Top North Coast Hikes

Walk 'til You Drop with These Awesome Hikes



Hosp Grove

Photo by Carlsbad Crawl

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The first day of summer is approaching quickly! Vacations are already planned, flights booked and suitcases packed—now it’s time to wait until your highly-anticipated trip. Until then, there are inevitably going to be some lazy days where you don’t have anything planned or simply don’t know what to do. Luckily, you live in San Diego where the weather is always sunny and seventy, so why not go on a leisurely hike? There are numerous trails throughout the county, so it can be a little overwhelming to pick just one. But don’t worry—here is a list of the best North Coast hikes that you can enjoy throughout the summer. Each holds a different level of difficulty and type of scenery, so choose one that fits your party. So pack your sunblock and start walking! 

Hosp Grove 

Located in the most historically significant part of Carlsbad, the Hosp Grove trail is a popular path taken by hikers throughout San Diego. Unlike any other hike, the Hosp Grove trail comes with a rich history. In 1908, F.P. Hosp picked this location to plant nearly 40,000 eucalyptus trees. He did this strategically in an attempt to profit from the ever-expanding railroad industry, as he hoped to sell each tree as a railroad tie. Unfortunately, Hosp found that eucalyptus trees could not be used in this way, leaving thousands of them throughout this trail in Carlsbad. Today, the Hosp Grove trail is maintained, monitored, and enjoyed by dedicated volunteers.

The abundance of trees makes for a shady, cool hike. Hikers have praised this trail for its breezy, cool feeling no matter how hot it may be in surrounding areas. At roughly three miles long, this trail follows unpaved paths suitable for walking, biking, or jogging. It’s an easy stroll perfect for walking dogs or admiring the views of the lovely Buena Vista Lagoon. The Hosp Grove trail is reasonably easy, so it’s ideal for a relaxing saunter.  

Batiquitos Lagoon

Batiquitos Lagoon 

Also located in Carlsbad, this trail overlooks the scenic Batiquitos Lagoon. With wide open paths and very little incline, this trail is perfect for people of all ages—even dogs! People can enjoy the walk with their leashed pooches year-round. The Batiquitos Lagoon has proudly built a new Nature Center where hikers can stop by for trail maps, information about the surrounding wildlife, or just information in general. Aside from hiking, this trail uniquely offers activities for the avid outdoorsman. Bird watching is popular at Batiquitos Lagoon, as almost 185 bird specifies inhabit the area. If you wish to identify every bird when you visit, check out the Batquitos Lagoon website for a full list of birds! Various hawks, diving birds, waterfowls, and shorebirds are especially prevalent in this area. 

If you want to do something relaxing yet active, fishing is the perfect activity. All watersports are strictly prohibited at Batiquitos Lagoon, so the water is unadulterated—leaving the fish relaxed and ready to bite. Several types of fish occupy the lagoon, including the California Killfish, Pipefish, White Seabass, and California Halibut. But if you’re solely there for the hike, the Batiquitos Lagoon does everything it can to give you the most out of your walk. At the Nature Center, you can get maps of the trail or go on a group hike led by a knowledgeable volunteer. The two mile trail is easy and fit for any skill level. 

Swami's Beach

Swami’s Beach 

Encinitas is home to some of the greatest beaches in San Diego. No matter what beach you land on in this laid back town, you’re sure to enjoy it. Swami’s Beach is especially loved by tourists and locals for its family-friendly environment and breathtaking views. It’s even an internationally acclaimed surf-spot! If you’re looking to exercise or to embrace the outdoors, visit Swami’s for a relaxing stroll or jog. 

While most of the trail is on cushiony sand, there are fairly steep staircases you will encounter. Depending on how far you walk, there could be more than one, so be prepared for a bit of stair climbing. While the Swami’s walk is almost three miles, you don’t have to stop it there. You can continue walking (either north or south) and spill into different beaches. Parking can be a little tricky. Look for parking on K Street, or check out the Swami’s Park parking lot. If it’s easier, park at a nearby beach and then walk to Swami’s.