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Encinitas, California

One of the top outdoor adventures in Encinitas, California, is hiking the Annie's Canyon Trail. This must-visit trail is known for its unique sandstone walls and narrow passages. It's a moderate difficulty trail, making it suitable for most fitness levels. Along the trail, you'll see the San Elijo Lagoon, a vibrant ecosystem home to various bird species. If you're into mountain biking, the Manchester Preserve is a great spot with miles of dirt trails and stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. For those interested in water activities, Moonlight Beach is a popular spot for surfing and swimming. In conclusion, Encinitas is packed with scenic outdoor activities and attractions, from hiking and biking trails to beaches, making it a top destination for outdoor adventures.

Top Spots in and near Encinitas

  • San Diego, California

    Explore Chambers Hidden Dam and Waterfall

    3.2
    0.5 mi
    Once you get off on Poway road, turn right onto Sabre Springs Parkway. Take your immediate left onto Creekbridge Road and park right there on the hill. Walk straight down towards the black gate and go down the hill. Turn right on the trail and walk down 1/4 mile to the dam, and another 500 yards ...
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  • San Diego, California

    Hike to Battle Mountain's Cross

    5.0
    0.42 mi / 803 ft gain
    When it comes to Rancho Bernardo, most people overlook this "mountain" because of its size compared to Mule Hill and other neighboring peaks. The trailhead begins between two residential houses but is fairly easy to find and tackle in less than an hour. This hike is more of a steep walk that can ...
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  • Escondido, California

    Hike Bernardo Mountain Summit Trail

    5.0
    7.36 mi / 1150 ft gain
    Bernardo Mountain is located on the Coast to Crest Trail in San Dieguito River Park.The 7.36 mile out-and-back trail to the 1150 ft. summit starts on the east side of I-15. It's a relatively easy hike all the way to the top. It picks up a little once you make it to the Summit Trail junction, wher...
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  • San Diego, California

    Hike the Rose Canyon Trail

    3.5
    8.9 mi / 725 ft gain
    This hike is open year-round but is especially beautiful in the spring when the wildflowers are blooming and the spring is running. This trail offers good entry level mountain biking, with mostly flat well maintained trails and a couple of challenging but doable hills. 
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  • San Diego, California

    La Jolla Coast Walk Trail

    5.0
    2.32 mi / 295 ft gain
    La Jolla Coast Walk is a beautiful coastline trail, but is a bit of a heavily trafficked tourist trail. The hike can be started and ended at 3 separate locations. The trail is easily accessible with a small parking lot and tons of restaurants nearby.  The trail begins near another popular touris...
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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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  • San Diego, California

    Photographing Hospitals Reef

    5.0
    Hospitals Reef is a photographer’s paradise. San Diego is known for its many beaches, but Hospitals Reef is one of my favorites to photograph. It’s easy to see why when you get there. The unique rocky shoreline is home to many unusual and wonderful sights.There is a section of rocks filled with p...
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  • San Diego, California

    Surf Scripps Pier

    5.0
    Park on La Jolla Shores Drive and make the short walk down the boat ramp north of the pier. This spot often has some of the clearest waters in San Diego, making it a picturesque place to surf. During low tide, check out the tide pools just north of the surf spot to find some awesome sea life.
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  • San Diego, California

    Watch the Sunset at Windansea Beach

    5.0
    One of San Diego's hidden gems. This beach offers an incredible and beautiful view any time of the day. My favorite time to go to this beach is during the sunset. There is a set of stairs just north of the parking lot that leads down to the cliffs where you can sit, hang out, and relax. It's also...
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  • Poway, California

    Catch a Sunset at Twin Peaks Mountain

    2 mi
    Start by parking at Silverset Park. You will see the trail head for Twin Peaks just behind the park. Park outside of the park if you think you'll be staying past sunset, as the park gates close at dark! Once you spot the trail head, veer left to the path heading up towards the peaks. You will eve...
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  • Poway, California

    Hike the Blue Sky Ecological Reserve

    3.0
    5 mi / 1000 ft gain
    Starting at the trail head where you park your car, head south along the Green Valley Truck Trail. After less than a mile, you will notice the city and noise start to fade behind you, and a beautiful sight of towering oaks, willows, and sycamores appear as you walk along the Creekside Trail. You ...
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  • Poway, California

    Relax at Lake Poway

    4.0
    It costs $5 to enter the park and they are open 6am to sunset everyday. There is plenty of parking and this park is huge! This place has so many outdoor recreational activities such as fishing, hiking, running, archery, feeding ducks, or just having a picnic. With so many possibilities in this on...
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  • Poway, California

    Mount Woodson and Potato Chip Rock

    4.6
    6.45 mi / 900 ft gain
    Mt. Woodson is located in Poway's most eastern region and is one of San Diego's most popular and most iconic hiking trails. Known for its grand photo opportunistic "Potato Chip Rock", Mt. Woodson is a 7.5mi out-and-back trail with amazing vistas, convenient rest stops and breathtaking views. The...
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  • Escondido, California

    Camp at Dixon Lake

    2.1 mi / 295 ft gain
    Dixon Lake is Escondido's best kept secret! A man-made reservoir located right next to Daley Ranch, Dixon Lake offers overnight camping, boat rentals, fishing, and hiking, along with picnic areas, a kids park, and more.  The campground is open year-round and is located next to the lake with a lof...
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  • San Diego, California

    Bonfire at Fiesta Island

    4.7
    This island offers scenic views of of mission bay and if you're lucky, you can catch fireworks from Sea World. The bonfire rings are stationed around the island, so make sure you get there early to stake yours out, especially if you're headed there on the weekend. Dogs are allowed off leash at th...
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  • San Diego, California

    Hike to the Rope Swing in Tecolote Canyon

    4.0
    4.4 mi
    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, wh...
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