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



1 miles

Elevation Gain

400 ft

Route Type


Added by Grant

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). 

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Hiked this trail to surf. Was fun but was hard to find

Fun and quick hike

This is a really fun really quick hike in La Jolla that overlooks blacks beach.

Great little trail

After finding the trailhead, I was excited to see the flora and fauna before I reached the beach and watched the surfers and ocean for most of a morning.

Funky trail, great area

I came out to this trail super early and definitely struggled to spot where it started amongst the neighborhood- looks like you’re headed for a driveway but it weaves between houses and drops down sharply, then cuts back up

Great hike!

Fun hike with awesome views.

Fun & Beautiful

Had a great time and what a beautiful view. Made it back to the top for the sunset and it was gorgeous. Half way down you are better off kicking with no shoes for better grip. I highly recommend this hike. kids and elderly may struggle

Despite the Trail Name It's Pretty Cool

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.


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

Amazing Views

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.

679 total saves


Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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.

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