10 more top hikes in San Diego

Tired of Torrey? Crushing Cowles and craving a bigger challenge? Our original  10 best San Diego hikes story is consistently ranked as one of the most-read articles, so we thought we'd give you hikers, fit-fanatics and weekend warriors a new roundup of dirt-covered routes. Here are 10 more hikes to try in San Diego. If you haven't already, make sure to check out our original list of the  10 most popular hikes first. 10 - Double Peak   (/Priscilla Lister) This loop hike located near San Marcos starts at Discovery Lake Park and winds up to Double Peak, the second highest peak in the Cerro de las Posas Mountains. Views are spectacular here, with a large portion of the hike winding on paved roads. Length: 5 miles // Difficulty: Moderate Getting there: Take Highway 78 to San Marcos Blvd. Turn left onto Bent Ave. which will turn into Craven Road. Turn right onto Foxhall Drive, and then turn right into the Discovery Lake parking lot or park along the street.   9 - Mount Gower Open Space Preserve Trail (/ Priscilla Lister) Located near Ramona, this difficult trail has steep inclines up to the main peak. There are large rock formations to admire in the upper elevations, with a small scramble up to get to the unbeatable views at the summit. Length: 8 miles // Difficulty: Hard Getting there: Follow Highway 78 past Escondido and into Ramona. At the junction with Highway 67, go straight and follow San Vicente Road, bearing left when it splits to Wildcat Canyon Road. Turn left on Gunn Stage Road and follow until the road dead ends at the parking lot.   8 - Goodan Ranch and Sycamore Canyon Preserve Loop (/ Priscilla Lister) This peaceful hike winds through both Sycamore Canyon, a 1,700-acre wilderness area between Poway and Santee, and the bordering 325-acre Goodan Ranch. The diverse landscape is particularly popular in spring or fall, when colors are in full bloom. Length: 6.4 miles // Difficulty: Moderate Getting there: The entrance is located on the west side of Highway 67, approximately 0.7 miles south of Scripps Poway Parkway.  7 - Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve - Way Up and Equine Incline Trail  (/Jamie Scott Lytle) The Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve has North County hikers and bikers exploring up and down. The Way Up Trail, as the name suggests, is a bit more challenging in incline for 1.4 miles until you run into a split in the road. Opt for the Equine Incline Trail, which takes a 2.6 mile loop into some of the more isolated parts of the Reserve. Length: 5.6 miles // Difficulty: Moderate Getting there: From I-15 take the West Valley Parkway exit. Turn right on Avenida Del Diablo and right on Citracado Parkway. Turn left on Harmony Grove Road and drive until you see parking lot on the left.   6 - Blue Sky Reserve Trail to Lake Ramona (/John Gastaldo) Take in views of Lake Ramona and the distant Lake Poway on this easy, oak tree-filled path. The first 1.5 mile stretch is a flat walk, and then starts to incline. Turn left at the Lake Ramona fork as the trail begins a gradual ascent. Once at the top, enjoy the view over the blue waters of the lake. Length: 4.5 miles roundtrip (2.25 miles one way) // Difficulty: Easy Getting there: From I-15 exit at Rancho Bernardo Road and head east for 3.5 miles. Watch for the Blue Sky Ecological Reserve sign on the left, and turn into the nearby parking lot.   5 - San Elijo Lagoon - La Orilla Trailhead to Rios Avenue Trail ( / Hayne Palmour IV) This easy stroll is popular with families, walkers and joggers. You can enjoy plentiful shade from the trees, the sound of woodpeckers and a possible deer-spotting along the creek banks. The San Elijo Lagoon Ecologial Reserve is a 1,000 acre reserve between Solana Beach and Encinitas. Length: 5.94 miles roundtrip (2.97 miles one way) // Difficulty: Easy Getting there: Take I-5 and exit Lomas Santa Fe. Drive east. Turn left on Highland Road, left on El Camino Real and look for the parking area on the left.   4 - Santa Margarita River Trail (/John Gibbins) This out-and-back trail located near Fallbrook features a soothing river and plenty of shade from the trees. The hike has plenty of access to the water, making it especially fun for families with kids. Just be aware that you might be sharing the path with horses and dogs on leashes. Length: 6 miles // Difficulty: Moderate Getting there: Take I-15 N and exit toward Mission Road/Fallbrook. Turn right on Pico Ave. and stay right at the fork onto Sandia Creek Drive. A parking lot is about one mile out.   3 - Pacific Crest Trail - Penny Pines to Garnet Peak (/ Julie D. Gerber) Ever since the best-selling book and movie "Wild" came out, hordes of hikers have been flocking to the Pacific Crest Trail, which runs in its entirety from Mexico to Canada. While the 2,650 miles may be a bit ambitious, there's a short San Diego stretch to try in the fall months from Penny Pines Trailhead to Garnet Peak. Length: 2.3 miles // Difficulty: Moderate 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.    2 - Lake Miramar (K.C. Alfred) Striding around Lake Miramar is an easy way to get the heart pumping without any climb (or cars). The paved path here circles the lake, and is shared by runners, walkers, bikers and more. Quarter-mile markers will help you track your progress. Length: 5 miles // Difficulty: Easy Getting there: Start and end at the parking lot off Scripps Lake Drive near I-15 and follow the path around Lake Miramar.   1 - Outdoor fitness in San Diego (UT San Diego/Zuma Press) Well, here we are once again, on the cusp of another summer in America's Finest City. Lucky for us, the long days afford locals the extra time we cherish to not only have fun after work, but to stay fit as well. If you're new to town or just the type of person who hovers between work and the gym, then it's time you break out of your routine and take part...
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