Balboa Park - Hiking

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Balboa Park is a 1,200-acre park replete with all the recreational opportunities you could wish for in an urban cultural park.

Written by

Taylor Reilly


10.0 miles

Destination Distance From Downtown

1.3 miles


2 of 5 diamonds

Time To Complete

1 hours


All Seasons

Dog Friendly


Fees Permits


Topographical Map

Balboa Park Hiking Trails

Land Website

Balboa Park



Balboa Park is a 1,200-acre cultural urban park that contains museums, restaurants, theaters, the world famous San Diego Zoo, and all the facilities and amenities that a world class city park should have. It is also the perfect place for recreational activities of all different sorts; there are plenty of trails that are great for whatever activity you're feeling on a given day.

What Makes It Great

Trail #12 is a 2.4-mile moderate family friendly trail that winds through one of the more natural areas of Balboa Park. The trail is mostly dirt with a few rocky sections, and there are even some elevation changes. Follow the #12 signs to stay on the trail. Florida Canyon Trail #33 is another family friendly trail that is just a bit longer. At 3.7 miles, this trail takes you through Florida Canyon, which is a somewhat steep valley in Balboa Park. The path here is unpaved, and it takes you through a more natural and seldom-seen aspect of the park. Again, to stay on the trail just follow signs for trail #33. 

If you're looking to amp up the speed of your Balboa experience, then Trail #2 provides a really nice 4.1-mile medium level trail run. This trail is mostly level with slightly rolling slopes and some on road sections. It's the best option for seeing the museums and gardens within Balboa Park.  For a longer running route, take Trail #5 for a difficult 6.6 miles on a mixed terrain path. You'll encounter asphalt road, concrete pathways, sloping dirt trails, and even steep dirt trails. You'll also find yourself traveling over pine and oak-covered trails. This is a great trail to have a challenging run close to the city's center! 

Who is Going to Love It

The terrain here is tame but it can be quite fun and relaxing. Families and casual hikers will get the most out of this peaceful nature experience -- and it's right in the thick of other cultural destinations. 

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

The physical address of the park is 1549 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego, California, 92101. You read more about that the park offers on their website


Balboa Park

1549 El Prado
San Diego, CA, 92101
32.731406, -117.15025

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