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5 Healthy Hikes in Beautiful San Diego

December 20, 2017 | Aya Wellness

Healthy HikeWhether you’re currently on assignment or visiting San Diego, there are a plethora of hikes that will help you soak in the natural beauty this ocean-side city has to offer! You’ll also get a good workout in and reap the benefits of fresh air and sunshine.

From sandy cliff-side hikes to mountaintops and waterfalls, there is so much to get out and see in beautiful southern California. Here are just a handful of hikes to check out the next time you’re in San Diego.

5 Nature Hikes to Explore in San Diego

1. Balboa Park

If you don’t have time to drive off into the wilderness but still crave exercise in the fresh air, try an urban hike. Balboa Park in downtown San Diego isn’t just full of culture, but it’s also chock-full of hiking trails. Balboa Park is huge and there are 19 trails at varying levels of difficulty that will take you 65 miles through the park.

Distance: Varies.

Difficulty: Easy.

How to get there: Balboa Park is centrally located in downtown San Diego and can be found in most smartphone map services. Visit the Balboa Park website for more information.

2. Torrey Pines State Park

The Razor Point Trail (1.3 miles) or Guy Fleming Trail (0.7 miles) both offer dramatic, picturesque views of the Pacific Ocean and both are accessible to all fitness levels. In the winter, you might spot gray whales or bottlenose dolphins swimming along the coastline. There’s also a Beach Trail (1.7 miles), which is a bit steeper and allows access to the beach.

Distance: 1-2 miles, depending on the trailhead you choose.

Difficulty: Easy to moderate.

How to get there: The trails of Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve are located between La Jolla and Del Mar, just north of the city of San Diego. Follow your map’s instructions to 12600 North Torrey Pines Road, San Diego, CA 92037. Or visit their website to learn more.

3. Los Penasquitos Canyon Trail

The Los Penasquitos Canyon is a relatively tranquil hike that’s great for all ages and skill levels. Plus, it’s bursting with impressive natural sights, from waterfalls to year-round streams and creek crossings throughout the trail. Keep your eyes open – you might just see deer walking the path!

Distance: 4.7 miles.

Difficulty: Easy.

How to get there: Exit the 15 freeway on Mira Mesa Blvd. Head west and make a right on Black Mountain Rd. Follow it north and take a left on Canyonside Rd. Parking is available nearby.

4. Double Peak Trail

This loop trail combines moderate steepness with restful views. At the top of the 1,644-foot summit, hikers are treated to a spectacular 360-degree view of North County San Diego. A majority of the trail has been affected by wildfires, so don’t expect much shade. The first mile is paved and then the trail turns into a rougher single track. Dogs are welcome!

Distance: 5 miles.

Difficulty: Moderate.

How to get there: Start at Discovery Lake Park in San Marcos. For more details, visit Modern Hiker.

5. Cedar Creek Falls to Devil’s Punchbowl

The Cedar Creek Falls Trail is one of the most spectacular destination points. But, it comes with a precautionary warning. A massive waterfall surrounded by 75-foot cliffs pours into Devil’s Punchbowl, the swimming hole at the end of the trail. Enjoy the view but be careful. We do not advise jumping into the swimming hole! People have been tragically hurt from jumping from the cliff. Also be aware that the way down is the easiest part of the trail. It’s the way back that’s uphill!

Distance: 4.2 miles.

Difficulty: Hard.

How to get there: Get directions to 15531 Thornbush Road, Ramona, CA. Once you get to the end of Thornbush Road, the trailhead will be on your left.

Please note: Guests must purchase a $6 permit here prior to visiting.

This wellness tip is brought to you by Joe and Nicole of Gut Check Fitness.