Amazing Hiking Trails in La Jolla, Torrey Pines, Escondido & North County
Amazing San Diego Hiking Trails
photo provided with permission
Californian hills and mountains are an ideal terrain for hiking, which certainly is one of the most popular activities among people of all ages. Depending on your preference and if you desire a short or a long hike, you can choose between easy, intermediate, and advance hiking paths and find different trails in California literally everywhere. People easily get hooked on exploring nature by walking and decide to “collect” their summits. For those trails that are far away, do your research and prepare yourself to say yes because it will probably be worth the drive and you can be sure that nature will pay you back in a beautiful way. If you don’t see yourself as hiking material, think twice. First, there are many benefits to walking and second, there are trails that are small, easy and suitable for anyone.
Let’s go back to the start and present some of the most remarkable hiking trails in North County.
Open for hiking daily from dawn to dusk, Escondido’s Daley Ranch has trails for beginner, intermediate, and advanced hikers. The most popular starting point for most is the La Honda Drive entrance where you can start your nature exploration. If you prefer hiking in groups, each week Daley Ranch provides one guided hike with a naturalist who will show you how easy it is to fall in love with this trail. Dogs are welcome as long as you have them on a leash, and also, you’ll have a good chance to see horseback riders somewhere along the hike.
Hiking through Torrey Pines will give you a wonderful combination of rocks, sand, mountain, and beach, with a gorgeous view following you all along any trail you choose. Located between Del Mar and La Jolla, Torrey Pines has to be on the fave list of every hiker in San Diego - it’s worth the drive. The Reserve offers five trails, from easy to intermediate levels, the most popular is the Beach Trail. Make sure to check that the tide is low since after descending to the beach you’ll be in between the ocean waves and the mountain.
Another beautiful trail of Escondido, sitting within its Creek Watershed, is Elfin Forest that offers approximately 11 miles of hiking, although the hikers usually spend an hour or two and cover a trail between one and two miles. At the starting point of the reserve, there is a lovely creek and later you will have stunning views of the ocean, Coronado Islands, the Laguna, and the San Bernardino mountain ranges. If it’s your first time, join the Nature Walk group every 2nd Sunday of the month to learn the facts about your hiking location.
Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve
Located between Sorento Hills and Mira Mesa, Los Penasquitos trail will take you around three hours of hiking for approximately seven miles. The Preserve has some biodiversity hidden jewels, so while hiking you’ll be able to see hundreds of different plants, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals. This magnificent hike landscape will surprise you with a beautiful waterfall, a forest of California live oaks, and a creek hosting various aquatic birds. The terrain is relatively flat, but explore with caution as the soil tends to be soft and paths can get rocky.
There are many trails leading to the peak of Double Peak, but accessing the mountain from Discovery Lake Park in San Marcos would be a double treat as you will be able to discover the park and the mountain. If you decide to take that starting point, take a loop around the lake and then enjoy the rest of the 2.5-mile hike. The best time to explore the peak is early in the morning and if you catch a clear day you’ll be able to get a view of Mexico, San Clemente Island, the Palos Verdes Peninsula, or Catalina Island in the distance.