Explore the most popular beach trails near San Diego with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Great trail! Hike this trail a few times a year

M

The visitor loop is a great short little 1+ mile trail run. Gorgeous views and perfect weather!

Absolutely beautiful hike. Yes, much of it is along the beach. Yes, there are plenty of naked people passing by. But the seaside cliffs, ocean views and Torrey Pines trails are gorgeous and worth the trip. Watching the paragliders was fun too. I went on a Sunday. It was very easy to find parking in the early to late morning. It gets very crowded by the afternoon.

Nice little stroll don't expect an actual hike during this time. You can walk down to the beach and dogs are welcome.

walking
1 month ago

We walked the first part of the trail that runs along North Dairy Mart Pond. The lookouts over the water are nice, and my kids enjoyed the wooden walkway after the left (south) turn). The Information boards about local wildlife were good too. This time we ended up doubling back instead of finishing the square loop trail, but we’ll be back to try again. We saw birds, butterflies, dragonflies, and bees. Very peaceful, and the kids loved it!

trail running
1 month ago

Very beautiful! Isn’t the most nature-esque trail, but it’s as good as it gets for Southern California. It does have really incredible views of downtown, the Coronado bridge and sailboats. Definitely a must-do!

Perfect for appreciating the dramatic part of the San Diego coastline. It was a good length for kids to walk too, but we held them by their hands or carried them, as portions of the trail are dangerous. Exercise caution and use common sense!

hiking
1 month ago

Although seeing tide pools was cool, I don't see this as a "hike" per say. It's not a place to go to take a long walk. Its so short that it shouldn't even be categorized as a trail.
The value of seeing the tide pools is well worth it though as it's rare to see these particular formations along the So Cal coast.
I'd say come here for the tide pools, not for a hike. Go to the top of the hill for the Bayside Trail for a nice 2 mile walk along the coast.

on Bayside Trail

hiking
1 month ago

I decided to go to Cabrillo Monument and spend the afternoon there. I was interested in walking the Bayside Trail. It was a very pretty walk seeing Downtown San Diego and Tijuana in the background. The walk down was easy but walking up was a little tougher that made me break out a little sweat. It was nice going down 1 mile and back up 1 mile. Personally I enjoyed it because of the nice views and light ocean breeze. I will definitely do it again.

walking
1 month ago

Great walking trails, you can get so inmersed in nature, you easily forget about a stressing day. I walked alone, Just me and my thougths. I go there as often as I can.

I was pretty disappointed in the tide pools. I expected much more after having been to Dana Point. I went on a Saturday and there were quite a few people which made it challenging to maneuver around not to mention the sandstone rock was very slippery in areas. Beautiful, unobstructed view of the ocean and the sandstone cliffs are gorgeous. The Bayside trail is simple enough, just watch your footing. Depressions and sand on the wood stairs can cause you to trip and/or slip. Can’t say that I would make the two hour drive to visit again.

Entrance fee of $15 per car and they do have restrictions on dogs. Went here looking for tide pools as reading a few reviews was told this was the place to go but we only found 2 pools with any life besides all the flies around the kelp that had been beached. Dana Point had a lot more sea life to see. If exploring the tide pools and cliff edges be cautious as the rocks are very slippery. We almost slipped and fell and we watched 2 others who did. Nice little walk pretty busy area. We also went up to the visitor center as they have a little museum and souvenir shop. Great views of the bay. We did not go up to the light house. If looking for sea life best to go back down the road just a few miles to Sea World. I do have to say the sand stone cliffs are beautiful but be careful especially if you have little ones as there are no guard rails.

we really enjoyed the tide pools, cactus and knowledgable rangers

Amazing Views along the coast

Iconic, love it. Fav surf spot in town too!

Gorgeous. Go at low tide and spend plenty of time at the tide pools.

Trail is super easy and it is under construction. The pass is closed however if you look hard enough you will find a hidden trail, scale down the edge of the mountain and it leads to a rope, climb down that rope and you have a beautiful beach that is secluded and private and all to yourself. That was the best part!

The views are amazing. I don't think it was a mile.

walking
3 months ago

Great for walking and bay views

I would like to say it was hiking, but it was more walking along a nude beach for most of the stretch. Be forewarned there are a ton of clothing optional ladies and gents out there, mostly gents. You will probably feel very much out of place and over dressed but once you get past the first 3 miles of nudity (mostly males) there’s a good 3 or miles of terrain trail. Let me be clear as I should have read more of these reviews before I went. It’s not really a hike as much as it is a beach walk/run with a decent terrain at the end. If you’re reading this and it’s too late and you’ve already encountered too much skin exposure for a day you can take the roads back to the trail head.
Best of luck my friends.
P.S. I gave 2 Stars because I’m still recovering from the views.
But credit to the last 3 miles of the actual hike trek there were really good views of NATURE there.

Great and easy trail when your on the go and want to escape the city life. Park on any side street. There’s a little coffee shop at the start made out of a trailer camper. Enjoy!!

walking
3 months ago

All cement trails. No issues with stroller on trail.

I biked the suggested from Dairy Mart Rd to Friendship Park. Just amazing!

4 months ago

This is in a national park and you have to pay to get in. I wish I would have read this before driving out here without money on me. Maybe another day.

mountain biking
4 months ago

Great starter trail for Mountain Biking.

Walked and ran some of this “trail” which actually an all paved walkway. Some parts of the path do not allow bikes/skateboards/scooters etc but people did anyway. Flat and easy path. Kid and dog safe. There are homeless along the path but not many and they didn’t bother anyway. If you have to go the bathroom there at least three public restrooms along the way. The harbor one (off the path near the hornblower ships) was the cleanest. I parked at the Embarcadero Marina Park parking lot, which is metered pay. Use a credit card (easiest) and it’s for 3 hours. Plenty of time to walk/run the path.

hiking
4 months ago

Peaceful trail with breathtaking views. Information signs about local wildlife and a few WWII-era structures keep the trail interesting, as do the natural surroundings themselves. I saw birds, bees, and even a small snake slithering across the trail. And the exposed yellow sandstone in one spot is really pretty. The all-downhill, then all-uphill factor makes it exhausting near the end, and I don't care for the very upper part that's just a paved road. But the bottom part of the trail is lovely. As for being wheelchair/stroller friendly, I wouldn't consider this trail to be suitable for either one. There is a short, paved panoramic loop behind the lighthouse that is accessible, but personally I wouldn't bring my stroller on this trail. I did bring my 2-year old twins with me but preferred to carry them both for short stretches rather than push 2 kids in a stroller uphill for a mile. And one more thing to consider: be prepared for no shade. I went on a cloudy morning, and it was perfect!

A nice hike showcasing the rugged beauty of San Diego’s cliffs. It’s gorgeous!! The trail is has steps built into the steeper slopes. Parts of the areas you can explore are dangerous, especially with little ones - I felt that I had to be very attentive and careful with my kids. It’s a pretty short trail, but you can also drive up to the lighthouse parking lot and walk the Bayside Trail or the shorter panoramic trails around the lighthouse. There is an entrance fee of $15 per car (good for one week), but $30 gets you an annual pass to this park. If you’re military, you can get a free annual pass for all the National Parks here.

Didn't know we have this beautiful trail so close to the border. It's nice for all levels, no mountains, nature

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