Why You Need to Hike Los Peñasquitos Canyon Trail in San Diego

San Diego is known for offering an abundance of outdoor activities for nature enthusiasts, and hiking is at the top of that list. There are hundreds of trails to choose from, but Los Peñasquitos Canyon Trail in San Diego offers a little bit of everything. Whether you’re looking for scenic views, waterfalls, or even a wildlife spotting, you’ll find it on this trail. 

There are plenty of other ways to take advantage of the outdoors while you’re here: biking, relaxing on the beach, and surfing, to name a few! Discover all of the best things to do in the area when you unlock our complimentary Travel Guide

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Los Peñasquitos Canyon Trail in San Diego Is One of the Best Hikes Around

What You Should Know

Los Peñasquitos Canyon Trail is one of the best hikes you’ll find in Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve, a popular spot for nature lovers in the area. This loop trail is 6.8 miles long and offers a leisurely hike appropriate for almost all skill levels. It’s a mostly flat route with an overall elevation of only 147 feet. This particular trail is quite popular, so expect heavy traffic during peak times. The trail is also dog-friendly as long as you keep them on a leash. 

The trail is well maintained and marked with additional single side trails along the main path. The side trails are great options if you need extra shade or want to explore closer to the stream with fewer people. All of them connect back to the main trail so that you won’t miss any of the best features. 

Find a copy of Los Peñasquitos Canyon Trail trail map here

What You’ll See

There’s plenty to do and see along the way. The path runs beside a quiet stream that transforms into a small waterfall near the end of your trek. Hikers also often spot a variety of wildlife near the water. Birdwatching is a particularly popular activity, as mallard duck sightings are frequent, along with other popular California species. The stream is also home to largemouth bass and Pacific tree frogs. You’ll also find some stunning viewpoints during your adventure. Be sure to have your camera ready so you can document the experience! 

Come Prepared

The designated parking lot for this trail is on the corner of Mercy and Black Mountain Road. This lot is $3 and only accepts cash. You can also find a free parking lot in the back of Canyonside Community Park. 

Be sure to bring enough water for you and any pets that you bring along. Although the trail is flat, it can get quite hot in the summer. 

You’ll want to contact the park before planning your trip to ensure the trail is open. 

Find More Hikes

There are hundreds of other hiking trails in the area! Explore some of the other best hikes in San Diego. (will link another blog here)

Stay With Monarch Luxury Villas

Our complimentary concierge service staff will always strive to make your trip as unique and seamless as possible. We will be happy to plan every detail of your journey from mapping your hike to packing a picnic for the whole family to enjoy.

You’ll always receive the highest quality customer service when you book your stay with Monarch Luxury Villas. We invite you to stay in our 5-bedroom La Jolla Black Gold Resort. In addition to state of the art appliances and private beach access, you’ll also enjoy a private tennis court, putting green, pool, and patio on the property. Allow us to show you what luxury is like in the hills of San Diego. Let’s start planning your getaway today.