7 of the Best Walks in San Diego

7 of the Best Walks in San Diego

The coastal city of San Diego is a mecca of urban and natural beauty. With a year-round warm climate, incredible beaches, and a thriving art scene, there’s a lot to love about this Californian city. And if there’s one thing that people in California love, it’s walking. You don’t have to travel far from San Diego if at all, to enjoy a good ol’ jaunt. Stretch those legs and see what San Diego has to offer – here are seven of the best walks in San Diego

Walks in San Diego

1. Los Peñasquitos Canyon Trail

Length: 6.7 miles
Average duration: 2 hours 5 minutes

This trail loops through the Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve, just thirty minutes north of downtown San Diego. It’s a lovely walk, with a little waterfall around 3 miles in. It’s not the most scenic walk, but it’s a great option for those looking for an easy jaunt through a forest. The path is flat and wide, so perfectly accessible for wheelchair users or prams. It’s a popular spot for wildlife, so keep your eyes peeled for deer, horses, and native birds. 

2. Seven Bridge Walk

Length: 5.7 miles
Average duration: 2 hours

This urban walk through Balbao Park and beyond is a great way to see a different side to the city. It’s a scenic route, passing over bridges, through the park, and past lovely neighbourhoods. If you’re new to San Diego, or if you want to see the city in a new light, then this is a great option. There are plenty of places to stop for coffee, lunch, or a beer along the way, and the museums in the area are highly rated.

3. Tecolote Canyon Trail

Length: 6.5 miles
Average duration: 2 hours 20 minutes

This is a fairly moderate walk through Tecolote Canyon Natural Park. There are some good inclines on this route, but nothing that someone with average fitness couldn’t handle. Whether you’re an experienced walker or not, you’ll get some good exercise in. If you want outstanding views, this might not be the best trail for you, but it is a lovely sunny walk through the trees. 

4. Sunset Cliffs Trail

Length: 2.4 miles
Average duration: 45 minutes

The Sunset Cliffs Trail is fairly short at just 2.4 miles, but it’s the incredible views that make it one of the best walks in San Diego. It’s a great choice for a family outing and particularly popular in the mornings and for sunset. Whether you’re starting or ending your day here, you’re going to get amazing views. And to top it all off, you get incredible scenery of rocky cliffs and the thrashing ocean below, without too much effort. There are some inclines, but for the most part this is an easy, flat, and lovely trail. 

5. South Fortuna Mountain Trail

Length: 4.6 miles
Average duration: 2 hours 45 minutes

This trail is more of a hike than a walk, depending on your experience level with walking. Either way, it’s a fun and satisfying ascent to the summit. There are great views along the way, particularly at the summit, but it’s a fairly unshaded route so be sure to bring lots of water. If you’re less experienced, walking poles are encouraged. It is one of the more challenging walks n San Diego, but the reward makes it all worth it!

6. Grasslands Loop Trail

Length: 4.3 miles
Average duration: 1 hour 40 minutes

This is a nice, technical walk through Mission Trails Regional Park. There isn’t much elevation change, but there are rocky parts that require a bit of thought, but all part of the fun. Be sure to bring lots of water with you, there isn’t much shade here and some parts can get dusty. It’s a good trail for spotting wildlife, there’s a chance to see deer, birds, rabbits, and more. You can bring your dog with you, but they must be kept on a lead. 

7. Point Loma Tidepools and Coastal Trail

Length: 1 mile
Average duration: 25 minutes

Although this trail is just 1 mile long, it’s one of the best walks in San Diego. It’s an easy path with high reward, the views of the bay, the tide pools, and the far-stretching Pacific Ocean are out of this world. It’s also a good place to spot wildlife, keep your eyes out for seals and pelicans. If you’re looking for a quick but satisfying jaunt, maybe for a dog walk, this is a great option. Remember to keep your dog on a lead, though.

Aleyna Yilmaz

Aleyna loves learning about a culture through its food, whether that's closer to home or being out there in the world. She’s always happiest when experiencing somewhere new, but her base in Manchester is a close second. A blend of her love of writing, food, travel, and culture has naturally led her to travel writing full time.

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