Descanso, California

The best Trails and Outdoor Activities in Descanso, California, offer a variety of scenic landscapes and top outdoor adventures. One must-visit is the Cuyamaca Rancho State Park. This park provides a network of hiking trails with diverse natural features, from the lush Green Valley Falls to the sweeping views atop Stonewall Peak. The trails range from easy to challenging, catering to both beginners and seasoned hikers. On your hike, you might spot native wildlife or unique rock formations. For a more leisurely outdoor activity, visit Lake Cuyamaca for fishing or bird-watching. Nearby, the Pacific Crest Trail offers long-distance hiking through varied landscapes. Truly, Descanso offers some of the best outdoor attractions in California.

Top Spots in and near Descanso

  • San Diego, California

    Point Loma Tide Pools

    4.5
    Begin by making your way towards the Point Loma Naval Base. Continue along that road as far as it goes and you will come to the Cabrillo National Monument. Upon entering the park you will have to pay a fee to get down to the tide pools. It is $5 per car or $3 per person if you choose to walk in. ...
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  • Solana Beach, California

    Annie’s Canyon via N Rios

    4.7
    1.54 mi / 135 ft gain
    If you're looking for a super short hike, this 10 minute flat walk couldn't be more ideal. Start at 840 N Rios Avenue, Solana beach and walk east towards the FWY 5 where you will see Annie’s Canyon on your right. There is only one way to go up the canyons and it gets pretty tight in places, but y...
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  • Encinitas, California

    San Elijo State Beach Campground

    4.5
    This campground is located right next to the beach as well as next to the San Elijo Lagoon. Head to the beach during the day for a swim. This is also a great place to catch a sunset. If you want to stretch your legs and get moving a bit, you can hike around the San Elijo Lagoon to the east of the...
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  • Encinitas, California

    Encinitas Coastal Rail Trail

    2.61 mi / 33 ft gain
    The Cardiff/Encinitas Coastal Rail Trail (part of the longer, ongoing project to eventually run 44 miles between Oceanside and San Diego) is a beautiful, mellow, and well-maintained pathway that runs from the corner of Chesterfield Dr. & San Elijo Ave. (right across the street from the Patago...
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  • Encinitas, California

    Coastal Roots Farm

    5.0
    Coastal Roots Farm in Encinitas, California provides high quality, freshly picked organic produce with a pay-what-you-can pricing model. If you can afford to, pay their asking price, especially when you consider in return they allow people in need to buy for less than normal market prices. Best p...
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  • Encinitas, California

    Stonesteps Beach

    Stonesteps Beach is incredibly scenic during every season. In the winter this beach is usually fairly rocky, and in the spring/summer the sand returns.  If you're looking to hang out on this beach just be sure to set up your towel or chair a good ways away from the cliffside as there is a lot of...
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  • Borrego Springs, California

    Hike the Calcite Mine Trail in the Anza-Borrego Desert

    4 mi / 830 ft gain
    Open from March until October - but I would not particularly recommend this hike in the summer months, unless you started in the wee almost dark hours. This is the desert and it gets hot early and quickly.This is a former calcite mine with slot canyons, great rock formations and some shady areas ...
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  • Encinitas, California

    Photograph Surfers at Beacons Beach

    5.0
    Pack for a day of fun, and don’t forget your camera! Getting there is easy. You can plug “beacons beach” or Leucadia State Beach right into your gps. You’ll find it right off of Neptune Street, where you can park in the parking lot on top of the sea bluff. Walk down the windy beach trail and you ...
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  • Encinitas, California

    Grandview Beach

    5.0
    3 mi
    Grandview Beach is a great spot for surfing when conditions line up (see Surfline). it's also an ideal spot to kick back and relax (bring your whole fam, dogs too).  If you're looking for a little fitness, you can start at either Grandview Beach and head south along the beach to the San Elijo la...
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  • Carlsbad, California

    South Carlsbad Campground

    5.0
    South Carlsbad Campground is a picturesque experience. Imagine gorgeous sea cliffs overlooking a lovely beach, with ample activities to pursue (or just lay in the sun and enjoy some quiet time). The most popular campsites, 1-70 and 156-222, are perched on the edge of a bluff and feature the best ...
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  • Carlsbad, California

    Hike and Fish at Lake Calavera

    4.0
    6.24 mi
    Lake Calavera Preserve is located in Carlsbad, CA and is home to one of North America's smallest volcanoes. It is the end peak of each trail and is what's known as a "volcanic plug" (cool hardened lava). The northern face of Mount Calavera is that of columnar joints- columns of molded lava. Geolo...
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  • Rosarito Beach Municipality, Mexico

    Surf in Baja Norte

    Hit an ATM before crossing the border, then take the 1 down the coast past Tijuana and into Rosarito. Make sure to pack the wallet with singles and nickels to pay the $2.05 at each booth.Make your way down to K38 where you can have your pick of beach, point, or reef break. Robert's turnoff from...
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  • Temecula, California

    Dripping Springs Trail

    4.0
    13.68 mi / 3287 ft gain
    The trail immediately begins to climb out of the campground on a well-graded incline. The next mile contains some climbing leading to a set of switchbacks. A long strenuous climb ensues until the 3200' elevation is reached. The trail then makes an easy southward traverse to the basin before resum...
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  • Aguanga, California

    Vail Lake Loop

    4.0
    7.25 mi / 922 ft gain
    Vail Lake Loop is a loop trail that takes you by a lake located near Temecula, California.
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  • Oceanside, California

    Buccaneer Beach

    If you're looking for a beach to bring your family, Buccaneer Beach is the place to go. It has a little bit of everything plus a huge parking lot, so it's really never full (unless you go midday on the 4th of July or something). There is a grassy area next to the parking lot with benches to have...
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