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10 best hikes in San Diego

An uphill hike beats an hour on the squeaky treadmill any day. A clear head, a fit body and…

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An uphill hike beats an hour on the squeaky treadmill any day. A clear head, a fit body and even more exploration of America’s Finest City? Let’s get to it.

There’s a trail for everyone in San Diego, from the picturesque walking paths of Torrey Pines State Reserve to the plunging hills of Three Sisters Falls. Lace up those hiking boots and pack some extra trail mix for the ten best hikes in San Diego.

1 – Torrey Pines State Park

Sometimes, the best way to start a date is to sweat it out, and there is no better place to do that than at Torrey Pines State Park. This hike has multiple different trails that are all pretty mild, each with a gorgeous view of the ocean. So put on your hiking shoes, hold each other’s hand and take in the sights while falling in love.

Sometimes, the best way to start a date is to sweat it out, and there is no better place to do that than at Torrey Pines State Park. This hike has multiple different trails that are all pretty mild, each with a gorgeous view of the ocean. So put on your hiking shoes, hold each other's hand and take in the sights while falling in love. 12600 North Torrey Pines Road. torreypine.org

12600 North Torrey Pines Road. torreypine.org

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2 – Los Penasquitos Canyon Trail

Getting there: Exit the 15 Freeway on Mira Mesa Blvd. Head west and make a right on Black Mountain Rd. Follow it north and take a left on Canyonside Rd. Parking is available here.

Getting there: Exit the 15 Freeway on Mira Mesa Blvd. Head west and make a right on Black Mountain Rd. Follow it north and take a left on Canyonside Rd. Parking is available here.

3 – Cowles Mountain

Getting there: Take Interstate 8 to the College Avenue exit. Proceed north on College Avenue to Navajo Road. Turn right and proceed on Navajo Road to Golfcrest Drive. Turn left on Golfcrest Drive to enter parking lot.

Getting there: Take Interstate 8 to the College Avenue exit. Proceed north on College Avenue to Navajo Road. Turn right and proceed on Navajo Road to Golfcrest Drive. Turn left on Golfcrest Drive to enter parking lot.

4 – Iron Mountain Trail
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5 – Cuyamaca Peak Loop Trail

Getting there: From I-805S, take I-8W and exit CA-79N/ Japatul Valley Rd toward Julian. Continue on CA-79N and park at the Paso Picacho Campground ($8 per day).

Getting there: From I-805S, take I-8W and exit CA-79N/ Japatul Valley Rd toward Julian. Continue on CA-79N and park at the Paso Picacho Campground ($8 per day).

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6 – Lake Poway to Mount Woodson

Getting there: From Espola Road, go to the Lake Poway entrance. Parking is $5 for the day.

Getting there: From Espola Road, go to the Lake Poway entrance. Parking is $5 for the day.

7 – Cedar Creek Falls to Devil’s Punchbowl

Getting there: 15531 Thornbush Road, Ramona. Once you get to the end of Thornbush Road, the trail head will be on your left.

Getting there: 15531 Thornbush Road, Ramona. Once you get to the end of Thornbush Road, the trail head will be on your left.

8 – Mission Trails Regional Park: Oak Canyon Trail

Getting there: The trail head is accessible from the Old Mission Dam parking lot. Walk down the pathway to the San Diego River, cross the bridge and begin.

Getting there: The trail head is accessible from the Old Mission Dam parking lot. Walk down the pathway to the San Diego River, cross the bridge and begin.

9 – Double Peak Trail

Getting there: Start at Lakeview Park off Foxhall in Discovery Hills. Cross the spillway bridge and the Discovery Lake Dam, and head up the paved road that winds up the hill.

Getting there: Start at Lakeview Park off Foxhall in Discovery Hills. Cross the spillway bridge and the Discovery Lake Dam, and head up the paved road that winds up the hill.

10 – Three Sisters Falls Trails

Getting there: The trailhead in located on Boulder Creek Road where Cedar Creek road intersects. You can park at this intersection, and follow the trail west along a ridge until you see another trail intersect to the south to take.

Getting there: The trailhead in located on Boulder Creek Road where Cedar Creek road intersects. You can park at this intersection, and follow the trail west along a ridge until you see another trail intersect to the south to take.

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More – Pacific Crest Trail – Penny Pines to Garnet Peak

Getting there: Take I-8 E and exit at Sunrise Highway. Start at the Penny Pines Trailhead about 27 miles up Sunrise Highway. Follow the Pacific Crest Trail to Garnet Peak through Laguna Recreation Area.

Getting there: Take I-8 E and exit at Sunrise Highway. Start at the Penny Pines Trailhead about 27 miles up Sunrise Highway. Follow the Pacific Crest Trail to Garnet Peak through Laguna Recreation Area.

 
Here are more things to do in San Diego:
10 More Top Hikes in San Diego
10 Best Beaches in San Diego
Top 5 Things for Your Out-of-Town Friends

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