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Chula Vista, California

The best Trails and Outdoor Activities in Chula Vista, California, include the Otay Valley Regional Park. This park is a must-visit for outdoor adventures, featuring a scenic 8-mile trail that offers a variety of terrain for hikers of all levels. The trail winds through the park, passing by the Otay River and several ponds, offering plenty of chances to spot local wildlife. Notable features include the park's unique rock formations and the historic Gunpowder House. For those seeking a more challenging hike, the park also offers the Rock House Trail, a steep climb that rewards hikers with panoramic views of the city and surrounding landscape. In addition to hiking, the park also offers biking and horseback riding trails. Nearby, the Living Coast Discovery Center provides another top outdoor attraction, with exhibits on local wildlife and habitats.

Top Spots in and near Chula Vista

  • Mount Laguna, California

    Red Trail Roost and Agua Dulce Trail Loop

    4.0
    4.63 mi / 591 ft gain
    Red Trail Roost and Agua Dulce Trail Loop is a loop trail where you may see wildflowers located near Julian, California.
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  • Oceanside, California

    Catch a Sunset at Oceanside Pier

    4.8
    Both sides of the pier are awesome to shoot but depending on the time of the year/sun position one might be better than the other. Super mellow beach to chill out at and watch the sunset. You can get some awesome reflections in the tide. Keep an eye on your gear as there can be sketchy crackheads...
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  • Oceanside, California

    Surf Fish at Oceanside Pier

    5.0
    There are lots of great beaches to fish at in Oceanside. You can fish any of these or you could choose to fish off the Oceanside Pier. You can catch many different species of fish from the shore such as croakers, corbina, surfperch, shovelnose guitarfish, leopard shark, halibut, and rays. In orde...
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  • Oceanside, California

    Bike or Skate the Strand

    4.0
    1 mi / 0 ft gain
    Oceanside's iconic Strand is a 1 mile long ocean-front road that is perfect for cycling, walking, and running. At various points it is one way or pedestrian only, and is a must-do for any visitors to Oceanside.From the north The Strand begins at Breakwater Way and heads south underneath The Ocean...
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  • Mount Laguna, California

    Night Shoot at Mt. Laguna USAF Station

    This is a great stop when passing through the Anza Borrego Desert. The drive is very scenic, and passes through Sunrise Highway. Once you turn off the road, it's a very short drive up the hill where you will find a large spot to leave your car. There is a service gate that you can't drive through...
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  • Julian, California

    Volcan Mountain Trail

    4.82 mi / 1270 ft gain
    Volcan Mountain Trail located near Julian, California is a moderate day hike. This well-maintained trail offers beautiful views, but keep in mind there isn't too much sun protection, so be sure to pack plenty of water and coverage on sunnier days.  Dogs are permitted on the trail on a leash. 
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  • Oceanside, California

    Surf the South Jetty, Oceanside Harbor

    4.5
    The jetty's of Oceanside Harbor serve to protect and stabilize the mouth of the San Luis Rey River meaning the sand and subsequent breaks remain fairly consistent and sand bars last for quite some time. After heavy rains large sand bars will form making for decent waves. It is also a great place ...
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  • Oceanside, California

    Stand Up Paddleboard the Oceanside Harbor

    The Oceanside Harbor is a great place to paddle board with easy parking and access to restaurants, and all protected from the wave and swells of the ocean. Often times there are sea lions, pelicans, and other marine life swimming among the hundreds of beautiful sailboats. Paddleboards are availab...
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  • Oceanside, California

    Kayak the Oceanside Harbor

    Sea kayaking from the Oceanside Harbor public kayak launch is one of the best ways to experience the Oceanside coast and the Pacific Ocean. There is ample parking along North Harbor Drive with the public kayak launch well-marked on the street. You can paddle around the harbor or you can go out pa...
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  • Julian, California

    Ghost Mountain Trail to Yaquitepec

    5.0
    1.29 mi / 443 ft gain
    Ghost Mountain Trail to Yaquitepec is an out-and-back trail where you may see beautiful wildflowers located near Julian, California.
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  • Julian, California

    Blair Valley Trail

    11.4 mi / 873 ft gain
    Blair Valley Trail is a loop trail where you may see wildflowers located near Julian, California.
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  • Palomar Mountain, California

    Hike Thunder Spring and Chimney Flat Loop

    3.0
    4 mi / 900 ft gain
    Palomar Mountain is the hidden gem of San Diego. Well, not so hidden per se- but most don't know that the little climb up the mountain can transport you from the prevalent brush-filled terrain of SD to a lush, diverse forest.The great thing about Palomar is that every day you visit could be compl...
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  • Palomar Mountain, California

    Hike to French Valley

    5.0
    3.8 mi / 450 ft gain
    When it comes to Palomar Mountain State Park, most people stick to Doane Lake and Upper Doane Valley. Yet on the far right of the parking lot at Doane Pond, there is actually a trailhead that will guide you to a completely different section of the park. The Lower Doane Valley trail is, in my opti...
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