Every Hiking Spot Near San Diego You Need to Explore. Lauren Padula. Get Outside Walk along the paths and be treated to some of the best views in San Diego. *cough* Take a date *cough* Keep an eye on the ocean for surfers enjoying a few of the most popular breaks, as well as grey whales during migration season!. Possibly the most Instagrammed hike in all of San Diego county, Potato Chip Rock lies at the top of Mount Woodson. And it’s not just because of the mountain of potato chips (we’re kidding, you have to bring your own chips). This almost seven-mile round-trip hike gains (and loses) over 2000’ of elevation on its way up and down to Potato Chip Rock.
This is one of my favorite hikes to take visitors and new residents of San Diego. It’s easy to find parking although it does cost $12, if you arrive early there are some free parking spaces right on beach but they normally fill up by 8-9am on the weekend. All the trails here are all very well maintained but a team of dedicated volunteers that offer free guided tours at 10am and 2pm on Saturday’s and Sundays. The tour guides give you a brief history of the area as well and mini geology and biology lesson.
I was previously unaware that the “Torrey Pines” are unique to this area and not found anywhere else in the world. It’s also rumored that Dr Seuss use to frequent this area and that it was a source of inspiration for some of the drawings in his books.
I would recommend visiting right before sunset during a full moon. The views are incredible and the weather is a little more comfortable. Then just as the sun is setting walk down the trail towards the beach and return to the parking lot by moonlight, how romantic! “This was my first hike in a long while, went on veterans day, so it wasn’t so crowded. I parked at the entrance lot and walked up to the road where the Trails Start..
The hike down wasn’t so bad and the scenery was spectacular, Once we got down the beach, rather that going back up the mountain we walked on the beach which led us right back to the lower parking lot… I will definitely be going back, its absolutely beautiful, Great place for a family adventure.. Don’t Forget Your Camera!!” I really enjoyed torey pines. I went with my fiance and we really enjoyed the trails after the beach run. I was shocked that although its was possible to run the beach forever me and my fiance found ourselves walking into nude beach WOW.
we realized this because we noticed a homeless man nude and looked down the way to find more nude people so we turned around and kept running, other then this eye opening experience we really enjoyed it all.
August 9, 2014, 7:58 pm You can park for free next to the beach outside of the park entrance, but you'll have to walk about a mile uphill along the road (not very scenic) to get to the actual trail head (marked by the second loop on the map - the first one is currently (April 2014 closed). If you wanna get straight to the scenic parts, you can drive up there and park next to the ranger station/visitor center. The trails themselves are very beautiful, especially the rocks/bluffs at razor point and down by the beach.
Best viewed near sunset on a clear day. Highly recommended! April 12, 2014, 10:32 pm I love hiking at Torrey Pines, and put together this total list of hikes at the Reserve (including some I'd never even heard of before doing some research). Love to know if anyone knows of any other trails: http://san-diego-hiking.socialpositive.com/c/articles/Every-Trail-at-Torrey-Pines-68656 Have fun!
February 3, 2013, 11:00 am There are several trailheads available to reach the cliffs and two lookouts that no review's included. There is the Ho Chi Minh Trail That Begins 9891 Blackgold Rd.
La Jolla, CA. 92037 for you G.P.S. peps Coolest scenery for all the blacks beach trails... The end can sometimes be rough during bad weather. This is the one I recommend. For the less seasoned hiker there is a utility road down to the beach on La Jolla Farms Road. 2.3 Mile Hike, It's the SECOND BLACK gate when driving down La Jolla Farms. The Best view in La Jolla Is called the Knoll also on La Jolla Farms Road. It Is the First gate on the left.
Recently the university started locking this one up at nighttime due to the kids. Two Thumbs up Five Star Hike 1.2 miles scenic circle. Everyone has got to try this one out! October 20, 2011, 1:36 am This was one of the most beautiful hikes I've ever been on.
Being from the Northeast, our usual hikes are in the mountains and trails of New England. This was an entirely different hiking experience and we loved it.
