North County San Diego has some beautiful hiking trails, and spring is a great time to get out and enjoy them. We hope you’ll get some motivation and inspiration for hiking from this list of our favorite hikes around North County San Diego!
Located between the cities of Carlsbad and Encinitas, Batiquitos Lagoon is a favorite of locals. The trail is easy and mostly flat; it’s 3.2 miles out and back so bring a stroller if you have little ones. Along the way you’ll have views of the lagoon, beautiful wild flowers and lots of birds. There are benches to rest along the way, and the trail provides moderate shade. It’s a lovely trail you don’t want to miss!
Lake Hodges Trails
Lake Hodges Trails offers more than 16 miles of trail near Rancho Santa Fe. Lake Hodges is one of San Diego’s water reservoirs and the hills around the reservoir are mainly made up of coastal sage scrub and coastal cactus wren. The trail is mostly level with a few small ups and downs along the way; it’s suitable for all skill levels. The lake is also a popular spot to sit and have lunch along the way.
Just a note, people who have hiked this trail often comment on the lack of shade so it’s best for morning or evening hikes; be sure to wear a hat and pack plenty of sunscreen if you go during the middle of the day!
Double Peaks in San Marcos
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia
Scenic views with a moderately difficult trail are what you’ll find at Double Peaks in San Marcos. The trail at Double Peak Park offers the highest peak in North County, so you’ll get a 360 degree panoramic view of the area. The trail begins at Discovery Lake; as you make your way through you’ll notice the dirt path intersects with a paved two-way road. Some people who are not out for a hike decide to drive up the road to get to the scenic views at the top, but in our opinion, the hike is well worth it. It is a good workout and the payoff is outstanding.
Cardiff Beach to Swami’s
Self Realization Fellowship Meditation Garden overlooking Swami’s Beach.
If you’re a beach lover and a hiker, get the best of both worlds on this hike from Cardiff Beach to Swami’s. This is a 1.7 mile stretch of cobblestone and sand beach. Once you get to the bluffs of Swami’s beach you’ll come across the Self-Realization Fellowship Hermitage Grounds. Here you’ll find a cliffside meditation garden as well as waterfalls and oceanfront overlooks; this is one of the most peaceful spots in North County so be sure to take some time to explore!
You will also see a long stair case that will bring you down to Swami’s beach, where you can enjoy watching the many surfers who frequent Swami’s beach. This is a gorgeous stretch of beach to rest as well.
Hiking in North County San Diego offers a little something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for rugged terrain or a steadier trail, there is plenty to explore and see. Whichever trail you choose make sure you have a sturdy pair of shoes on and plenty of sunscreen in the bag. Happy trails!