Best San Diego Hikes on the Coast

Encinitas Bluff Tree Best San Diego Hikes

San Diego County has some of the best coastlines on the entire coast of California. From the rugged coast, with towering sandstone cliffs found in North County San Diego, all the way down to the open estuaries, and sandy beaches located in South County San Diego. Today I would like to list for you some of my favorite San Diego hikes that you too can experience, on the coast of San Diego.

All San Diego hikes listed are to be taken only with a negative low tide. Please make sure to check out the tide chart before embarking on your adventure, as some of these walks are dangerous if the tide comes up on you. A good rule of thumb would be to allow a couple of hours before the high tide comes back in. Remember, a very high tide always follows a really low tide.

One more thing. I have written extensively on all of these sites previously, and have linked each post appropriately, so click on the underlined links for more information.

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Coast to Crest Trail-San Dieguito Lagoon

San Dieguito River Del Mar

A couple of months ago, I had the pleasure of going down to the San Dieguito Lagoon in Del Mar to go walking on the Coast to Crest Trail.  Did you know that San Diego County has six coastal lagoons? The San Dieguito Lagoon is the largest of them all.

You see, this past year, I have been having a blast visiting all of the San Diego Lagoons and Nature Centers, and this was the last lagoon to visit on my list.

Coast to Crest trail sign Del Mar

Walking the Coast to Crest Trail at the San Dieguito Lagoon

The San Dieguito Lagoon is located in North County San Diego and is 21 miles north of Downtown San Diego. The lagoon is part of the San Dieguito River Park which spans over 92,000 acres!

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La Jolla Coast Walk Trail-Let’s Go!

I am ashamed to admit, that even though I have been living in the San Diego area for over 30 years, I have never heard of, much less been on, the La Jolla Coast Walk Trail.

Do not get me wrong, because I have been up and down the coast of La Jolla (pronounced La Hoya) more times than I can count. It is one of my most revered areas in San Diego hands down.  So when I came across this hiking trail while researching, I knew that I must go! Would you like to join me on a tour of the La Jolla Coast Trail?

Before we start our tour, I would like to mention that I have written extensively about walking the La Jolla coastline in a previous post- Let’s Take a La Jolla Coast Walk.

But to be fair, that post only concentrated on the area just west of Downtown La Jolla and ended at The Cave Store. Today I would like to continue the hike, by following the path past The Cave Store and walking on the official La Jolla Coast Walk Trail. Confusing? Well, I sure hope not after you finish reading this!

Ready?

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Slough What? Discovering Famosa Slough

Famosa slough sign ocean beach california

Hi! Have you ever explored a wetland before? Well, today I would like to share with you a place that you would never expect to be so wonderful-Famosa Slough in Ocean Beach. First off, what is a slough? According to the dictionary, a slough (pronounced slōō)  is a swamp or shallow lake that is usually the backwater of a larger body of water with relatively low water circulation.

In other words, we can think of a  slough as a wetland a little farther from the shore compared to say, a lagoon where the mouth opens to the ocean. Another way to look at is, is that a slough is the part of the estuary where fresh water from creeks and urban runoff mix with the salty ocean water that is transported by the tides.

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Walking the Batiquitos Lagoon Trail

Batiquitos Lagoon sitting bench plants lagoon hills

Are you looking for a relatively easy trail to go hiking on in San Diego? Well, look no further as I have found the perfect spot! The Batiquitos Lagoon is between Carlsbad and Encinitas. It is one of the last saltwater marshes in Southern California. Today I will be taking you on a tour of the 3.14-mile Batiquitos Lagoon Trail.

Batiquitos Lagoon Map topography

Let’s go!

7380 Gabbiano Lane, Carlsbad

760-931-0800

Nature Center-9am-3pm daily

Batiquitos Lagoon Foundation Information

Batiquitos Lagoon Trail-A Photo Tour

I was so happy to come here for the first time. I have always been curious about this lagoon as you can see it from the Interstate 5 freeway. Here are a couple of references for you. The first is a map of the lagoon as well as a list of all possible birds that are seen here. Finally, I have also added the Self-Guided Batiquitos Trail Map which highlights several sites.

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Exploring Trestles Beach Trail

Surfer trestles beach trail san onofre state beach

Trestles Beach is a collection of surf breaks located at the northern border of San Onofre State Beach. Saying that this beach is world famous is an understatement! In fact, the Hurley Pro is held here!

I went over this area a bit in a previous post on San Onofre State Beach, but today I would like to concentrate on the Beach Trail leading to Trestles Beach.

The Beach Trail going east also becomes the Panhe Nature trail, which I have also written about if you are interested.

Recently, I have been teaching myself about all of the Southern California native plant species, so today I would like to point out a few to you if you do not mind. It helps me!

Once we arrive at Trestles, I will also be showcasing the San Mateo Creek/ Lagoon which ends at the beach as well as checking out the surfers and the dunes.

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Torrey Pines State Beach

Torrey Pines State Beach Panoramic Bluffs

Torrey Pines State Beach is located right between La Jolla to the south and Del Mar to the north.  I have been visiting this beach for over 30 years and never tire of the sights.

While living in San Diego, this was our number one beach to come and visit.

I discovered Torrey Pines State Beach when I was working as a Fisheries Technician. This beach is a prime spot for surf fishing. I can not think of a better place to have to work on!

I love it here so much!

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Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve is a 2000 acre park located in the community of La Jolla in San Diego California off North Torrey Pines Rd. Nothing here has ever been altered or diverted at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve making it one of the wildest coastal stretches left in California.

I can not emphasize enough just how beautiful this Reserve is!

Come and join me for a tour!

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