The trails are well maintained and the scenery is fabulous. Watch out for the wildlife, I actually walked right past a rattlesnake on one of the trails before my husband spotted it! But even this did not cut our adventure short, it was simply too beautiful to turn back.
We did however pay closer attention to where we were walking! July 28, 2011, 8:29 pm There are a lot of people there; the more the merrier! There are multiple trails. We went on Beach Trail which led to the beach, which was a beautiful view and on our way down there passed by cliffs with dents and holes in them, it was quite a site.
There is incline, not too bad but can definitely get you to break a sweat. Fun hike! May 23, 2011, 3:17 am This was my first hike in a long while, went on veterans day, so it wasn't so crowded. I parked at the entrance lot and walked up to the road where the Trails Start.. The hike down wasn't so bad and the scenery was spectacular, Once we got down the beach, rather that going back up the mountain we walked on the beach which led us right back to the lower parking lot...
I will definitely be going back, its absolutely beautiful, Great place for a family adventure.. Don't Forget Your Camera!! November 12, 2010, 1:25 pm This is a great hike for a couple.
I went here with my girlfriend on a day we both had off from work and we had a great time. The bluffs are beautiful and the hike is exhilarating but by no means impossible. I even took some pictures that I put together as a panorama here http://gtdretail.webege.com/?p=20 The driving directions weren't great so we really had to search to find the park entrance.
The 7:30 closing time was a bit of a bummer, but overall I would love to go back! September 5, 2010, 12:32 am Scenery is without compare, as others have said. Bring a camera! However, other than the general length and a bit of up-and-down, I don't consider it a difficult hike at all. Well-maintained trails. Best thing is that if you get hot you can just jump in the water afterwards! Beach is terrific. August 31, 2010, 9:31 am I havnt been on a trail for about 3 months and i thought this would be a good challenge to start things off.
I hiked with a lite 50lb pack for extra weight. I suggest parking in the parks lot at the base of hill. The straight up incline from this base is 1 of 3 inclines i faced.
i suggest going to the southern entrance (near the glof course) of the broken hill trail, the trail will lead west then north, decent scenes then take flat rock trail, the way down is controlled but steep, the way back up is pretty killer. continue north. Also the views at flat rock were the best and very few tourists. I cant remeber the last trail that was challenging but if you are heading north on the hard ball take the trail after guy "something or other" trail, this trail is all challenge and no scenery reward, which is fine, this was a conditioning hike for me.
I did about 90% of the trail in about 2:08. August 5, 2009, 9:36 am
best san diego dating scenic hiking near - Best San Diego Beaches
Hiking is what you make of it – go for the photos and granola snacks, or go for the exercise and adventure. But whether you’ve lived in San Diego your whole life or you were one of the smart ones that migrated here, you know that San Diego is the mecca of outdoor activity. You can get from the mountains to the beach all in the same day – and everywhere in between. Lace up your shoes, fill up your water bottle, pick your favorite scenery, and get off the road and on the trails.
Looking for a quick jaunt that is sure to impress? La Jolla Coast Walk Trail is perfect! Impress out-of-towners and hop on this short trail just off of Cave Street in the cove and amble down to a viewpoint that will give you access to the infamous sea lions, plus a view of the coast (both north and south) that is unparalleled.
Continue up the trail and pause at any one of the conveniently placed benches to take in the view and soak up the sun. • San Elijo Lagoon image via @edphilbrick.homes | Instagram Situated in Solana Beach, the San Elijo Lagoon runs east to west from the coast, under the 5 freeway, and all the way to the ritzy Rancho Santa Fe neighborhood. Along the south side of the lagoon, you’ll find seven miles of San Elijo trails and the Mushroom Caves. These cavernous caves carved into sandstone are one of the more unique sights in San Diego and will immediately transport you to a different planet.
Explore away! • Torrey Pines State Reserve image via Tim Buss | Flickr “Essential Southern California” is how most people would describe Torrey Pines. Aside from the fancy golf course by the same name, the Torrey Pines trails are a system of well-maintained pathways that lead you up to (and in some cases over) the edge of the cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean just north of La Jolla. The docents (super smart guides) at Torrey Pines are filled with great knowledge and are always happy to tell you about the nature you’re experiencing – like the fact that the Torrey Pine is the rarest native pine in the United States!
