Explore the most popular 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.

hiking

walking

trail running

views

dogs on leash

nature trips

kid friendly

birding

wild flowers

wildlife

mountain biking

beach

road biking

dog friendly

forest

river

lake

city walk

wheelchair friendly

no dogs

historic site

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we really enjoyed the tide pools, cactus and knowledgable rangers

Amazing Views along the coast

Pretty nice, very easy. Keep an eye out for the rattlers

awesome trail front side I good start then move to side service road and then for extra distance use big rock,, I come here at least twice a week for cardio workout

Great trail, was packed by 9am. Ground was like stepping on marbles and feet went out from under me. Beautiful view all the way up

hiking
7 days ago

Everything was great .!! Is a really good place to go w your friends and family .! Is really beautiful.!

hiking
7 days ago

I hike the service road 4-5 times a week. Great hike and I love it. Amazed how much trash is left behind and people with dogs off leash. Just posted a picture of a rattlesnake I saw last week. Please leash your dog so they don’t get bitten and I better not catch anyone leaving trash.

on Balboa Park Trails

walking
7 days ago

fun trail run, gets pretty steep on the climb up at a couple points but will definitely go back

fun and challenging ascent. gets really hot with minimal shade so pack plenty of water

Surprisingly scenic! Plus we got to hike alongside a river for awhile which was pretty awesome. Solid elevation changes, I wore my toddler in a carrier on the uphill and we admired tons of wildflowers. Really enjoyable little hike.

10 days ago

This is my furbabiez fav place to go loviez. Plays with allot of other dogs off leash and swimming in the bay.. She ❤'s it!!

Did this hike yesterday. Great challenge. Beautiful views. Had a blast!

hiking
14 days ago

Rock climbers loops was amazing as well as thrilling. Perfect if you're trying to increase your endurance. Wonderful park, with a hike for any age group.

Very hot! Would be best early am hours. However it was a very nice work out.

Stairs are a great workout w/ lots of elevation change along the way. Completing the loop is better than going back down the stairs in my opinion.

hiking
18 days ago

A very relaxing hike. The 5 mile distance will give you a nice exercise.

easy tons of different trail. scenic

a nice, easy hike. good for a trail run, for sure and very pretty.

Quite an intense hike. Great for beginners. Rock climbing is an add-on feature of the hike.

hiking
22 days ago

I used the directions from the app and found a sign in the parking lot with a map. I wanted to do trail #12 and tried to follow the directions to the trail. I walked around the park for an hour before finding what might have been the trail but it was so secluded I didn’t feel safe going on it alone so I turned around and went to my usual walk in Encinitas. The park itself is nice with very nice tennis courts and several areas to relax and have a picnic. I just really wish there were better signs to show you where you are and where you’re headed.

walking
22 days ago

when it gets too hot to hike the mtns and desert, go urban hiking lol. this was fun and you get to see some little known places around northern central downtown.

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

Coming down is harder than getting to the top. Recommend completing north, saddle and south in one shot.

A little challenging due to the amount of people but great. Please keep your pups on a leash, especially the smaller ones. People do run up and down. Once you reach the top know there are other trails that branch off. Take water!

You hike up Cowls Mountains and off to the side at the top you proceed to Pyles. Take plenty of water. Get there early because parking can be limited and turn wheels to curb. It took 2 hours and 23 minutes to do both hikes.

trail running
23 days ago

This is my favorite way to access the Cowles summit. Not nearly so busy as the main route up, and easy access from my neighborhood. It’s a nice run and a good workout.

We started at the Sorrento Valley Rd Parking lot, crossed over to the North Trail at the Wagon Wheel Crossing and stayed on the North Trail until the Carson's Crossing when we returned back on the South Trail. The waterfall wasn't much of a waterfall due to lack of rain recently, but the area was still pretty. There is a lot of wildlife to see - all kinds of birds (even saw some hummingbirds in the trees at Carson's Crossing), lizards, butterflies, dragonflies, and scat from a bunch of different animals that reside in the Preserve. There is some shade, but not much so be sure to bring lots of water, a hat, sunscreen, and clothing to shield you from the sun. It is an easy hike with minimal inclines. The trail is a mix of loose sand, packed sand, hard dirt, loose rocks. There are a lot of unmarked trails connecting to the main trails so make sure to bring a map to keep track of where you are. The bathroom at the parking area is a single portable toilet. Signs at the trailhead indicate the area has ticks, but the paths are quite wide in most places and easy to stay on the trail - doesn't hurt to use bug spray just in case. We went midday on a weekday and only saw a few other people (some on bikes and some walking) - however, I can see how this can be a busy trail during peak times.

I went around 10 in the morning and seemingly had the trail all to myself. Saw a handful of little lizards and a bunny rabbit, along with several snake holes. Beautiful trail, minus the freeway views towards the western-most points. Will be doing again.

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