Thanks to the varied terrain, unique topography and 365 days of beautiful weather, San Diego has some of the best hiking in the United States. From the shores of Torrey Pines to the peak of Cowles Mountain to photogenic Potato Chip Rock, there’s something for everyone.
Here are some locations of the best hiking in San Diego:
- Torrey Pines State Beach: Located literally a stone’s throw from the Pacific Ocean, Torrey Pines State Beach combines breathtaking coastal scenery with rugged and challenging hiking trails into an outdoor experience that few other locations can offer.
- Cowles Mountain: One of San Diego’s most popular hiking locations, Cowles Mountain towers over central San Diego and presents some of the most challenging trails in town. However, those who dare to mount the summit (at 1,593 feet, it’s the highest point within city limits) are rewarded with a splendid view of the city, and on a clear day you can see into Mexico and beyond.
- Mount Woodson Trail: Nestled in scenic Poway, a sleepy suburb of North County San Diego, Mount Woodson Trail is a hiking adventure that even serious outdoorspeople find difficult. However, the reward is worth it, because it contains what the locals call Potato Chip Rock. This naturally thin outcropping of stone extends over the valley, and has become one of the most popular places to take capture a moment of supreme physical accomplishment.
- Cedar Creek Falls to the Devil’s Punchbowl: This notoriously difficult trail is one of San Diego’s most famous outdoor excursions, but is should only be attempted by the most serious and dedicated hikers. The trail leads to the magnificent Devil’s Punchbowl, fed by a stunning waterfall, but its remote location, high cliffs and slippery rocks make this a challenging but extremely dangerous adventure.
San Diego hiking draws adventurers from all across the country and even around the world. Beautiful weather, stunning natural settings, and a range of simple hikes to physically challenging trails means there’s an outdoor excursion that can meet just about anyone’s skill level. So get out there and explore!
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