Did you know that San Diego has some amazing hiking spots? Some might even say they’re the most scenic trails in California! If you want to enjoy some outdoor recreation on your next trip to SDhow about adding gorgeous water views to your hike? In this blog, we’ll share with you some of our the most stunning San Diego hiking trails with waterfalls. Pack your camera and bathing suit and get ready for a unique hiking experience in Southern California! 
Learn more about the best things to do in San Diego in our exclusive, free Travel Guide. We’ve created this planning tool to share top-notch, local recommendations, including where to find the best restaurants, shops, museums, outdoor adventures, and more. 

Access the Guide 

Where to Find the Best San Diego Hiking Trails with Waterfalls 

Penasquitos Canyon Preserve 

Penasquitos Canyon Trail is one of the most popular hiking spots in San Diego, and when you see it with your own eyes, you’ll understand whyIt’s only 20 minutes outside of San Diego, and offers breathtaking canyon views, and, of course, a stunning waterfall. Choose from a variety of trailheads depending on your skill level and reward yourself with a nice break (or picnic!) by the splendid waterfall that flows over volcanic rock formations. Did you know the preserve is also dog-friendly?  

Cottonwood Creek Falls 

Another fabulous hiking option is Cottonwood Creek Falls! It’s one of our favorite hidden gems in the area. If you’re looking for a secluded and unspoiled spot, then this unmarked and unofficial trail nestled in the Laguna Mountains is for you. On top of hiking, the creek also offers plenty of rock-climbing opportunities! The drive will take you about an hour from San Diego.  

Three Sisters Falls 

If you want to check out one of California’s most famous waterfalls during your hike, then head over to Three Sisters FallsThis three-tier cascade is a sight to behold, especially when you’ve been walking in the sun for hours. Note that the four-mile trail can be quite long and straining, with 45 degrees inclines and declines, so we only recommend it for more experienced hikers.  

Cedar Creek Falls 

Finally, we recommend Cedar Creek FallsThis five-mile, roundtrip hike features a gorgeous waterfall surrounded by impressive cliffs, but the best part is: it has a large pool known as the Devil’s Punchbowl, where you can batheImagine cooling off in the pool after you’ve spent the last hour or so more climbing uphill and walking in the forest. 

Find Your San Diego Home with Monarch Luxury Villas 

california modern escapeDid we get you excited about all these amazing hiking spots and waterfalls? We sure hope so. Now that you have a better idea of what your trip will look like, it’s time you find the perfect place to stay. Choose a vacation home that offers the elegant lifestyle you seek. There’s nothing like coming home to a gorgeous ocean view after hiking all day, jumping in a cool pool, or soaking in a bubble bath. So, what are you waiting for? 
Book Today