Located along the San Diego River between San Diego and Santee, this massive park is a hidden jewel among the city's park system. Consisting mostly of rugged, hilly scrubland, Mission Trails offers an excellent diversion from the hustle and bustle of the city. Numerous trails criss cross through the park, and there's an excellent visitor center with exhibits on the flora, fauna, and the human history in the area. You can also see the Old Mission Dam, which once provided water to the original mission community of San Diego just to the west in Mission Valley. Cowles Mountain, the tallest point in the city (1,591 feet above sea level), offers a lovely view of the surrounding area clear out to the ocean and is popular with runners and hikers, with several challenging trails ranging from three to five miles (round trip) featuring steep climbs, wooden steps, and rock crossings. Mission Gorge is one of the most popular rock climbing spots in the area, with over 150 routes from 5.0 to 5.12 grades, and suitable for the novice and the experienced climber. In the summers the gorge can be extremely hot in the direct sun, but the crag stays cool and shaded in the until around noon or 1PM. The rest of the year you can climb all day. Also within the park is Lake Murray Reservoir, which is open to boating and fishing.
1 Father Junipero Serra Trail, San Diego, CA, United States
Mission Trails Regional Park and Nearby Attractions on Map
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