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Solana Beach, California

For outdoor adventures in Solana Beach, California, hiking the Annie's Canyon Trail is a must-visit. This moderate, 2-mile loop trail offers scenic views of the Pacific Ocean and San Elijo Lagoon. The trail is known for its unique sandstone canyon walls and a narrow slot section that adds to its appeal. Another top trail is the San Elijo Lagoon Trail, perfect for bird-watching and spotting local wildlife. For water activities, head to Fletcher Cove Beach Park for surfing and paddleboarding. Nearby, the Cedros Avenue Design District offers unique shopping and dining options after a day of outdoor fun. These are some of the best trails and outdoor activities in and near Solana Beach.

Top Spots in and near Solana Beach

  • 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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  • 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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  • Fallbrook, California

    Hike the Santa Margarita River Trail

    5.0
    5 mi / 469 ft gain
    Santa Margarita River Trail is a 5 mile out-and-back hike that takes you near the river in Fallbrook, CA. This trail provides some shade which is helpful on hot days. If you bring your swimsuit you can hop in for a dip on hotter days.  Make sure you wear good hiking shoes due to some rocky terrai...
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  • Ramona, California

    Explore the Sutherland Dam

    2.0
    1 mi
    Once your on Sutherland Dam Rd, follow it until your right next to the dam. Park on the side of the road where you see a small turn-out. Walk down to the side of the dam and drop down onto the concrete flooring of the dam. Walk on-top where allowed, and check out the views of the lake and the mo...
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  • Jamul, California

    Hike Mt. McGinty

    4.8 mi / 1263 ft gain
    Balancing a good workout, gorgeous views, and minimal time commitment, these 4.8-mile steep trail is definitely a San Diego point of interest, and despite its proximity to the city of San Diego, it remains a low trafficked hike. The Hike: Right away the trail weaves you through beautiful vegetati...
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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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  • 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 ...
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  • San Clemente, California

    Beach Day at San Onofre

    5.0
    This spot is no secret but it’s by far one of the best beaches California has to offer and has been regarded since the 1950s as a friendly surfing sanctuary. The beach is divided into three surf spots (named from North to South), known as “The Point,” “Old Man’s,” and “Dogpatch.” To access the be...
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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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  • Palomar Mountain, California

    Hike Thunder Spring and Chimney Flat Loop

    3.0
    4 mi / 900 ft gain
    Palomar Mountain is the hidden gem of San Diego. Well, not so hidden per se- but most don't know that the little climb up the mountain can transport you from the prevalent brush-filled terrain of SD to a lush, diverse forest.The great thing about Palomar is that every day you visit could be compl...
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  • Palomar Mountain, California

    Hike to French Valley

    5.0
    3.8 mi / 450 ft gain
    When it comes to Palomar Mountain State Park, most people stick to Doane Lake and Upper Doane Valley. Yet on the far right of the parking lot at Doane Pond, there is actually a trailhead that will guide you to a completely different section of the park. The Lower Doane Valley trail is, in my opti...
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  • San Diego County, California

    Camp On the Abandoned Santa Margarita Lookout Helipad

    4.3
    Starting in Murrieta, CA you don't have to venture far to enjoy a beautiful view and less light polluted skies.From Murrieta on the I-15 freeway you're going to want to take the Clinton Kieth Road exit and head west. If you're low on gas make sure to fill up at the 7 Eleven on the left corner. Th...
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  • 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...
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  • 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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  • Jamul, California

    Hike the Hollenbeck Canyon Trail

    4.6 mi / 626 ft gain
    The trail is wide and well maintained. The first mile of the trail is well shaded by oak trees. You'll see stunning rocky peaks and rolling green hills as the trail continues. There are three creek crossings to be aware of. Cleveland National Forest is dog friendly, but bring a leash! Hunting is ...
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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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