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San Diego | California

Hiking and Biking in San Diego

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Season

Year-round

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Nearest city

San Diego is half an hour aways from all the trails

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Duration

1 day

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Skill level

Beginner to intermediate

Explore the most biologically diverse area in California

Famous for miles and miles of unexplored nature and amazing weather, San Diego offers an abundance of trails for hikers of all ages. Let your guide show you the best hiking spots inside San Diego’s city limits and discover the wide array of breathtaking landscapes and natural features this stunning city has up its sleeve. Hike along the sparkling beaches spreading for miles on end and climb the highest point in San Diego overlooking the entire city, with views reaching Mexico, Islas Coronados, and Orange County. Relax along the trails of Cowles Mountain or energize with a bike ride along La Jolla before exploring the wonderful nature hidden in Torrey Pines State Reserve! Say ‘yes’ to scenic hiking in San Diego!

Most Popular Itineraries

The Cowles Mountain Intermediate Hiking Tour

$150 per person · 2 Hours

Discover the Cowles Mountain and hike one of the best trails in San Diego! This moderate 2.9-mile trail features beautiful wildflower meadows and impressive 360-degree panoramic views from the highest point within San Diego overlooking not only the city, but also Mexico and Orange County. Have fun and energize on this exciting hike while learning about this fascinating area from your expert guide, and see California from a whole new perspective!

The Torrey Pines Beginner Hiking Tour

$150 per person · 2-3 Hours

Join your guide on a truly remarkable beginner hiking tour of Torrey Pines State Reserve and discover San Diego’s hidden natural treasures. Torrey Pines has remained untouched by San Diego’s urbanization, still providing a refuge from the city lights and the crowds. Start your hike with a walk along the most beautiful beach trails and enjoy the coastal landscapes. Visit the Torrey Pines State Beach, learn about the area’s history and wildlife from your professional guide, and enjoy the picturesque views along the way.

The Torrey Pines Bike-to-Hike Intermediate Tour

$250 per person · 5 Hours

Let your professional guide take you through the most spectacular area of Torrey Pines State Reserve. Use the first part of your tour to explore the magnificent architecture of La Jolla’s neighborhoods on bike! Continue your adventure and conquer a steep hill passing the Scripps Oceanography Institute on your way to Torrey Pines. Hike to the beach through hidden paths and discover everything about the Torrey pine and other gorgeous flora and fauna along the way. Enjoy the magnificent views overlooking Catalina Island and Islas Coronado, bike back to La Jolla, and finish the day off with a sunset dinner in Downtown La Jolla Shores.

Things you need to know

Covid measures in San Diego

57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity.

We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, guides and the communities they’re travelling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in San Diego, please refer to The City of San Diego website.

Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!

What’s included?

What you get on this adventure:

  • A professional, knowledgeable, medically-trained, wilderness guide
  • Trail snacks and water
  • Use of trekking poles
  • Entrance fees to Torrey Pines State Reserve

What’s not included:

  • Transportation
  • Accommodation
  • Meals on half-day hikes

How fit do I need to be?

The best thing about hiking in San Diego is that there are incredible options for all skill levels. For beginner hikes, if you can walk for two to four hours with little elevation gain, you are good to go! Intermediate hikes will see a little more change in elevation and hikes will start to increase in length, hiking anywhere between four to eight miles. Advanced hikes are full day treks with steep descents and challenging switchbacks.

For the Bike to Hike tour, you have to be an intermediate rider, familiar with biking hand signals, comfortable with riding on the road with vehicles and is in good physical health.

Keep in mind, the weather in summer can be very hot and you’ll also be packing a daypack filled with water and other things you’ll need throughout the day.

What do I need to bring?

Here’s a list of the equipment you need to bring:

  • Day pack large enough to carry all the items listed — around a 40L bag
  • Water bottle or hydration bladder — 2L capacity
  • Lightweight hiking boots or shoes
  • Spare clothes for layering
  • Waterproof rain jacket
  • Sunhat
  • Toiletries (sunscreen, hand sanitizer, bug spray, toilet paper, etc.)
  • Sunglasses
  • Camera — optional (but recommended)

What can I expect from hiking with a guide?

Hiring a local guide offers you the chance to experience San Diego’s beauty to the fullest. Local guides know all the hidden gems the area has to offer, will explain the history and geology during the hike, and will customize your day to the desires of your group. Because there is so much to see and do in San Diego — and it gets crowded quickly — this is one location where it really pays to have a guide by your side to make the most out of this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Why should I book with 57hours?

With us, it’s all play and no work for you! 57hours is an open platform that connects you with trained and certified outdoor adventure professionals all over the world. Using our tech-savvy, we make it super easy to find and book adventures worth tackling, with guides worth booking, all gathered from the first-hand experiences of the locals who adventure in these amazing locations.

What about group sizes and pricing?

For this adventure, the max client to guide ratio is 4:1. Pricing is per person, and all tours require at least two participants to operate.

Hiking in San Diego can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.

What is the minimum age requirement?

  • Everybody over the age of 18 is welcome to book this hiking adventure.
  • Minors may be permitted to join private tours on a case-by-case basis. If you plan to hike with anyone under the age of 18, please contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

What about bad weather?

San Diego is prone to sudden temperature and weather changes, so you need to be prepared with the right gear. The same white cloud shielding you from sunbeams can easily turn into a thunderstorm within minutes. Rest assured, your guide — all of whom are wilderness-certified first responders or EMTs — will know the correct course of action if the weather throws a curveball. In most cases, unfavorable weather won’t stop you from experiencing a guided hiking tour within the park, but if plans need to shift, your guide will amend your itinerary to find a trail more suitable to the day’s weather.

Do I need an insurance policy?

We highly recommended that you cover all your bases with both emergency medical and travel insurance. With medical insurance, if you have an accident or medical emergency on or off the mountain, you’ll avoid paying out of pocket for costly expenses. This covers everything from hospital treatments to emergency air transportation and more.

As we’ve recently seen, travel plans can be abruptly halted, so it’s a good idea to purchase travel insurance that covers cancelled flights, natural disasters and other scenarios that may interrupt your travel plans. For peace of mind, we suggest you consider both options of insurance.

If you need assistance selecting the right insurance for your group, let us know and we will be happy to help!

Cancellation policy

With 57hours, you benefit from both our own cancellation policy as well as that of the individual guiding service that delivers your adventure. All policies regarding cancellation will be clearly laid out by your guide after booking your adventure, but rest assured that our own cancellation policy will work on top of what is provided by your guide.

For this adventure, 57hours offers a Flexible Cancellation Policy, which states:
If Client cancels the Booking anytime prior to fourteen (14) calendar days in advance of the trip contemplated by the booking, Client is entitled to a full refund. For cancellations seven (7) to thirteen (13) calendar days in advance, Client is entitled to a credit with that Guide for another identical or substantially similar Booking, or a full refund, minus a One Hundred-Fifty Dollar ($150) reservation fee. For cancellations one to six calendar days in advance, Client is entitled to a full refund, minus a One Hundred-Fifty Dollar ($150) reservation fee. For cancellations anytime less than 25 hours in advance, the Client is not entitled to any refund.

For more information on terms and conditions, please visit our Terms of Service page.

Getting there and meeting location

To get to San Diego, most people fly into San Diego International Airport. From there, you can rent a car or take a shuttle service to the city center.

Once you and your guide agree on the details of your itinerary, your guide will suggest the best place to meet, whether that’s at the guide shop or a predetermined location. From there, you’ll head to your tour. The guide will choose the appropriate terrain dependent on conditions and the hiking ability of the group.

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