Hiking San Diego

With temperature highs hovering comfortably in the 70s, the fall months are the perfect time to get out and explore local hiking trails. North County has something for everyone, from relaxed walking paths to challenging hills. So lace up your hiking boots and enjoy the view!

Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve
With relatively flat trail routes, a hike through the Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve is great for all ages and skill levels. You’re sure to see much of the canyon’s wide variety of flora and fauna, as well as creeks, streams, and a waterfall cascading through volcanic rock.

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve
The main reserve area has six different trails hugging the coastline with sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean and acres of rare Torrey pine trees, making Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve a must on a sunny day.

Coast to Crest Trail
With about 48 miles of the planned 71 total miles completed, this trail extends from the ocean in Del Mar to the Volcan Mountain near Julian and contains eight sections with many smaller trails of varying intensity.

Double Peak
Starting at Discovery Lake Park in San Marcos, this moderate five-mile loop trail offers panoramic views of North County at the summit. Much of the brush along the trail was burned by fires, so there is little shade on this route.

Black Mountain
While Black Mountain Open Space Park contains many chaparral and sage-lined hiking trails, Black Mountain itself is only accessible by two trailheads. It’s a moderate hike to the summit, which provides 360-degree views of the surrounding area, even out to the ocean on clear days.

Iron Mountain
This popular six-mile round trip hike is moderately difficult, with a clearly marked trailhead and boulder-lined trail leading to expansive views at the summit.

Mount Woodson
A photo op on the famed Potato Chip Rock awaits hikers at the peak of this strenuous eight-mile round trip hike. This hike is recommended for experienced hikers only and should be started early in the day.

• Use sun protection
• Bring water
• Hike with a partner or group
• Carry a cell phone in case of an emergency
• Check the website for possible trail closures
• Respect local habitats and stay on the trail

• Pick flowers or plants
• Feed wild animals
• Litter
• Vandalize rocks or trees