Explore the most popular birding 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.

17 hours ago

Simple, easy to follow trail with great views at the top.

3 days ago

Great trail for a quick hike and a great view of San Diego. Bring water, it’s hot.

4 days ago

Amazing view! A little crowded and dog owners need to do a better job of cleaning up after their pets!!

Nice long but easy hike. Pretty views of the river along the way. Unfortunately it's tick haven right now. Also there was quite a bit of evidence of snakes on the trail. Be extra cautious with dogs and horses!

Good trail to walk. “Waterfall” wasn’t much. But overall it was nice.

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

I have an 8 year old daughter who had never been hiking before. She pushed through it and was so proud of herself at the top. I think it’s the perfect challenge for kiddos around that age. Adult beginners too! The views at the top are incredible.

Loved starting from Barker Way as there was less people than you'd find starting at Cowles. Loved that a big part of the trail from Cowles to Pyles was shaded too!

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.

My favorite of the 5 Peaks!

Fun to see the City on foot!

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.

trail running
14 days ago

Nice quick and quiet trail. No real scenic spots but the overall vibe is a great little marsh like area with tons of birds and a nice little pond. Very well managed. People care about this trail

14 days 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!

Obviously a staple in the San Diego area. This trail is easily travelled by even children around 8 to 10. You'll probably have more trouble with crowds than the trail itself. Go as early as possible to avoid congestion. Plus, early morning views from the crest are amazing.

Great hike, rocky, have gone with my friends, my hubby & kids (7, 11, 15) and also my mom in her 60s, go early 7 or 8, nice views, bring water and snack, can get crowded later in day. Breakfast or brunch at Trails Eatery after. Enjoy!

17 days ago

We started the trail downhill for 6, maybe 7 minutes and from there it was a solid incline for probably 15 or 20 minutes. The long length of steepness in the beginning and the stairs in the end are absolute killers, but it was overall a great hike. The weather stayed in the low 70's and it was cloudy- perfect hiking weather. Definitely would recommend if you're looking for a challenge.

Great hike. Definitely on the difficult side of moderate. Lots of climbing. A great local hike. Good training hike for a bigger hike.

18 days ago

More crowded than I had expected but not overcrowded. Lots of different paths to take.

mountain biking
19 days ago

Since the ranger station was built on corner of Mercy Rd. and Black Mountain Rd. the trail head is located just east of the ranger station on Mercy Rd. This is a great ride but be careful there are spots with loose dirt where your tires can wash out on corners.

20 days ago

I’ve hiked all around mission trails for years and this is hands down my favorite loop. It’s challenging but great views and a lot of fun. You are sure to be tired after this one.

20 days ago

Great trail, nice hike moderately traveled. Amazing view once you get to the top! Only 4 stars because not many posted signs and there are no bathrooms and based on the number of rattle snakes I saw, you will not want to venture into the brush to go.

its, nice place

Done it many times, very nice spot; that whole Regional Park system as well!

22 days ago

This trail is ok. It seems to be better as a bike trail than hiking trail but I liked it well enough. If you follow the loop as shows the brutal part of this hike is the Downhill parts. Watch your footing as it’s pretty steep. There are a few steep inclines but overall the trail is pretty flat other than that.

23 days ago

Walked the two short loop trails. They're cut into thick brush, which makes them shaded and beautiful. But very very short - .15 mile total for both loops! I took a stroller but wouldn't do so again, as the trail is narrow and uneven. Plus, the loops are so short that most toddlers should be able to walk them without a problem. The bench with a view of the slough is a bonus. Next time, we'll take the longer out-and-back trail.

Edit: returned the following day to walk the out-and-back trail as far as W Point Loma Blvd. As far as my opinion on Famosa Slough, I’m torn: on the one hand it’s absolutely beautiful and peaceful and I’m so glad that this local little gem, not to mention a part of our ecosystem and habitat for our local wildlife, has been preserved. On the other hand, humans have made it a little less nice. Since it's small, the surrounding apartment complexes are almost always within view. And SD’s homelessness problem is visible here too; there’s a motorhome permanently parked at the trailhead, there appears to be at least one person living in the bushes at the trailhead, and my toddlers and I stumbled upon a person sleeping on a bench at a secluded overview of the water. I appreciate the nature preserve so much, but in order to enjoy it you have to have a bit of tolerance for things being not perfectly romantic. If you can look past a little bit of grittiness, it’s a beautiful place to go for a walk, enjoy flowers and trees, and watch different kinds of birds.

Great Trail for beginners!!

Personal favorite when I visit home. Bring water as always

trail running
23 days ago

You must run this trail early in the morning. By mid to late morning, it’s extremely busy. Not too hard of a hike and the view at the top is gorgeous!

Beautiful, varied terrain! I started my hike at the USD entrance about a mile west of the Visitor Center and headed north from there. There's a broad dirt road that runs under the power lines, straight up and down through the hills, and there's also a well-marked hiking trail that winds its way through the terrain, skirting the steepest parts of the hills and hugging the golf course. The straight dirt road is good for an intense leg workout, but I think the marked hiking trail is more scenic. The two trails are periodically connected, making it possible to switch from one to the other. The next section of trail through trees and along a stream was beautiful and peaceful. At one point, the trail became hard to follow, and studying my recording afterwards, I realized that I had missed a turn and ended up off the mapped trail when I decided to turn around. My total distance was just short of 5 miles, but I could easily have made it shorter or longer; the possibilities are endless. This park is a local treasure!

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