Guidebook

Sunny California: The Best Hikes in San Diego

Explore the best hikes in the greater San Diego area, ranging from easy to difficult.

Description

San Diego, the second largest city in California, is famous for its temperate climate, beautiful beaches, and surf breaks. But in addition to amazing access to the ocean, the city is bounded on the opposite side by formidable mountains. Even in town, steep hills form beautiful parks and open spaces. Throughout all of this green space is spread a web of superb hiking trails.

This guidebook rounds up the best hikes in and around the San Diego metro area. Ranging from short hikes to secluded beaches all the way up to mountain climbs, this guidebook is guaranteed to send you to the perfect spot for your next hike!

Broken Hill Beach Loop

Broken Hill Beach Loop

4.0 km
Quieter trail, and the long way to reach the beach in Torrey Pines Reserve.
Private
Razor Point Beach Loop

Razor Point Beach Loop

3.5 km
Connects some of the best overlooks and the beach in Torrey Pines Reserve.
Private
Guy Fleming Trail

Guy Fleming Trail

1.1 km
Short loop with ocean views and fine specimens of the endangered Torrey pine tree.
Private
Iron Mountain

Iron Mountain

9.0 km
Popular hike to a great view on one of San Diego's favorite local mountains.
Private
Cowles Mountain Trail

Cowles Mountain Trail

4.8 km
The short and steep approach to the highest point in San Diego.
Private
Oak Canyon Trail

Oak Canyon Trail

5.2 km
Streamside hike with seasonal waterfalls and wildflowers—best in spring but good year round.
Private
Mount Woodson Trail to Potato Chip Rock

Mount Woodson Trail to Potato Chip Rock

11.5 km
Photo-famous rock formation and expansive views atop Mount Woodson
Private
Los Peñasquitos Canyon Waterfall Loop

Los Peñasquitos Canyon Waterfall Loop

8.9 km
Oasis of water and nature with many trails in the metro area.
Private
El Cajon Mountain

El Cajon Mountain

17.5 km
Grueling hike up one of San Diego's proudest peaks.
Private
Cedar Creek Falls

Cedar Creek Falls

8.8 km
Descend into a river gorge with a crisp waterfall and swimming hole.
Private
Three Sisters Falls

Three Sisters Falls

5.7 km
Steep and exposed hike to a stack of three large waterfalls in a granite basin
Private
Bayside Trail

Bayside Trail

4.0 km
Explore the nature, wildlife, and history of Point Loma, with views over downtown San Diego.
Private
Coastal Trail

Coastal Trail

1.6 km
A beautiful path among wave-battered sea cliffs and tide pools overlooking the Pacific.
Private
Boucher Lookout Loop

Boucher Lookout Loop

5.4 km
Mountaintop views and colorful forest in a pleasantly cool, high-elevation corner of San Diego County.
Private
Lower Doane Valley Loop

Lower Doane Valley Loop

5.3 km
Pleasant stroll through diverse subalpine forest with a good chance of spotting wildlife.
Private
Santa Margarita River Trail

Santa Margarita River Trail

6.9 km
Swimming holes, sandy shores, and uncommon nature along one of Southern California's last free-flowing rivers.
Private