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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

  • Ramona, California

    Iron Mountain Peak Trail

    4.1
    5.67 mi / 1030 ft gain
    Iron Mountain is the longest wilderness trail in Poway, CA. The parking lot is free and provides bathroom and water fountain amenities. The distance from the parking area to the summit is approximately 3.2 miles. Beginning with a wide smooth trail, slowly transitioning into semi-technical incline...
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  • San Diego, California

    Hike Mission Trails 5 Peaks

    15 mi
    The 15-ish mile route we took made it a great workout, but it didn’t crush us. We left the apartment at 6 am and were back home with plenty of time to prep cook and eat a big dinner before 5 pm. Although I completed the hike in 1 day(and I highly recommend it)many people completed each hike indiv...
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  • Poway, California

    Hike around Goodan Ranch

    5.0
    3 mi
    Starting at the Sycamore Canyon Trail head, you will see the sign and gate that leads to Goodan Ranch. Head down the gravel road for 1.1 miles, until you reach a 3-way directional split. Heading straight for another .5 miles will take you directly to the ruins of the old Goodan house. Here you wi...
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  • San Diego, California

    Hike to South Fortuna Peak

    5.0
    5 mi / 1000 ft gain
    Hiking at sunset/night is a great way to beat both the heat and the crowds. On a clear day you can see from Mexico to Catalina Island! If you stay long enough, you can see all of San Diego's city lights turn on, or the marine layer fog creep into the canyons.South Fortuna Peak is part of Mission ...
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  • Ramona, California

    Hiking Mount Woodson's East Approach

    3.0
    4 mi
    Mount Woodson is a well know hiking trail in San Diego County. It is know for its breath taking views and the famous potato chip rock. The Trail on the east side of the Mountain is fairly steep but is about half the distance of the trail on the west side of the mountain. To get to the trail on t...
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  • San Diego, California

    Ocean Beach Dog Beach

    5.0
    Ocean Beach Dog Beach is considered "The Original Dog Beach" and one of the first leash-free dog beaches in the U.S., according to city's website.  There's something really magical about being at a beach during sunset, and even up to an hour after sunset can still cast beautiful light on the wat...
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  • Santee, California

    Oak Canyon in Mission Trails Regional Park

    3.22 mi / 249 ft gain
    Starting on Father Junipero Serra Trail, drive 0.7 miles west to the Old Mission Dam parking lot on the left. The park closes the gates at 7pm, so make sure to park early, or plan your hike in such a way that you don't get locked in! If you think you'll need longer, you can park out on the main r...
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  • Santee, California

    Kwaay Paay Trail

    2.4 mi / 846 ft gain
    Park your car in the small gravel parking lot at the southwest corner of Father Junipero Serra Trail and Bushy Hill Drive (this is especially important if you plan to take the sunset hike, so you'll be outside the locked park gate when you descend). There will be other hikers parked there, but I'...
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  • San Diego, California

    Explore Old Town San Diego State Historical Park

    4.5
    1 mi
    From where Father Junipero Serra established the first of 21 California Missions in 1769, this area was the first permanent European settlement in the San Diego region. Today, past and present meet in a preserved historical park located near Downtown San Diego. You can explore life as it was in t...
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  • San Diego, California

    Visitor Center Loop Trail

    5.0
    1.46 mi / 148 ft gain
    The Visitor Center Loop Trail is a 1.4 mile hike in San Diego that features river views and allows dogs.The Visitor Center Loop Trail is a well maintained, quick hike with shady spots scattered along the path and open year-round. This trail is great for kids and dog owners. There is a great netwo...
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  • San Diego, California

    Catch a Sunset at Sunset Cliffs

    4.7
    Sunset Cliffs Natural Park area is a 68-acre park on the western edge of Point Loma. The cliffs overlook the Pacific, creating a great spot to take in the sunset. If you head to the parking lot off of Sunset Cliffs, you can get a great view from Pappy's Point. Try to get there a bit before the su...
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  • San Diego, California

    Picnic at Sunset Cliffs in San Diego

    5.0
    San Diego has so much outdoor adventure to offer! After exploring and playing all day head over to Ocean Beach to catch the sunset with a packed picnic at Sunset Cliffs. The cliffs are pretty vast, but filled with lots of spectators. It can be a bit trafficy getting in and out around sunset so gi...
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  • Santee, California

    Cowles Mountain via Big Rock Road

    4.5
    4.32 mi / 1109 ft gain
    Start by plugging 8125 Arlette St, Santee, CA into your GPS. This takes you to Big Rock Park, a convenient parking spot for the Cowles Hike. From here you want to walk through the park, and around the right side of the tennis court. This will take you to the fenced entrance to the hike. Head sout...
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  • Santee, California

    Cowles Mountain via Big Rock Trail

    4.0
    4.86 mi / 1207 ft gain
    Starting somewhat near sea-level, Cowles Mountain via the Big Rock Trail climbs about 1000 ft in elevation.  This trail is about 5 miles total, out and back.  Arrive at Big Rock park which has good parking.  At the park you will walk to the left of the tennis courts past the limits (the fence) of...
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  • San Diego, California

    Explore Sunset Cliffs Open Ceiling Cave

    0.5 mi
    Starting from you parking spot on the street you will see it right away. Then look to the right in the small bay--to the right of it you'll see a small place to climb down. There is no rope so be careful when scaling it. Walk south until you hit the reef wall and walk along it until you get aroun...
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  • Santee, California

    Crystal Cave

    4.0
    0.46 mi / 59 ft gain
    Starting at 8100 Mesa road, you will see parking along the side of the road in a few places, take advantage where you find it.  Pass over the trail gate that marks the start of the journey. This will be a quick trip, as the total distance is less than a mile out and back. Head a quarter mile or ...
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