A nice leisurely hike beats binging Euphoria on HBO Max any day. A clear dome, a moving body and a reason to take in nature in America’s Finest City? Let’s hit it.
BTW, unlike other hiking lists, we’ve omitted all the gnarly hikes in San Diego. In other words, you won’t find “Potato Chip rock” here. That shit is hard. These are the best EASY hikes in San Diego.
Torrey Pines State Park
The Razor Point trail (1.3 miles) or Guy Fleming Trail (0.7 miles) both offer insane, picturesque views of the Pacific. In the winter, you might scope Gray Whales which is pretty dope. There’s also a Beach Trail (1.7 miles), which is a bit steeper, but allows access to the beach.
Length: 1-2 miles, depending on trail // Difficulty: Easy on the lungs.
Directions: Take Hwy 5 to Carmel Valley Road, go west to Camino Del Mar and go south about one mile to the reserve entrance at the bottom of the hill.
One of the most popular hikes in San Diego, Cowles Mountain leads to the highest point in San Diego. Can you take it higher? There’s no spectacular greenery here (other than what you’re smoking), but the views at the top are worth it. Also, a great spot to take your dog (hopefully not named “Spot.”)
Length: 3 miles // Difficulty: Moderate lung strength needed.
Directions: Take Interstate 8 to the College Avenue exit. Proceed north on College Avenue to Navajo Road. Turn right and proceed on Navajo Road to Golfcrest Drive. Turn left on Golfcrest Drive to enter parking lot.
Los Penasquitos Canyon Trail
The Los Penasquitos Canyon trail is a chill route without skimping on the stoney views. Waterfalls, year-round streams and creek crossings, Oh my! Also, if you see a deer walking the path, you ain’t trippin’. It’s just more nature being thrown at you.
Length: 4.7 miles // Difficulty: Easy on the lungs
Directions: Exit the 15 Freeway on Mira Mesa Blvd. Head west and make a right on Black Mountain Rd. Follow it north and take a left on Canyonside Rd.
Double Peak Trail
Length: 5 miles // Difficulty: Moderate on the lungs.
Getting there: Start at Lakeview Park off Foxhall in Discovery Hills.
At the very tip of Point Loma – west of downtown and south of Ocean Beach – sits one of San Diego’s greatest gems, the Cabrillo National Monument. There are a number of leisurely hikes with some of the best views San Diego has to offer. Pro tip: take the Bayside trail to the costal tide pools on the ocean side of the peninsula.
Length: 2.0 miles // Difficulty: Easy
Directions: From downtown San Diego, take Harbor Drive to Rosecrans Street and on to Catalina Boulevard, also called Cabrillo Memorial Drive.