slipping into the ravine. As I left the area today, there were 3 lifeguard ambulances going toward the trailhead, and I would not doubt that somebody got seriously injured on this stretch of the trail. I will not be coming back.

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Sarah D
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HikingGreat!

Exciting trail for all experience levels.

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Kelly Bennett
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HikingScramble

Absolutely gorgeous views! I definitely recommend wearing good hiking shoes with solid grip or going barefoot on the slippery areas and go with a friend, preferably a local, to help!! I made it without issue with my Merrell's but we also watched someone slide right off into the ravine. Just watch your footing and lean into those rocks as much as you can! Totally worth it!

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Grace Lee
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Hiking

Some parts can be slick, wear good footwear or go barefoot! So much fun!

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Sammantha O’Leary
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Rock climbingRocky

Beat some barefoot, bring water. Take your time. Once you make it past the rock formations stay to the right of the trail and climb up the mountain for an easier trail.

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Angie Lira
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Hiking

We had fun!

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Irene Schiavo
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HikingMuddyRockyWashed out

4/1/21 Leave this trail for the locals. See review from Sven Bannuscher. He knows what he’s talking about. When deciding to walk this trail pay attention to recent weather (a recent rain will make this trail more slick bc of the sand) and recent reviews as it will shed a more accurate picture to the trail you’ll encounter. Or, leave it for the locals. I am an experienced, fit, agile, 40ish female who struggled. There was a small group in front of me where one person was stuck and moving back up, which may have contributed to my decrease in pace and ultimate trouble in navigating a slippery and eroding area of the trail. The dry areas are incredibly slippery because of the sand and best done barefoot (I was told by a local sneakers will continue to erode the trail) and the water area are slippery because of the moss and water. My equally experienced agile friend did slide down the sandy path and walked the rest in the ravine. There is a 2x4 you need to cross. There are awesome rock formations you can maneuver down. However, the amount of adrenaline and the views I saw was not worth the risk of my falling nor the erosion my footprint left on the trail. If you’re reading these reviews trying to decide if you should explore this trail, you probably shouldn’t. Go if a local takes you. If you do go, heed the warnings to keep right after the rock slide and don’t wear shoes. All that said...super fun experience, probably at the annoyance of surfers.

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Geovanny Castaneda
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WalkingMuddyRocky

This Trail was so AWESOME!!!!, really had an amazing time, Sure, It is scary as hell, but after doing it u will have many emotions, feel anxiety, adrenaline, use ur intelligence, skills and logic to not fall, and going up u will be in awe of the view, this is my second trail ever, the other one is twin peaks trail on Poway went there like 3 times in a row being my first trail, after that decided to go in this one, and wow, I always being scared of heights since I was a kid, but I really wanted to keep forward and push my self to feel like a pro, very rewarding feeling, after the trail u can relax and put ur feet on the water from the beach and get naked if u want

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Ronnie Ramos
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Hiking

Awesome views! Some parts are a bit sketchy, but as long as you’re careful and pay attention to your footing, you should be good!

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Shari Campanaro
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HikingOff trailWashed out

This is one of the scariest trails I’ve done! Really slippery because of the sand. We went 3/25 and it was windy and light rain. Would not recommend for children . It was nice to see and complete of my list but won’t be back.

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Jonathon Kosek
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Hiking

Great!

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Jonah Bauer
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HikingMuddyRocky

This trail is beautiful but UTTERLY terrifying and ultimately not worth it. My friend and I both got stuck and slowly slid down the rock for 10 minutes before being rescued by other hikers (would’ve fallen about 30 feet). I would NOT recommend this trail as it is seriously unsafe and injuries and deaths are constantly reported here. There are many other safer, and just as beautiful, hikes in the area. If you do choose to take this trail, bring your best pair of hiking shoes and PLEASE be careful. This is not an amateur trail.

