Upper Otay Reservoir

MODERATE 100 reviews

Upper Otay Reservoir is a 2.1 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Chula Vista, California that features a lake. The trail is rated as moderate offers a number of activity options. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

2.1 miles
157 feet

dog friendly

kid friendly



mountain biking

trail running




trail running
5 days ago

Trail gets a bit dicey to follow on the north side of the lake, had to double back. Ran it on a rainy day too, the north side is pretty muddy. I also ran it in Merrill barefoot trail running shoes, would not recommend because of how rocky the back half of the trail is. Walked a few sections just because I was getting jabbed by rocks with every stride.

No judgments from me, but there were a few kids hanging out on the graffiti wall in the no trespass area. Hey I was in highschool once, but still I wouldn't leave anything valuable in your car.

1 month ago

I liked it but it was kind of sketchy was checking it out for my baby and I to hike but I definitely wouldn’t go alone or even with one friend if you are a female there were people waiting in the parking lot watching cars which I know they were because they had flip flops on but if you are in a group it’s relaxing

1 month ago

The hike is moderate however we didn’t finish due to no people being around except for the three man standing by the hill, very suspicious. We ended up turning around then came across the broken glass.... that means cars get broken into , watch out. Unless you’re going with more than 3 people I wouldn’t recommend it. Reminds me of an episode of CSI.

7 months ago

I've been this trail once before, a year ago. It was a decent area, not bad with the pretty reservoir. However this time out, I was horrified to find glass littered everywhere. From the parking lot all the way down and out a mile or so. Very unkept, do not bring your dog unless they are wearing shoes!

7 months ago

Upon arriving I saw glass from a car window littered all over the parking area (don't leave valuables in your car) The trail is definitely lightly trafficked and not well marked. The reservoir is beautiful. I am disappointed in the amount of glass littered on trail down to the water. Lots of broken beer bottles. Wouldn't really say it's kid friendly, maybe kids over 10. Wasn't a bad hike but definitely won't be returning.

mountain biking
9 months ago

Monday, April 17, 2017

Not impressed at all. The drive in was easy and parking was decent. We went on Easter so it was packed, but on any other day parking should be fine. I read it was a 2 mile or so hike around the lake. My husband and I brought our bikes to make it easier in our kids (10,8,7,6) The trail signs were awful IF they were even present. Only certain sections were paces and the rest were weird dirt trails many of which said no trespassing. The dam was cool, but if you like hiking or biking around lakes Miramar Lake is WAY better.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

I went on a Tuesday at 345 took me till 5.
Unclear entrance.
"Path" was extremely unclear!
Unpaved road for the first half of the hike.
Beautiful scenery
No trash anywhere!
Only saw a few other people
Had my baby and dog with me (no stroller)
Beautiful mansions on the hilltops to look at
The reservoir was filled with water!
The graffiti wall/dam was pretty cool!

All in all the hike was really good. I enjoy looking for the path sometimes.... But if you're not good with that sort of thing, I would choose another hike.

Monday, March 20, 2017

parts of the path are not clearly marked. Otherwise it was a great walk.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

With the recent rains the trail was really muddy and swampy in some areas. A bridge that crosses over a stream was partially under water. Overall the hike was fun with varied terrain: flat, rocky, dry, lush, etc. Just prepare to get your shoes wet and muddy!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Not a very nice place.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Great views of surrounding hills and Lower Otay. This trail is easy, more like walking than hiking. Dad, Mom, 12 yr old, 8 yr old handled it without any difficulty. Wait at least 5 days after it rains or bring water proof boots. Had to hop across parts of the trail that were ankle deep due to elevated creek levels. Gave it 3 stars because it wasn't anything breathtaking or difficult, just a nice walk on a nice day.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Nice trail with view of lake. Still developing the plant areas. Pretty clean.

