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Backpacker Magazine – September 2010

San Diego Hikes

The best hikes near San Diego.

by: Kim Phillips

Yucca Point, Torrey Pines State Reserve (Kirkendall-Spring)
Yucca Point, Torrey Pines State Reserve (Kirkendall-Spring)

Your Guide

San Diego Hiking Club (

Your Hikes
» Beach Trail to Broken Hill Trail, Torrey Pines State Reserve “It’s easy to imagine a totally wild Southern California coastline when you hike here,” says trip leader Michael Holas. Perched on sandstone bluffs overlooking the Pacific, this small urban park is like an environmental time capsule. Descend Beach Trail to Yucca Point for ocean-front views. Nearly halfway through the 2.6-mile loop, pass a popular beach access before starting the mile-long climb up Broken Hill Trail for the return trip. Miles from city center 17; Trip ID 522740

» Laguna Meadow, Laguna Mountain Recreation Area Only an hour’s drive from downtown, this eight-miler circles an expansive meadow rimmed by pine-covered hills—and home to eagles, fox, and quail. From the Meadows trailhead on Sunrise Highway, hike north and link Sunset and Big Laguna Trails for a clockwise loop that skirts several lakes and trailside boulders. Miles from city center 50; Trip ID 24802

 » Whale Peak, Anza-Borrego Desert SP California’s largest state park is a favorite getaway for local hikers. “We simply cannot stay away,” says Holas. For bird’s-eye views of sprawling desert and neighboring ranges, tackle the 4.1-mile (one-way) route that gains 1,500 feet of elevation and tops out on Whale Peak’s rocky, 5,349-foot summit. On cloud-free days, views extend to the Salton Sea and across the Laguna Mountains. Miles from city center 83; Trip ID 753714

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