Los Penasquitos Canyon

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Los Penasquitos Canyon

Trail Distance: 4.7 Miles
Best time to hike: All Year Around
Directions:Canyonside Park Driveway and Los Penasquitos Canyon Trail
Review 0
Hiking Trail
6.3 10 13 Overall
Users 4.6 (13 votes)
Difficulty4
Scenery7
Map Info8

Los Penasquitos Canyon

You can take this hike all the way down to the 805 freeway. You zigzag over a little river and the scenery changes dramatically the closer you get to the ocean. My favorite part about this hike is the waterfall. It is about half way down the trail and sort of tucked away. You can miss it if your not paying attention.
Maria G.

“This trail has some of the better scenery in San Diego. Another cool thing about this area is that you can make this trail almost anything you want. Need a quick 2 mile loop? A nice mid length 6 mile loop? how about that 12 miler? You can jump back and forth between the two sides of the trail if you wanted to as well. The fall was flowing and there were a couple of families enjoying the water. We hiked it, but I can see it being a fun to bike it. ”

LackeySan Diego ,Ca

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What other hikers say... 13 Help fellow hikers by leaving a review of this trail
Nice Hike
We started on the west end of the trail at Sorrento Valley, with the plan to get to the falls, cross over and come back. A nice 5 mile hike. Love the trail and the terrain. Meadows, creek bed, and sloping hills with a good view to the east. Really a nice trail. The falls are worth it, except for the loud folks letting their dog play in the main pool. Hard to enjoy the falls that way.
Second complaint: Cyclists rule the trail. Be prepared to be surprised by bikes blazing by on the left or right of you while on the main trail. About 1 in 10 of the cyclists were courteous enough to bike with a bell so you could hear them coming. Others were vocalizing (on your left), which is fine. Most were a surprise which isn't much fun.
We took the north trail back to wagon wheel crossing and back the way we came. Problem with the north trail is that it is mostly a foot path. Not wide enough for people on foot, and bikes. We had a few scary moments when bikes came on us at high rates of speed.
Other than that, great little hike. Trails are well marked and easy to locate. Hard to believe that it is so close and yet, so far from the city noise and traffic. Highly recommended.
May 12, 2014, 10:42 am
Difficulty5
Scenery8
Map Info9
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mileage listing is wrong; great trails
While a great hike with several trail options, the round trip along the length is about 10-miles, not the 4.7 listed.
January 6, 2014, 7:20 am
Difficulty0
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Social Running for Warriors!
This trail was amazing, we will be doing this again. It was one of our favorites. We run the Trails, Beaches, and Parks of San Diego! Look us up!
www.ZTActive.com
Facebook.com/ZTActive
April 28, 2012, 1:02 pm
Difficulty5
Scenery10
Map Info10
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Variety
There are multiple trails to go on and what I liked the most is the waterfall and streams. Not difficult, but can be long. What's also great is just the variety of things to do, there were a lot of rocks a little board you can bike off of, plenty of reasonably leveled trees to climb up on, I saw others rock climbing the cliffs. You can go here plenty of times and have much more to explore.
May 23, 2011, 3:12 am
Difficulty5
Scenery6
Map Info10
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Family Friendly
Great hike for the family. East parking in renovated lot (does cost $3). Heavy rain can mess up the trails and access for a few weeks. A nice tempo run for training off road. Triseanallen.com
March 13, 2011, 6:51 pm
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really easy, little boring
Agree w/ others that it's basically a flat walk in a live-oak shallow valley. More of a decent x-country run or good walk w/ a friend than a real hike. There's a little creek at the start where kids can look for crawdads. However, kids are likely to get bored due to the length and monotony. The waterfall isn't so much of a pay-off for them.
This area is hot in the summer/early fall but could be a good morning/evening walk.
August 31, 2010, 9:28 am
Difficulty1
Scenery6
Map Info4
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A walk in the park?
This is basically a walk in the park. Its pretty leveled and easy to stroll along. I gave the scenery a 4 because there's a small area with a 5-6ft waterfall with a nice formation of rocks. Other than that there's not much to look at.

Most people were relaxing and enjoying their lunch on the rock formations. If you're "adventurous" you could climb over the rocks and get to the end of the stream. There's only like 10 rocks to jump and climb over so its really not that difficult either.

Most people on the trail will be on a mountain bike so keep an ear out for them behind you. The paths are wide so its ideal for biking and quite frankly if you're not on a bike this trail ends up pretty boring.
June 7, 2010, 12:02 pm
Difficulty1
Scenery4
Map Info8
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This trail is very nice. I went with my mom and we had a nice time. There were horses on the trail at one point and alot of bikers. The one thing that isnt said is that a minimum fee of $3 is requested when you enter. You also have to write down your licence plate number and the model/make of your vehicle. Besides that it is very nice and I would recomend it to many people. It is very quiet and you run into many friendly people. The waterfall/rapids are really cool but cant be seen from the trail, you have to climb down rocks in order to see a part of it.
April 11, 2010, 6:20 pm
Difficulty5
Scenery6
Map Info7
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Very nice, especially after the rain
A friend and I did the hike starting from the Sorrento Valley end on 1/23/10 and went to the waterfall. There was so much water in it, that we couldn't cross. Really nice easy hike and flat. Lots of mud but it was worth it.
January 26, 2010, 5:18 pm
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Enjoyable
This trail has some of the better scenery in San Diego. Another cool thing about this area is that you can make this trail almost anything you want. Need a quick 2 mile loop? A nice mid length 6 mile loop? how about that 12 miler? You can jump back and forth between the two sides of the trail if you wanted to as well.

The fall was flowing and there were a couple of families enjoying the water. We hiked it, but I can see it being a fun to bike it.
October 5, 2009, 1:02 am
Difficulty4
Scenery8
Map Info8
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Nice stroll
I just did this hike this weekend. It's completely flat. I thought the length was more like 6 miles, but maybe there are other trail heads other than the one I used (near the back of the baseball fields). It was not difficult at all and the scenery was pleasant. The "waterfall isn't much of one. It wasn't visible from the trail when I went and you had to scramble out onto some rocks to get a view. All in all I enjoyed it though.
June 15, 2009, 11:07 am
Difficulty1
Scenery7
Map Info10
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The waterfall is flowing again
The waterfall is flowing again. After all the rain we had over the last couple weeks it has turned into a set of rapids. Bring your kayak!
December 26, 2008, 9:53 pm
Difficulty7
Scenery8
Map Info8
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Los Penasquitos
This is a great started trail for family hiking. I take my 5 year old to Los Penasquitos Canyon and hike to the waterfall. We see some deer especially at dusk if we are quiet. We started out at PQ Canyon and advanced to Iron Mountain but still go back to PQ for an afternoon hike.
December 10, 2008, 5:15 pm
Difficulty7
Scenery0
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David Hay

by David Hay

An Aussie transplant living in San Diego. I've chosen to live in this fair city for the past seven years because I truly believe it's one of the best in the world; there's no better city to enjoy sunshine and the outdoors.