San Diego hikes that will inspire your next adventure session!
Everyone loves San Diego, California for the amazing beaches and amazing weather. It is ALWAYS a good beach day, even in the dead of winter you can find some sunshine! While I love the sandy shores, San Diego has so much more to offer. Now that I'm offering adventurous portrait AND couples sessions, here's a list of my favorite San Diego hikes to bring out the wanderlust in you! (Find out more about Adventure Sessions here)
I love shooting at the beach, but there's more to life than the beach! Adventure Sessions are my new top choices for couples and even solo portraits.
Most people don't realize that San Diego is a central hub for endless adventure. Just about half an hour away is Cleveland National Forest, Mount Laguna, Rancho Cuyamaca State Park, and a bit further Julian. The Pacific Crest Trail starts right in our backyard! Hikers and backpackers travel all over the world to begin their journeys here.
Here's are some of my favorite spots to kick back on the trail!
Cedar Creek Falls
There's very little shade during the hike, but at the base there's plenty! It's a very easy hike down to the falls, but remember you have to hike back UP. It can be a little challenging hiking back because you've exhausted all your energy playing in the water. Be prepared + leave earlier than you think. Being wet + cold after dark is not fun at all.
Three Sisters Fall
This is one of the roughest local hikes I've done. You'll need a ton of water and to put on a brave face for this one. I DO NOT recommend bringing pets because many have died from dehydration or accidents. There are parts where you're practically rappelling down the rock face. BE PREPARED and doubly prepared.
Stone Wall Peak
The trailhead to Stone Wall is located right across from Paso Picacho campgrounds. There is a clear trail, it's not too difficult and the view is amazing! It's even better when you catch the first snowfall. ALL. THE. HEART. EYES.
Sunset trail is a really awesome hike, it forks several times and you can make a loop almost anywhere! It's woodsy and different from your typical CA locations (ahem, desert.) It can be as long or as short as you'd like. I love looping around to Big Laguna when there's water to see the lake or to see cows grazing. So much cuteness.
Penny Pines is just a little further than Sunset Trail and they're very similar. They both give lots of options and loop around Big Laguna. I like to mix up the views every once in a while. If you're up for it, you can even do both Penny Pines + Sunset since they cross paths at one point.
Green Valley Falls
A quick and easy hike with a great view! It costs money to get into the campgrounds to park (I think $3) but it's definitely worth a trip to play in the water. This is a campsite, so it can be pretty crowded during peak seasons. I recommend pitching your tent here and exploring this area, the sites are pretty large so the whole family is welcome!
Mission Trails Regional Park
There is so much to explore, it's a HUGE park with a ton of options for hiking and exploring. Some popular hikes and destinations in Mission Trails are Cowles Mountain, Kwaay Paay Peak, Fortuna and Old Mission Dam. There is a little something for everywhere here, camping, hiking, trail running and climbing even! (Except backpacking, sorry friends. 😞)