You could spend all day exploring here…or a quick a half hour lunch break. Choose your own adventure. • Sunset Cliffs image via SD Dirk | Flickr Continuing south down the coast you’ll find yourself in Ocean Beach, the beach town perpetually stuck in the 1970s. Drive past all the tie-dye until you reach Sunset Cliffs Natural Park, the beautiful stretch of 68 acres bordering the Pacific Ocean. Walk along the paths and be treated to some of the best views in San Diego.
*cough* Take a date *cough* Keep an eye on the ocean for surfers enjoying a few of the most popular breaks, as well as grey whales during migration season! • Lake Hodges image via @sdrvc | Instagram Lake Hodges is actually a reservoir just south of Escondido and about a half hour’s drive outside of San Diego.
Surrounding the lake, you’ll find miles of trails that loop around the shimmering water – it’s sort of beautiful… Make it far enough around the lake and to see the dam that sits on the San Dieguito River and creates the reservoir. All year long these trails are packed with , trail , and mountain bikers, tackling the varied terrain.
And we think the seven-mile out-and-back primary route is just the right distance to be hiking, without being camping.
Get yourself here while the water still exists (kidding. But not really. Because droughts). • Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve image via @dangermouse1117 | Instagram “Los Peñasquitos” translates to “little cliffs”, and these little wonders create a unique trail experience just north of the city.
Across miles of trails that criss-cross the creek, you’ll find a waterfall, multiple wooden bridges, giant California live oaks, a grove of sycamore trees, and the opportunity to see any of a handful of animals like deer, bobcat, coyote (hopefully from afar), raccoon, to name a few.
When you hike here, be ready for adventure! • Mount Laguna image via @yuka_nez | Instagram Just a quick hour outside of San Diego, this hiking spot feels like an entirely different world.
It exists on the east side of the Cleveland National Forest at about 6,000 feet of elevation. Just the drive up Mount Laguna is scenic — in fact, it’s called the Sunrise Highway, and you should leave early enough if you want to witness its beauty. The best part about Mount Laguna though? Miles of the epic Pacific Crest Trail (2,659 miles total from the United States border with Canada to the border with Mexico) traverse Mount Laguna. Fitt Tip: bring a backpack with the essentials, like socks and trail mix.
• Cowles Mountain image via Bill Rand | Flickr The only controversy surrounding Cowles Mountain is how to pronounce the name ( coals vs. cow– les). Aside from that, we have peace. Pretty much everyone agrees that this is one of top hikes in San Diego in terms of popularity.
It’s easily accessible, well-maintained, and juussst challenging enough (2.9 miles and 950’ of elevation). Get out early and bring your water; it does get crowded and warm! But let us tell you: The views at the top are worth it all – on a good day you can see the ocean! • Iron Mountain image via chrisinphilly5448 | Flickr A hike on Iron Mountain in Poway, a city just northeast of San Diego, has a grand total of 5.3 miles and 1100’ of elevation gain.
Seriously, this hike is nothing to sneeze at. Go in the spring to see a beautiful assortment of wildflowers blooming and enjoy the backdrop of amazing boulders all year round.
And like many of the other popular hikes, this trail does enjoy heavy traffic during the weekends, so come out on a weekday for solitude and peace and quiet. • Mount Woodson image via @daveynin | Instagram Possibly the most Instagrammed hike in all of San Diego county, Potato Chip Rock lies at the top of Mount Woodson.
And it’s not just because of the mountain of potato chips (we’re kidding, you have to bring your own chips). This almost seven-mile round-trip hike gains (and loses) over 2000’ of elevation on its way up and down to Potato Chip Rock. A few insider tips: bring more water than you think you should; be prepared for it to be well-trafficked on the weekend; and (for goodness sake) don’t wait in a line at the top to take your photo on Potato Chip Rock.
There’s plenty of other amazing backdrops for your next Tinder photo. Stand out from the crowd!