Monday, February 06, 2017

Pretty easy trail to navigate with the all trails map download. We did this with 3 kids and our 2 dogs and no one had any issues completing it. There was a lot of mud along the northwest side of the lake due to some recent storms but it wasn't that bad. This is a good short hike with nice views of the lake.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Easy, nice views the second half of the loop

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Great Trail for the family great Trail for your dog... peaceful sort of tricky to navigate but fun and we made it around the lake...

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Fun and different take on Lake Otay.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Nice smooth trail that's not crowded and winds around a small tranquil lake. :-)

Monday, September 05, 2016

Good walking /biking/running trail...easy trail.

Saturday, May 07, 2016

Nice and easy

Friday, April 22, 2016

Did this one with a jogging stroller, but only for the first .90 miles - had to double back at the rickety and broken wooden pallets that served as a bridge and wouldn't accommodate the stroller. Nice views of the lake. Keep an ear out for bikers though, they come flying around the curves and you're expected to dodge out of the way in time.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Nice and easy for kids too .

Thursday, March 10, 2016

I headed east of the upper Otay reservoir, where you find yourself going up the mountains. That trail is very nice, but really long as well. I did a 9.7 mile hike up and down the mountains. I totally recommend it, just take lots of water. (This is not an easy trail.) You can go back once you reach to the flag on top, thats what most people did either way its very fun.

Friday, August 01, 2014

It was a nice easy walk but not what I was looking for. Did see a lot of wild rabbits along the way.

Monday, June 16, 2014

MTB review . Upper Otay really only serves as jump off point for either lower Otay Reservoir or the mountains directly to its west. If looking for some challenging up hill, the mountains offer about 50 miles of single and double track with some very challenging uphill. If you want some great, fast single track with some good size jumps head to lower Otay reservoir. Both trails are fairly easy to find . Careful of rattle snakes though - I've seen more here than anywhere else I've been.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Have gone there many times, this lake is a nice easy hike. you can make it long or short, this trail is a half way point from the lower otay lake which is just across the road. It has nice views,wildlife,and it can be used for mountain biking, catch and release fishing. the lower lake is used for fishing, hiking, mountain biking, picnics and boat rowing. most of all it's a very good start for beginners. I highly recommend, and there's no crowds! go there and enjoy. NOTE- dogs are welcomed but must be kept on leash, and be careful and mindful of snakes. specially during spring - beginning of fall..I sugest you read Afoot and Afield is a book about trails in San Diego.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

I went today.... it was a chill hike... very nice views... loved it

Monday, February 18, 2013

The trail is great for jogging, running or biking. It's not much of a "hike" though. Nevertheless it's nice & close to the lake with a few different clear pathways.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Beautiful easy trail with lots of great views. We started hiking from the parking lot on Otay Lakes Road. The trail leads around the upper Otay reservoir over to another parking lot on Proctor Valley Road. However, if you are an enterprising hiker/biker, you might be able to find a trail that makes a loop back to Otay Lakes Road. This trail leads to the mountain on the east side of the reservoir, to the other side of the upper dam and back to the road. Just a little muddy due to the rain we have had lately. However, the views were worth a little mud on our shoes!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

I started at the parking area by Telegraph road next to upper Otay dam. Mark my truck position and went down the road to east side of the dam, you'll find the trail very easy. Follow it up past the dam and it will hook more to the east. At this point you will see what looks like animal trail, follow it up to the fence, go past it and turn to the north and the trail will hook back east going up. This was an old 4wd trail which is no longer used. Keep going and after 1 mile or 1.6km there is a tee section, use the one that goes up, and keep going up approx. 1 mile until you reach the summit, from the parking area to the first summit is 1200 foot climb. If you keep going you will find 2 more summits and then a sign that tells you that you have enter BLM land. At the BLM marker its 3 miles in and you can still keep going with another 1000 to 1500 climb. I found this trail to be a good test for anyone who wants to carry and test there gear on a quick hard climb. The views are great and I went through the clouds to see the sunrise. On the first summit you can see your car park and it will be 2.2km straight to it with 1200 foot drop.

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