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Top 6 Hikes Near San Diego

By: Grant + Save to a List

While primarily known for its beaches and surf, San Diego is home to incredibly rich biodiversity - according to San Diego State University, it's the most biodiverse county in the nation. While almost everyone is up for a relaxing weekend at the beach (even if the surf isn't that good), it's also nice to get the weekend started by mixing things up and hitting the trail. Not to mention, the beer and fish tacos taste just as good if not better after a long hike. So pack your trail shoes and break away from the usual beach weekend to explore the diverse, natural scenery that San Diego has to offer with one (or all!) of these six amazing San Diego hikes.

1. Torrey Pines

Photo: Bill Gracey

This scenic hike is great for hikers of all levels. Hit the trail for a short walk to see the state reserve or stretch it into a 5-mile hike to really stretch your legs. If you can, time your hike for the early evening to catch the sunset. Learn More.

2. Mount Woodson

Photo: Jason Neitzke

Take the eastern approach to the famous Potato Chip Rock for incredible views - especially at night! Learn More.

3. Three Sisters Falls

Photo: Steve

Make the short but tough hike up to this awesome waterfall in Cleveland National Forest and reward yourself with a dip. Learn More.

4. Otay Mountain

Photo: Kat Carney

Hike Otay Mountain and reward yourself with 360 degree views of San Diego. You can choose how long you want to make the hike depending on how far up the trail you choose to drive. Learn More.

5. Iron Mountain

Photo: Dane Buscemi

Iron Mountain's summit is home to some of the best views of San Diego County and an ideal hike for sunrise or sunset. Learn More.

6. El Cajon Mountain

Photo: Jerry Kurjian

At 12 miles round trip and over 4,000 ft elevation gain, El Cajon is a great place to prepare for high elevation hiking in the Sierras or beyond. And we can't think of a more beautiful training facility. Learn More.

To discover more amazing Adventures near San Diego, click here.

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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