Escondido, California

Escondido, California is full of activities and attractions that are perfect for adventurers of all kinds. From scenic trails to must-visit outdoor adventures, there is something for everyone. The best trails and outdoor activities in and near Escondido include Kit Carson Park, Lake Wohlford, Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve, San Dieguito River Park, and Daley Ranch. Kit Carson Park is a great spot for hiking, picnicking, and other activities. Lake Wohlford offers fishing, boating, and swimming. Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve is great for mountain biking, hiking, and horseback riding. San Dieguito River Park is great for birdwatching, fishing, and kayaking. Lastly, Daley Ranch is great for hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking. With all these great activities and attractions, Escondido, California is the perfect place for all kinds of adventurers.

Top Spots in and near Escondido

  • Santee, California

    Oak Canyon in Mission Trails Regional Park

    5.0
    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...
    Read more
  • 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'...
    Read more
  • Palomar Mountain, California

    Hike to Palomar Observatory from the Palomar Observatory Campground

    5.0
    4.4 mi / 718 ft gain
    Situated in the Palomar Mountains of Cleveland National Forest, Palomar Observatory Campground offers many amenities for enjoyable camping and exploring the area.  A portion of the campsites loop has been cleared of trees with level cement pads to allow campers to set up their own telescopes.  Dr...
    Read more
  • San Diego, California

    Swing on the La Jolla Tree Swings

    3.0
    From Torrey Pines Rd, turn left onto La Jolla Shores Drive. After about 1/4 of a mile down start to look for parking preferably near UCSD Coastal Apartments. Once parked walk along the UCSD apartments until you see Discovery way. Make a left at Discovery where you will then cross the street. You ...
    Read more
  • San Diego County, California

    Photograph Scripp's Pier

    4.9
    Parking is easy, there are tons of random street you can park on just a little walk away. Be sure to arrive on scene at least an hour before sunset. Make sure to look up the sunset time and the weather forecast. Clouds will make for the most dramatic images with the most color from the sunset. Ex...
    Read more
  • San Diego, California

    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 indi...
    Read more
  • San Diego, California

    South Fortuna Mountain

    5.0
    4.59 mi / 997 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 creeps into the canyons. South Fortuna Peak is part of Miss...
    Read more
  • 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...
    Read more
  • 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...
    Read more
  • San Diego, California

    Dive La Jolla Shores

    4.5
    While it doesn't get the attention of La Jolla Cove's green fields, the shores are one of the best parts about San Diego.Driving up to the large parking area it's immediately clear you've come to the right place as there's almost always divers suiting up in the early morning. A dive shop down the...
    Read more
  • 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 ...
    Read more
  • 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...
    Read more
  • Ramona, California

    Cedar Creek Falls

    4.8
    5.52 mi / 1024 ft gain
    The trail to Cedar Falls starts out at a hill in a residential area and ends in an unexpected spot where there is a beautiful waterfall complete with a swimming hole. Surrounded by 75-foot-high cliffs, a magnificent waterfall splashes into a pool known as the Devil’s Punch Bowl. Hikers have been ...
    Read more
  • San Diego, California

    La Jolla Cove

    4.8
    La Jolla Cove is one of the most photographed beaches in San Diego, located on the coast just south of Torrey Pines Natural Reserve. La Jolla Cove is also one of the best spots in San Diego for snorkeling and scuba diving. This calm cove is ecologically protected with many animals making their ho...
    Read more
  • San Diego, California

    Swim in La Jolla Cove

    4.9
    La Jolla Cove is an iconic destination in San Diego for visitors and locals alike. Anyone visiting San Diego knows La Jolla Cove is famous for sea lions, beautiful sunsets, sea caves, kayaking, diving, etc etc. The entire area is a great place to eat, drink, relax and spend a day enjoying the Cal...
    Read more
  • San Diego, California

    Pyles Peak

    5.0
    6.03 mi / 1706 ft gain
    Most people who live in San Diego have heard of, if not hiked, Cowles Mountain. At 1591 ft., Cowles is the highest peak in the city of San Diego. It's a hugely popular destination for day hikers and trail runners looking to get in a little trail time and take in the 360 degree views the summit h...
    Read more