Hike to Black's Beach via the Ho Chi Minh Trail

Ho Chi Minh Trailhead, San Diego, California, United States

  • Activities:

    Chillin, Surfing, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Intermediate

  • Season:

    Year Round

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    1 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    400 Feet

Beach
Easy Parking
Scenic
Waterfall

Super hidden local gem that gives you an amazing hike and view of the surf at Black's Beach. Used by surfers and hikers as a tranquil way to access the beach...before/ during/ after a rain it can be very slick and dangerous, definitely take your time and turn around if the end falls are flowing. 

Finding the actual trail is 80% of the adventure. Once you turn down La Jolla Farms Road you will follow it for about 3/4 of a mile and there won't be anything too apparent that you are there, except a few cars parked along the street. Make sure to plug in the directions from the map so you know (I've also attached a photo from the street that shows where you start hiking between the mansions). 

After weaving between houses it will open up to an amazing view of the hills, trail and ocean...from there the trail will be fairly easy to follow. You will know you are on the right track when you get to a 4x4 piece of wood that acts as a makeshift bridge. Keep heading west along the trail that follows a stream which falls in areas. As you get closer to the ocean you will have to wedge yourself between the sandstone and descend down a cave like part of the trail that sounds harder than it is. After this is where the trail will get very narrow and falls, slips and injuries are the most likely to occur.

The final part of the trail (where you are directly above the beach) can be the best or worst part depending on how much water is flowing and how slippery the trail is. Be prepared to possibly get wet, a little muddy, or just walk down perfectly dry and clean...it's that fickle. From here you'll have the entire beach to roam (roughly 3miles). FYI the north part of the beach is still technically a nude beach, enter at your own ocular peril. 

You can come back up the same way you went or you can head south and follow the road up to the main gate and walk back to your car via La Jolla Farms Road (and you can look at all the multi-million dollar homes). 

Pack List

  • Hiking or workout shoes
  • Comfortable clothes
  • Surf gear (if surfing - booties help)
  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Camera
  • Sunblock
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Reviews

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The name of this trail is absolutely horrid but despite that, we had a blast. I do not recommend this trail for kids, elderly, or anyone who has poor balance (also I hate to say this but if you're overweight you will not want to take this trail- really tight spaces towards the bottom). Go barefoot, it sounds crazy but it's easier. If not taken slowly or cautiously... this trail could be incredibly dangerous. The views are beautiful, the geographical formations are incredibly unique and unexpected, and it's a fun adventurous way to get down to blacks beach. Keep in mind, there are two other paved and safe ways to get to the beach if you want, this definitely isn't the only way down.

4 months ago
4 months ago

Definitely a fun trail and not too long, but it's a little tricky. I wouldn't suggest it for small children or older people. I definitely suggest going barefoot, since the dirt can get a little slippery underfoot. Try not to carry too much stuff with you, at least the first time, to see what you're working with

6 months ago
6 months ago

It's a great trail, just be careful after a rain or early morning when it's wet out, it can get super slippery in spots.

about 1 year ago
about 1 year ago

Grant Nyquist Admin

I'm basically awesome, more basic though

Are we missing something? Suggest an edit

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