Below is a list of the top-rated Hiking Trails in San Diego. To help you find the best Hiking Trails located near you in San Diego, we put together our own list based on this rating points list.
San Diego’s Best Hiking Trails:
The top-rated Hiking Trails in San Diego are:
- Mission Trails Regional Park – offers a backdrop of natural hills and valleys
- Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve – little cliffs surrounded by a rich spread of biodiversity
- Miner’s Ridge Loop Trail – a meeting point of four trailheads
- Tecolote Canyon Natural Park and Nature Center – its name denotes the diminutive raptor living in the canyon
- Piedras Pintadas Trailhead – 3.7 miles of an easy hiking trail
Mission Trails Regional Park
Mission Trails Regional Park contains over 8,000 acres of developed and untouched recreational space. The natural surroundings of valleys, hills, and open areas perfectly reflect San Diego. It can be found at the center of San Diego just a few miles northeast of the downtown area. The park features a relaxing atmosphere that mixes cultural exploration with recreational benefits which eventually led to it being named one of the Jewel in the City of San Diego Park System. It has a trail occupying 60 miles of pristine land offering boating, camping, and guided tour options.
Boating, Hiking, Camping, Cowles Mountain Trail, Pyles Peak Trail, Kumeyaay Lake Trail
“I really liked this park. Nice hiking trails, beautiful scenery, and friendly people all along the way. Great way to spend an afternoon.” –Eryn Cook
Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve
Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve literally translates to little cliffs lying between the Sorrento Hills and the Rancho Peñasquitos. It has a size of 4,000 acres covering 7 miles from the Lopez Canyons and Peñasquitos that enjoys joint management and ownership by a collaboration of the CIty and County of San Diego. The trail is enveloped by an impressive stretch of rich biodiversity comprising of more than 500 species of plant, 175 bird kinds, and a bunch of amphibians, reptiles, and mammals.
Waterfall, Streamside Forest, Sycamore Trees Grove, Freshwater Marsh
Address: 12020 Black Mountain Rd, San Diego, CA 92129
Phone: (619) 525-8213
“3 dollar parking, there might not be parking so u have to park on the road. Go during WEEK days! It’s easy! During the weekend too much traffic. FANTASTIC hike for anyone. Dogs and horses are yes.” –Ahmed Ghazi
Miner’s Ridge Loop Trail
Miner’s Ridge Loop Trail is the meeting point of four distinct trailheads serving two dedicated trailheads itself. Its own trail can be accessed by taking the state Route 56 proceeding to Black Mountain Road and eventually heading to the northern part. For the Nightwalk Trailhead, one must go right upon reaching Oviedo Street and turn right again on Oviedo way then eventually reaching the Hilltop Community Park. On the other hand, the Miner’s Ridge Loop Trailhead starts from the northern portion of the Black Mountain Road reaching Carmel Valley Road before turning right to face the eastern part of the Carmel Valley Road finally stop 75 miles to reach the entrance.
Nighthawk Trailhead, San Dieguito Trailhead
Address: Black Mountain Hike, San Diego, CA 92129
Phone: (858) 538-8082
“I combined the Liliac valley, glider point, miners loop, and trail for all people. I’d say the glider point trail is the most strenuous of all these trails.” –Sarah Chavez
Tecolote Canyon Natural Park and Nature Center
Tecolote Canyon Natural Park and Nature Center details the story behind the park’s unique name. Exactly two centuries ago, Kumeyaay Indians seek refuge in the area and have acquired the name Tecolote which depicts the diminutive raptor who has been a permanent inhabitant of the canyon. Volunteer Park Rangers help maintain the integrity of the park while hosting various educational and recreational activities like workshops and exhibits. Its 6.5 miles of trails are often used for walking, jogging, hiking, and mountain biking.
Running, Hiking, Walking, Visitors Center
Address: 5180 Tecolote Rd, San Diego, CA 92110
Phone: (858) 581-9944
“This is an excellent resource for many residents that live around Tecolote Canyon. The building is kept in good condition and they provide educational information. It’s a great place to start a hike through the canyon. My guess a lot of residents don’t realize this is here and part of the community.” –Joel Price
Piedras Pintadas Trailhead
Piedras Pintadas Trailhead welcomes newbie hikers and seasoned hikers with its terrain that can be enjoyed by everyone owing to its extremely easy to hike terrain. Hiking in the 3.7-mile loop area can be enjoyed all year round with its natural highlight of wildflowers and small waterfalls that can be only enjoyed in some particular season. Lots of activities can be done to make the most of the trail which includes hiking, biking, and bird watching. Not only that, but it is kid-friendly with dogs on leash allowed as well.
Seasonal Waterfalls, Hiking, Biking
“Nice place to start a hike around Lake Hodges. Dirt lot with adequate parking, 1 portable toilet on sites!” –Adam Hall
Jeanie Burford is a reporter for Kev’s Best. After graduating from UCLA, Amy got an internship at a local radio station and worked as a beat reporter and producer. Jeanie has also worked as a columnist for The Brookings Register. Amy covers economy and community events for Kev’s Best.