San Diego County, California

Looking for the best photography in San Diego County? We've got you covered with the top trails, trips, hiking, backpacking, camping and more around San Diego County. The detailed guides, photos, and reviews are all submitted by the Outbound community.

Top Photography Spots in and near San Diego County

  • Jamul, California

    Hiking Otay Mountain

    5.0
    15.3 mi / 2903 ft gain
    The trek begins on the Otay Mountain Truck Trail at Pio Pico Resort & Campground. You can either park and hike the entire trail, or drive up to a point a couple miles and park before the road becomes steep and rough. The distance on here is if you hiked the whole way. If you have a 4-wheel dr...
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  • Chula Vista, California

    Hike Mother Miguel Mountain

    5.0
    4.5 mi / 977 ft gain
    At the summit, your work will be rewarded with stunning views from downtown San Diego all the way to Mexico. You can also see the surrounding mountain peaks and the Sweetwater Reservoir.  This is a great hike to do at sunset - but bring a headlamp / flashlight for the hike back down. This trail i...
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  • Campo, California

    Photograph the Mexican Border on the PCT Southern Terminus

    4.5
    From San Diego head East on Hwy 8 for roughly 60 miles to Buckman Springs Road (Exit 51). Take a right on Buckman Springs road an drive South for 10 miles. Turn right on CA-94 W (Campo Rd) and drive for 1.5 miles. After crossing the railroad tracks turn left on Forrest Gate Road. Take this road f...
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  • San Diego County, California

    Hiking the Laguna Hills via the PCT

    5.0
    20 mi / 2000 ft gain
    This trail is well-maintained, but gets a little rocky on the PCT, and the Chariot Fire burn-zone between Penny Pines and Hayes peak will have a few downed trees and some overgrown grasses. On the other hand, the trail network of the BLT is confusing to follow as the entire network is named "Big ...
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  • La Mesa, California

    Catch a Sunset at Lake Murray

    Lake Murray Reservoir provides drinking water to parts of San Diego, and thus is a no swimming lake. This is one of the reasons it is such a great place to photograph! If you are shooting the sunset, use this app to check the time the sun sets, and get to the lake at least 30 minutes prior to set...
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  • San Diego, California

    Hike to the beach at Border Field State Park

    2 mi / 26 ft gain
    The beach at Border Field State Park is southernmost beach in California. This beach begins (on US Maps) at the Mexican border and continues north to the mouth of the Tijuana River. The State Park shares its land with the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve which are both operated b...
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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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  • Imperial Beach, California

    Catch a Sunset at the Imperial Beach Pier

    5.0
    From San Diego, head South on Hwy 5 for 12 miles. Take a right on exit 5A for Palm Ave/CA-75. Take CA-75 west for 1.6 miles. Stay on Palm Ave as it splits from CA-75. Take Palm Ave for 1 mile until it reaches the coast. Turn left on Seacoast Dr and take it for 1 mile until you reach the Imperial ...
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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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  • Coronado, California

    Spend a Day at Silver Strand State Beach

    5.0
    A day at the Silver Strand State Beach is a must, playing in the surf and searching for seashells. Parking can be challenging, as all beaches on Coronado Island are very busy.  I recommend coming early in the morning and planning to stay all day.  Lots of food options are close to every beach...
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  • 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...
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  • 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...
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  • Julian, California

    Hike Cuyamaca Peak

    4.5
    5.5 mi / 1700 ft gain
    This peak is one of the tallest in the county. Reaching the summit of the peak takes you to an elevation of 6500'. Although this peak isn't as challenging as others nearby, it's located in the center of San Diego, which offers up amazing views, which is the main reason to take this hike. The best...
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  • Julian, California

    Hike Stonewall Peak

    4.7
    3.82 mi / 820 ft gain
    This hike is one of the most popular in the Cuyamaca Rancho State Park. When you reach Stonewall Peak's summit, enjoy the view of the surrounding park and nearby Lake Cuyamaca. The hike up the east side is a popular and relatively easy trail. Although you'll be gaining 800 feet, the hike is relat...
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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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  • Santa Ysabel, California

    Three Sisters Falls

    4.9
    3.42 mi / 906 ft gain
    Three Sisters Falls is by far the best hike, for the most reward, that I've gone on in the close vicinity of San Diego. Only a short hour and a half drive from downtown San Diego, the hike offers all the draws of a National Park: remote wilderness, strenuous hiking, scenic mountain views, and ama...
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