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Kristin Graham
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HikingPrivate property

Also called Box Canyon! DANGEROUS!!!! “There are approx 100 rescues a year out of here and many are not breathing” I was told by the SD/LJ rescue team as I was life flighted out of here in Nov 2020 after I fell 20 feet and broke my back in 2 places! I am a VERY experienced hiker so PLEASE be careful and do not go without hiking shoes!! Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed it but it’s not for your inexperienced or average hiker! This is NOT Ho Chi Minh Trail, that is further north. This IS where Alicia Keys “Razor House” is!!

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Jean Reyes
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Hiking

Lots of fun.

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Jamie McSwain
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HikingGreat!

This trail is fun and rewarding in the end... but throughout it it's very high anxiety mainly for females you feel like you can't do it but trust me you can... you do need to becareful it was kind of hard to enjoy..unless you stop....also beware you have to get your hands dirty/muddy because it's best to stay low walking that trail.. the rope to get down to the beach was not there if you want to get to the beach you have to risk your life lol the end is where it's most slippery you have to really strategize to get down or just slide/slip and fall down we made it but it was intense we risked hurting ourselves we did not go back up the that trail

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Winnie Hoh
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It was a nice trail to the beach or up the cliff depending what view you want to see/where you want to go. It splits off to either the beach or the cliff, climbing up the cliff was a bit hard since it was sandy and rocky but the view is worth it!

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Matt Hargrave
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Hiking

Attempted to go from the gliderport to the bottom of the trailhead but it was way too slippery and I only made it about 10 meters up before I had to turn back.

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Ryan St.Martin
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HikingMuddy

Definitely not a very runnable trail but it can be done. There are always people on this trail so watch out. Don’t go for at least a few days to a week after it rains to let it dry out or you’ll be sliding around towards the bottom.

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Lisa Tsinis
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HikingMuddy

I see a lot of reviews saying this trail is EXTREMELY difficult. I think they’re being over dramatic. This isn’t easy at times, but it’s moderate. There’s one section that’s a little uncomfortable bc you have to walk over a plank and a mildly narrow path right after the plank. However this lasts maybe 3 minutes. Everything else is generally fine and moderate. However, do not go after a rainfall bc it will be slippery and dangerous in that one section. Otherwise, great trail, beautiful view!!

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Sven Bannuscher
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Hiking

I have been doing this trail for many years and mostly do it barefoot and recommend you do the same if you are used to hiking barefoot or feel your shoes are too slippery for some of the ledges. One thing to note: In the past several months the trail has gotten very busy with many inexperienced folks on the trail, so aside from maneuvering the ledges, you also have to maneuver around people that get too scared to move on. On my last trek, I helped two different groups - one to get back to the road and another to get down to the beach. Both were stuck in place and afraid to move either direction on their own. If you are not used to trails with intimidating and technical parts and get nervous easily, do yourself a favor and turn around before you get too scared to move on or go back, or skip this trail altogether. To everyone else: Enjoy this trail and as you get more experienced enjoy some of the alternate routes. Once you get to the beach, go to the left to see some amazing surfing, go to the right to get to the nude beach.

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Miriam Salgado
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Hiking

Loved it. First time here. Recommended to wear non-slip shoes, or be barefoot.

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Jorge Sevilla
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Hiking

Steep and cavernous not for lil kids. I’d say 10 and up.

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AA Deneve
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HikingMuddyScramble

Yes Very challenging. I read the reviews. I knew it was technical. But wast expecting the mud. I should’ve known bc of the rain we had last week. There is a fork. Go left to the beach and very challenging. Or right up the hill to the top where the view point is w the red flag. I went to the left. Brought my 7 year old, who handled it like a champ. It was scary at points. We both had solid hiking shoes. You will get dirty!!! You will slide on your butt bc it’s safer. You can do it, but wouldn’t recommend to novice hikers. There’s drop offs hidden by bushes. There’s a 2x4 plank to cross on the way down. And a rope at the end to help you slide down the rest of the hill to reach the beach. At least you don’t have to go back that way if you don’t want to. If you are facing the ocean, go left and there is a paved walkway back up. Only took a while bc there were quite a few ppl. Was fun though. Would do it again.

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Sinhai Dorantes
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Hiking
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