Explore the most popular nature trips 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.

trail running
18 hours ago

My husband and I are from Utah, but we are living in San Diego for the summer, and we were missing out mountains and trails to run, so we went out here and it was better than we thought! We did a trail run 6 mile loop with about 1,300 ft elevation. It's not quite Utah Mountains, but it was really fun, and we will be back. The trails are marked very well, and you can pick what you want to do since they are all intertwined. We summited the south fortuna peak, and took it to the fortuna saddle, and then did a couple other loops. Super fun!

on Fortuna Mountain Trail

hiking
22 hours ago

Great challenging hike with gorgeous views. Bring lots of water.

Cowles is a convenient, quick hike that unfortunately is a victim of its popularity. The trail itself is great, maintained well with challenging sections and plenty of areas to catch your breath. But Cowles can be extremely busy, and SO MANY hiking it have zero trail manners, which is a huge bummer. Parking can also be a chore if you arrive during busy times.

BUT, the views are great once you get to the top. Full view of every bit of San Diego and beyond. Definitely worth it.

Great for almost everyone (except if you have bad knees...)

Great view!

can't beat the view!!!

This was our first family hike and we absolutely loved it!! We live a few minutes away and now this will be one of our favorite hikes for sure. Edward (5) did increíble. Ashton (3) not too much but daddy was able to carry him they both very happy.

Great hike steps are challenging beautiful scenery

hiking
3 days ago

Been coming here for years every time I visit San Diego. Nothing technical or hard at all. Just a walk in the park! Ha Ha! I parked near the street near the Fleet Science Center and did the whole perimeter of the park. In addition, I crossed the bridge and checked out the Western side of the park along sixth avenue including the Natural Gardens. It's cool you can climb the old tower inside the park now! I didn't do it this trip and it's expensive. I love visiting here!

hiking
3 days ago

My friend Megan lost her tan and black Kate Spade wristlet with her license in it. Please call her or mail it if you find it. Great hike! Bring lots of water.

hiking
4 days ago

PARKING: you can park in the visitor center lot, the side of the road that leads to the visitor center, or the side of the road within the gated entrance (not sure when the gates open but i imagine 8AM?) it was pretty crowded when i was returning from the hike (around 9AM) since there's free guided nature walks on certain days, so definitely keep that in mind. BTW - i highly recommend visiting the visitor center as they have small interesting exhibits ^_^

HIKE: the hike is pretty straight forward with some branching trails at the start but they inter-connect with the main trail. there's incline and declines but they aren't too drastic UNLESS YOU PLAN ON ROCK CLIMBING/BOULDERING!

Funny thing - i tried to boulder my way up to the top and almost fell. so be very careful and have the proper equipment when attempting. I only had climbing shoes but. But i'm also a novice LOL.

Anyway, you can choose to not boulder and just continue the hike.

It got pretty packed early in the morning so if you're looking for quiet serenity - i'd advise to come around 7AM since there were already a bunch of humans by 8AM. and since the park offers free nature walks, that just adds to the human traffic you'll need to navigate around.

overall, i'd say this was enjoyable and the scenery was very nice. i just wish i'd made it to the top but i'll need to up my climbing skills.

hiking
5 days ago

You can get solitude here even though it's next to one of the most popular hikes in SD. Lots of greenery that you feel like you're not in the neighborhood.

Love it here !! It's a quick little workout ;)

This trail was amazing and the view was worth the hard climb! It was the perfect weather yesterday as well!

This trail was an excellent workout. There’s a lot of steep trails so I’d be wary of what footwear you decided to don. A large portion of the trail as mapped out on the app is roads they must use for utility vehicles to access the high lines in the canyon. For a unique experience I recommend taking some side trails, if you have time. At the very top of the marked trail on the app (I took the right at the fork), there’s an area that continues north and then loops back around to marked trail. It adds about half a mile to the trail, but it’s very scenic and takes you through probably the most shaded area in the entire canyon that has a trail. There’s also a nice creek down there (mostly dry stagnant water) that I snapped an excellent photo of my dog near

Good fun, difficult in places but overall fun
Gets hot and there is little shade

Beautiful hike! Good elevation and lovely views. We were hiking, but saw a mountain biker, a trail runner and a dog walker on our trip. Went with our 3 kids, ages 10, 8 and 3 - it was challenging enough to be fun, but doable enough that no one was whining.

hiking
11 days ago

The two interesting things about this climb for me were the view of the city, and the interface of Park land with the surrounding development. I encountered a handful of mountain bikers which is fine, but one just needs to be aware they are coming pretty fast.

Great up hill hike... amazing views

trail running
12 days ago

Pretty sweet lil trail super easy , easy to navigate , descent lil scenery nice lil water way in the middle

Easy and short trail with nice views at the top.

great challenge vs most trails

Definitely bring some sandals, or a towel. The waterfall and creek is very inviting after hiking an hour or two. Flat and lots of nature.

hiking
15 days ago

My son and I had such a blast hiking this trail! We love the Fortunas! We enjoy the incline so the stairs and saddle trail were fun for us!

Hardly see anybody from Cowles to Pyles Peak.

17 days ago

The last part is the best.

You must sign book,thats what makes this hike unique .

Must do south and north together ,since there so close to each other.

North Fortuna Peak is great however nearly all of the trails are very wide and graded with the exception of the area right at the peak. The signage is poor and every little section of Trail has a different name. We got lost multiple times. You end up having to use your phone and GPS which is not my idea of a good hike.

great Trail for running. don't play your music too loud with ear buds you'll get run over by bikers!

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