5 San Diego Hiking Trails for Your Outdoor Adventures

Mount Woodson

Whether you're planning a trip to America's Finest City or you're a native looking for some new spots to explore, San Diego offers a variety of locations for all of your outdoor adventures.

Although some of these trails are more challenging than others, it's important to make sure you're prepared even for the easier hikes. Wear proper hiking shoes and gear, bring plenty of water, find/bring a trail map, and don't forget to wear sunscreen.

Torrey Pines State Reserve

If you want to experience breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean while you hike or jog, then check out this outdoor fitness playground. Located just south of Del Mar, between the beach and the Torrey Pines Golf Course, this popular spot offers five different trails of varying difficulty. The Guy Fleming Trail is the shortest (0.7-mile loop) and the Broken Hill Trail is the longest (1.2 miles). Whether you're a beginning hiker or an advanced trail runner, you can get your ideal workout on the trails at Torrey Pines.

Know before you go: This is a popular spot for hikers and joggers alike and can get very crowded. Besides the stunning ocean views, you'll see the rare Torrey Pine trees on the trail. Bring a snack or lunch for a post-hike picnic on the beach.

More: 10 Great Camping Snacks

Cowles Mountain

The best way to get an unforgettable view of San Diego is to climb to the highest point in the city. Cowles Mountain, located within Mission Trails Regional Park, is a 3-mile out-and-back hike to the peak, 1,600 feet above sea level.

The most popular trail begins at Golfcrest Drive and Navajo Road and has a gradual incline over 1.5 miles. If you want to try a different, less crowded route you can take the Barker Way trail, the Mesa Road trail or the more challenging, Big Rock Park trail.

Don't be intimidated by the elevation, although this can be a great workout the climb is mostly moderate and there are switchbacks leading up to the top. Depending on your pace, this hike can be family- and beginner-friendly.

Know before you go: This is a popular location because of the stunning views so go early to beat the crowd, and be on the lookout for trail runners who may want to pass you along the route.

More: 9 Family Friendly Hiking Trails

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