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Top 10 San Diego Hikes

Written By: Izzy Poulin

If you live in San Diego or are visiting the area soon and are looking for a fun hike to do, then look no further! Here is a list of the the top 10 most popular hikes in San Diego. ☀️ From beautiful waterfalls to incredible views, these hikes have been done by some of Mamma Chia’s wonderful employees!

And don’t forget to bring some of our Organic Chia Squeeze pouches along with you! They make a delicious on-the-go snack that is perfect for before, during, or after the hike.

1. Iron Mountain Trail, Poway

Distance: 5.2 Miles

Difficulty Level: Moderate (No shaded areas.)

Other: Leashed Dogs, Mountain Bikes, and Horse Back Riding Permitted–5


2. Three Sisters Waterfalls, Descanso

Distance: 3.9 Miles

Difficulty Level: Moderate-Difficult (Temperatures can reach up to 100+ degrees)

Total Ascent: 1,035 Feet

Other: Leashed Dogs Allowed (Not recommended due to excessive heat during summer months and unpredictable terrain.)

Three Sisters – Hiking SD County Link


3. Potato Chip Rock via Mt. Woodson Trail, Poway

Distance: 7.6 Miles

Difficulty Level: Hard (There is no shade.)

Time: 3-4 Hours

Other: Mountain Bikes and Leashed Dogs Permitted


4. Cedar Creek Falls, Ramona

Distance: 4.9 Miles

Difficulty Level: Moderate (Warmer Weather = Difficult)

Other: -Must purchase a permit HERE. Permits are $10 and are good for up to 5 people. All visitors must be listed on the permit and must carry government issued photo ID (except dependent minors whose parents are present).

-All cliff areas above and around the falls are closed (no climbing, jumping or diving anywhere along the cliffs adjacent to or near the falls).

-Leashed Dogs Permitted


5. Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, Torrey Pines

Distance: 2.3 Miles

Difficulty Level: Easy

Other: -NO Dogs Allowed

-Parking: High Season: Which traditionally starts from Spring Break until the end of September, costs $15 Monday – Thursday and $20-$25 Friday – Sunday. Low Season: Which traditionally starts from October to Spring Break, will cost $12 Monday – Thursday and $15 Friday – Sunday. There is some free street parking just north, in front of beach area, but those can fill up quickly.


6. Black Mountain Summit, Rancho Peñasquitos

Distance: 3.9 Miles

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Time: 1.5 – 2 Hours

Other: Mountain Bikes and Leashed Dogs Allowed


7. Los Peñasquitos Canyon Trail, Sorrento Valley

Distance: 6.8 Miles

Difficulty Level: Easy

Time: 3 – 3.5 Hours

Other: Leashed Dogs and Mountain Bikes Allowed


8. Cowels Mountain Summit, La Mesa

Distance: 2.9 Miles

Difficulty Level: Moderate (There is no shade. The best time to complete this is early morning or evening)

Other: Leashed Dogs Allowed


9. Double Peak, San Marcos

Distance: 4.25 Miles

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Other: Leashed Dogs and Bikes Allowed

Photo by Scott Turner for Modern Hiker


10. Del Dios Highlands Preserve, Escondido

Distance: 7.5 Miles

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Other: Leashed Dogs and Bikes Allowed


*Most photos are taken by Izzy Poulin – unless otherwise noted*