Is this an opportune time to hike in Ontario? The answer is yes, absolutely yes. Weâ€™re about to enter six solid months of freezing, dead tundra so now's the time to lace up your hiking boots, jump in the car, and breathe in summerâ€™s last, final exhale. Ontario may not boast the dramatic landscapes of Canadaâ€™s Atlantic or Pacific, but between the vibrant, changing leaves, some pretty incredible bluffs, and the City of Waterfalls, there are some solid hiking options in the greater Toronto area.
Check out our shortlist of the most picturesque hikes where you can get your nature fix just outside (or inside) the 6ix.
Evergreen Brick Works Toronto This unique site is more of a gentle walk and biking trail, but itâ€™s in the heart of the city and TTC accessible. The Don Valley Brick Works was a quarry and brick manufacturer for almost 100 years before its closure in 1984; the abandoned site was reinvented as Evergreen Brick Works, a park and community environmental centre complete with a graffiti exhibition, look out point, childrenâ€™s garden, and an ice skating rink in the winter.
Take our final enjoyable days with a picnic on the grounds and a visit to the weekend farmerâ€™s market, which heads indoors on November 14th. Bluffers Park and Trail Scarborough This easy hike will transport you from the shores of Lake Ontario to the white cliffs of Dover -- the Scarborough Bluffs are almost 15km of brilliant white, sheer cliffs, over 25 stories tall at their highest point.
We would never encourage you to climb the bluffs for that oh-so-perfect photo op (or would we?), but definitely wander out further east to skip some of the big weekend crowds. Hit up Cathedral Bluffs Lookout for the panoramic view -- it's one instance of Lake Ontario being a total stunner. Rouge Valley Conservation Centre Toronto Rouge Valley Conservation Centre, within City of Toronto bounds, is the largest urban park in North America.
Itâ€™s accessible by transit, completely free to enter, canine-friendly, and large enough that you can spend an entire day hiking without even realizing youâ€™re still in the city. Thereâ€™s even enough wildlife in this urban park to merit an annual Eco Exploration event, and being next to the Toronto Zoo means you can also visit Jia Panpan and Jia Yueyue, the cityâ€™s Elora Gorge Conservation Area Elora Elora Gorge Conservation Area is home to squiggling hiking trails following the river and overlooking the gorge.
Get your inner geologist on and examine bedrock fossils, rocky overhangs known as a , and a small but mighty 15-meter waterfall with a 7.5 meter drop into the river. Tired of hiking? Jump in a tube and float the rest of the way -- the Grand Riverâ€™s rapids are well known amongst both tubers and kayakers. Spencer Gorge Conservation Area Hamilton Hamilton isnâ€™t just an insanely popular musical, itâ€™s also an industrial port city commonly referred to as the Armpit of Ontario!
Hamilton the city gets a bad rap, but in recent years itâ€™s undergone some much-needed rebranding as the City of Waterfalls. Home to more than 100 waterfalls and cascades, extensive trails give hikers easy access to these stunning fixtures. Spencer Gorge Conservation Area is home to Webster Falls, Tew Falls, and the highly-'Grammable Dundas Peak lookout. Get your hiking boots on and do not miss Rattlesnake Point Conservation Area Milton Rattlesnake Point is a favourite among both seasoned and newbie hikers -- thereâ€™s something for all skill levels in this stunning forested conservation area.
While there arenâ€™t any rattlesnakes, thankfully, there are an abundance of turkey vultures, plenty of vistas for the nature photographers out there, and some amateur rocking climbing opportunities. We recommend getting out to Rattlesnake Point in the fall when the colours are changing for Bruce Trail Southern Ontario The Bruce Trail spans almost 900km of Southern Ontario, following the Niagara Escarpment, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. This well-marked and -maintained trail explores the diverse landscape of Ontario, from Nottawasaga Bluffs to the Cheltenham Badlands to the great Niagara Falls (...
'cause everyone knows the Canadian side is better). Hike a small section or embark on a more ambitious multi-day hiking and camping adventure; frost bunnies can even cross-country ski sections of the Bruce Trail. See, winter isn't completely useless after all!
Things To Do In San Diego (Hidden Gems)