MISSION TRAILS REGIONAL PARK
Trek up three miles to the highest point
in San Diego—Cowles Mountain (1592
feet) for spectacular 360-degree views and
sunsets. For steeper inclines and more
cardio, head to Pyles Peak.
One Father Junipero Serra Trail, San Carlos
TIJUANA RIVER VALLEY
This nature preserve spans 1,800 acres near
the U.S.-Mexico border and has a newly
restored 22.5-mile trail system. Stop at the
new Dairy Mart Pond Overlook, a wooden
deck that offers scenic views of the wetlands.
2721 Monument Road, Imperial Beach
Hiking & Birding
It’s easy to explore the natural splendor of San Diego on foot. Fall is ideal for
hiking, thanks to the cooler weather and lack of summer crowds. San Diego’s
extensive trails range from challenging and steep to leisurely seaside strolls.
Torrey Pines State
San Elijo Lagoon
Seven miles of trails meander
through this lovely bird sanctuary,
home to grebs, great blue herons,
snowy egrets, red-tailed hawks
and more. Guided nature walks
leave from the nature center each
Saturday from 10 to 11 a.m.
2710 Manchester Ave.,
Guajome Regional Park
Two pretty ponds attract a
wide variety of migratory birds,
waterfowl, pheasants, kites
and hawks. Campgrounds and
hiking trails are available.
3000 Guajome Lake Road,
This 2,500-acre coastal wetland
and salt marsh hosts more than
370 species of birds, a must-visit for birders. Free monthly
bird walks with guides, too.
301 Caspian Way,
Check out the 161-year-
old lighthouse, tide pools
teeming with marine life, and
magnificent migratory birds at
this 144-acre national park.
1800 Cabrillo Memorial Drive,
San Diego is in the Pacific
Flyway, a major route on the
West Coast where birds migrate
in spring and fall. Here are some
top spots for bird watching.
Look for Coast to Cactus: The Canyoneer Trail Guide to San Diego Outdoors,
a new guide with 250 hiking options in the San Diego region, penned by
naturalists trained by the San Diego Natural History Museum. sdnhm.org
Kids and dogs can handle the flat, well-maintained trail through the woods that
leads to a small waterfall about three
miles into the canyon.
15 Black Mountain Road, Rancho Peñasquitos
TORREY PINES STATE
This scenic, 2,000-acre reserve is a mecca for
coastal hiking. Anyone can enjoy the gentle
Razor Point and Yucca Point trails to see the
rarest pine tree in the country while taking in
views of the ocean. The more challenging Beach
Trail leads to the sands of Torrey Pines Beach.
12600 N. Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla
POTATO CHIP ROCK
People make the steep, 6.4-mile trek to get a
picture of Potato Chip Rock, a peculiar stone
that juts out from a boulder like a
diving board, near the summit of Mt.
Woodson. The trail winds around Lake
Poway and ascends
14644 Lake Poway