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

birding

kid friendly

wild flowers

mountain biking

wildlife

beach

road biking

dog friendly

river

forest

lake

wheelchair friendly

city walk

no dogs

historic site

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These were not bad trails for locals. I drove from Riverside to experience some new hikes and didn't think it was worth the drive. The stairway to the summit was cool. If I lived in the area I'd probably hike these trails all the time, but I have my own local trails that give me the same experience without the drive.

Good hike that leads to a small waterfall, but a little crowded. Still worth the experience.

After passing Cowles Mountain I really enjoyed this hike!! Cowles is good and all but way too many people. The views are great and the trail is less busy. Probably ran into 2 other groups at the peak but only one other person on the trail. The last .25 miles of this trail was the most challenging, but it was a great climb! Will definitely do again.

Great hike, good amount of switchbacks but plenty of level ground to catch your breath. Would definitely rate this hike more on the easier side. Really enjoy the view once you get to the top! Would have given it 5 stars but the trail is very busy at all times of the day and the people on the trail tend to keep to themselves without a smile or "hello". We can't control the popularity of the trail, but a little smile or "hello" goes a long way to making a trail more enjoyable.

Beautiful views but yes be prepared to see naked people. We walked 6 miles in and out

This is a short hike and I did it in 2 hours. It's relatively quiet which I liked. However most part of the trail is very narrow and only allows one person to pass. It's somehow dangerous when the bikers dive down on the trial and they can easily crash onto you. I was very scared. So I'd say this trail is more for mountain bikers and by looking at the terrain (how it is shaped), many tracks have been made by the bikers and I can imagine it to be a lot fun to ride here.

walking
2 days ago

Some of those bridges are really neat. It is a great experience to walk around such a large part of city.

Parts of the trail are confusing by Balboa Park. Parts seemed unnecessary to me. Overall definitely worth doing once.

awesome afternoon hike with great views

hiking
2 days ago

We started on the Visitor Center Loop, headed down towards the river, then back up, across Father Junipero Serra Drive to the start of this trail (one could go past the gate and park near the trailhead). The trail was well-maintained. Nice shade spot at Orange Cube Rock. Continue up some small switchbacks to rock climbing area at top. We were too tired (and hot) to try the rocks! Nice views!

Lovely trail, well maintained. We did the loop today in 2hrs 22min.

- I was grateful we chose to go UP the grade, to your right from the parking lot, which meant we went DOWN the goat hill section.
- partial shade when you are down in the canyon
- lots of lizards, some wildflowers, some birds, thankfully no snakes!
- very few other folks out
- flat canyon-top 1.5-ish mile segment of the trail that backs up to the parking lots of tech offices
- although dogs are allowed, this trail is very narrow in parts, and the volume of plants with burrs and “stickers” would have me leave mine at home for this one.
- view includes houses and businesses- about 1/6 of it you feel totally “in nature”
- I echo what others have written- most photos shown (another user’s) are NOT from this trail- they are from Los Penasquitos Canyon trail.

Did this one as a loop. Hiked the Ho Chi Minh trail from the gliderport down to the beach, walked north on the beach to this trail, and then back up to the gliderport. Very cool & rugged sandstone canyons, caves, lagoons, and waterfalls. Highly recommend!

mountain biking
5 days ago

Hardly anyone around and the beach all to yourself. Watch for horseback.

My second time at North Fortuna. This time I signed the book

Very busy and a lot of rock hopping

Nice views. There’s a hill coming up the canyon and another hill coming down but other than that it’s a nice and easy walk. FYI, we walked with our dogs here but encountered three other dogs all off leash. My dog is dog reactive and we weren’t happy about this. There are signs that dogs must be leashed but rules aren’t followed here.

could be a potential romantic walk

beautiful

This trail was a great little hike, I’m born and raised in San Diego and I never even heard of this trail. It’s like I found a gem in my back yard.

The hike started out great we even enjoyed the hike up the hill. However when you get to the top the downhill on the backside is closed and washed out. The trail around the lake is nice and easy. The backside does have a sign saying the shortcut is closed. Would have been nice on the front side before going up the hill

We were in San Diego for a conference and stopped in the evening. A bit busy but everyone had there own thing going: yoga, surfing, dog walking, photography. Stayed to watch the sunset of course- was not disappointed.

Great easy trail. Did it during the week and came across only a handful of people on the trail. Nice views of the lake. If you want peace and quiet, this is the spot. I needed Google maps to follow the trail properly and not veer off the main trail.

A gorgeous overlook of the ocean at sunset, but not so much a hike.

Great hike with my dog and SO. Beautiful day and nice sunny and shady spots. First part is slightly uphill and in nature with beautiful wild flowers and cacti blooming. The bridges are a nice treat as well as the unique homes along the way. Would hike it again! Note: I did see one needle cap near canyon exit so I would beware and not let kids or dogs loose around here.

hiking
11 days ago

Best big city park I’ve even been to.

Beautiful

beautiful spot! there will be crowds, it’s popular :)

Not a very interesting trail and crowded. Very hot. The creek was cool.

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