Hike to the Rope Swing in Tecolote Canyon

Tecolote Canyon Parking, San Diego, California, United States

  • Activities:

    Mountain Biking, Running, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Year Round

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    4.4 Miles

Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
River

Tecolotoe is an easy getaway in the heart of San Diego with a fun bonus, the rope swing! This is a convenient after-work adventure.

Tecolote Canyon offers a great opportunity to explore nature right in the heart of San Diego, whether it is a hike, run, or bike ride on the trails.  But the best kept secret is perhaps a rope swing over the creek!

The main trail starts off at Tecolote Canyon Natural Park & Nature Center, where there is ample parking in the lot and along the street leading up to it. Parking and access to the canyon are free and the trails are dog-friendly.  Follow the sidewalk toward the gate and gravel road and you will find the pedestrian and bike entrance just to the right.  The gravel will quickly turn to a dirt trail.

The start of the trail is wide and flat until you pass the SDG&E sub-station, where at about 1.3 miles you can opt for the steep access roads for the power line maintenance or for the small, single-track trails that wind off to the left.  The best way to find the tree swing is to keep left and take every single-track trail that comes your way – you’ll end up skirting alongside the Tecolote Canyon Golf Course. The third left fork you take will lead you down a short decent to the river where the rope swing is (about 2.2 miles).  Depending on recent rainfall, the creek may be running or it may be dried up. 

Spend time enjoying this small oasis in the canyon and playing on the swing before heading back in the direction you came.  Feel free to explore the steeper access road trails on your way back, since finding the way back to your car should be much easier than getting to the swing!

Pack List

  • Trail shoes
  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Camera
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Reviews

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Fun hike, went with some friends and enjoyed finding a new place in San Diego, but when we arrive there was no swing left!

4 months ago
4 months ago

It's a fun little trail and the rope swing is pretty fun. Great way to spend a few hours with friends

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

Jenna Ferrieri

The ocean and the mountains are my playground. I spend my time sailing, diving, and backpacking with my dog.

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