Los Peñasquitos Canyon - Hiking

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Have fun on this leisurely trail in the Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve.

Written by

Taylor Reilly


6.2 miles

Destination Distance From Downtown

14.7 miles


2 of 5 diamonds

Time To Complete

2 hours

2 to 3 hours


Spring, Fall, and Winter

Dog Friendly

On Leash Only

Fees Permits


Parking Fee



The varying terrain and unique geologic formations within Los Peñasquitos (meaning "little cliffs") Canyon has made this area a popular destination for many years. Within the Canyon, you'll find all sorts of enticing scenery, including a live oak forest, a grove of sycamore trees, and a wide array of wildlife and biodiversity.  It's no wonder, then, that this natural area is so loved by hikers, runners, mountain bikers, and even equestrians. 

What Makes It Great

The 6.2-mile loop through Los Peñasquitos Canyon is great for beginners, but it also has several single track trails branching off from it, so you change up your route to make it longer and more challenging if you so choose.  It's a fairly easy hike, with virtually no hills to climb.

With some of the better scenery in the area, there is a waterfall at the halfway point, which cascades beautifully over volcanic rock. This is also a popular stopping point where you can break for lunch, relax, and enjoy the sound of flowing water. 

Who is Going to Love It

Los Peñasquitos Canyon is great for beginner hikers or trail runners looking to get more experience in the activity. It's also a good option for more experienced hikers and runners, since there are options to lengthen your hike if you'd like.

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

The Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve is located at 12020 Black Mountain Road in San Diego.

Written by Taylor Reilly for RootsRated.

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Los Penasquitos Canyon

11489 Camino Ruiz
San Diego, CA, 92126
32.927533, -117.143987

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