With nearly 120 hiking trails, there’s something for everyone in San Diego. With varied terrain and trails for every skill level, there are options for inexperienced and seasoned hikers alike.
Hike in San Diego’s Parks and Reserves
San Diego is home to several parks and reserves filled with hiking trails. The city’s diverse terrain offers a number of unique hiking experiences. You’ll find breathtaking ocean cliffside trails, as well as those that offer mountainous landscapes and forests.
San Diego is home to trails offering beautiful views of wildflowers, cacti, and other gorgeous native plants when they’re in bloom. You might even see wildlife during your hikes. Look out for gold eagles, coyotes, raccoons, and more.
Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve is one of the most popular hiking spots — and for good reason. You can hike through the pine forests, sandstone canyons, and beach.
Another noteworthy hiking spot? Balboa Park offers 65 miles of trails. This park has something to offer everyone, from easy paved trails to more challenging dirt paths.
Hiking Trails for Every Skill Level
Whether you’re a beginner at hiking or a seasoned pro, there are trails in San Diego for every skill level. You’ll find trials on flat terrain, as well as those on rugged seaside cliffs or in the mountains. Be sure to research which trails you plan to hike ahead of time to get a sense of how challenging they are.
The Highest Peak in San Diego
Cowels Mountain Trail offers access to the highest peak in San Diego, making it one of the most popular hiking destinations the city has to offer. Located in the Mission Trails Regional Park, this San Diego hike offers picturesque views that avid hikers won’t want to miss out on.
Hiking Safety Tips
San Diego's nice weather makes it an ideal spot for hiking 365 days a year. That said, temperatures can exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit and 120 degrees Fahrenheit in the desert. When hiking in extreme temperatures, consider going in the morning or evening to avoid the hottest time of day. You’ll also want to be sure to pack drinks containing electrolytes.
The diverse terrain in San Diego is typically safe. However, it’s possible to encounter locations with loose dirt or other areas where you may lose your footing. It’s important to wear a high-quality pair of hiking shoes.