So far, this late spring and early summer have not followed through with their promise of sunny days and warm weather. In fact it has been downright crummy lately. So how can you stay active in San Diego when beach days turn into stay-inside-and-watch-Netflix days?
Don’t get sidetracked from your workouts - get outside and find something that complements the funky cool weather we’ve been having. To get you out the door, go for a run on one of these beautiful San Diego running trails.
Palomar Observatory Trail
Length: 4 miles
Experience level: Intermediate
Palomar Mountain isn’t exactly a mellow place to go for a trail run, but if you haven’t been lately it’s worth the drive to check it out. For a mere $5 you get a Forest Service Adventure Pass, which is mandatory to park at the trailhead and use the facilities. The trail is a gradual incline, but it is clean and free of debris for the most part. While you’re up there, check out the Palomar Observatory and beautiful views. (Don’t forget to tag #DiscoverSD in that Instagram selfie so we can see you made it!)
Parking is available at the Observatory Campground on South Grade Road, approximately 1 mile north of Mendenhall Valley Road.
Cuyamaca Rancho State Park Trails
Length: Over 100-plus miles of trails
Experience level: Intermediate/advanced
Cuyamaca Park has so many trails that it would take you a year to check most of them out. With mountain climbs that take runners to above 6,000 feet in elevation, make sure you plan accordingly and choose the trails that fit your skill level. You will come across open meadows, secret waterfalls and occasionally local wildlife, so think about packing some bear spray just in case. The 3.5-mile climb up Lookout Fire Road is one of the most popular as it takes you all the way up to the peak and offers views of San Diego and beyond.
13652 Highway 79 in Julian
Silver Strand Beach Trail
Length: 5.5 miles
Experience level: Easy
Since we’re in San Diego, no trail running list is complete without beach options. This trail is quite the opposite of the first two trails, as this one is flat and runs right along the beautiful stretch of coastline from Coronado to Imperial Beach. It’s a great stretch for training and getting your tempo dialed in before your next race. Along the way, enjoy sand dunes, Navy SEALs training and, if you choose to run on the beach, you will see dolphins and whales just off the shore.
Park anywhere you can find a spot near the Hotel Del Coronado and head south on the coastal access road, also known as the Bayshore Bikeway.
Pacific Beach/Mission Beach Boardwalk
Length: 6.1 miles (varying lengths if you run along the bay)
Experience level: Easy
I’ve been coming down to the boardwalk since I was five years old when I would ride my bike next to my mom as she jogged after she got off work. Along the boardwalk you will occasionally see distance markers letting you know how far you’ve traveled. This trail is popular because it is flat and the people-watching along the beach is pretty awesome in the summer. If the beachside path gets too congested, cross over to the bay side for a more mellow and pleasant experience. If the pavement is too rough on your joints, there’s always the option of running along the sand. Bring a bikini or trunks so after your run you can change and relax at the beach for a little while.
Park anywhere you can find parking by Crystal Pier at the end of Garnet Avenue and head south toward the Mission Beach Jetty.