Though Encinitas offers plenty of indoor experiences, it’s also perfect for outdoor enthusiasts! Here, you can test your surfing skills (we’re one of the top five surfing destinations in the world) or pack a healthy picnic to take down to one of our beautiful beaches. There are also numerous Encinitas hiking trails to enjoy! Below, we’ve compiled three of the best places to “take a hike” here. For more of our favorite fresh-air spots, be sure to check out our complimentary Guide to North County San Diego!
3 of the Best Encinitas Hiking Trails
Annie’s Canyon Trail at the San Elijo Lagoon
If you’re looking for a truly unique hiking trail in Encinitas, look no further than Annie’s Canyon Trail, named for one of the trail conservancy’s most generous supporters. This natural sandstone formation was once prone to vandalism but was restored in 2016. This ¼-mile loop trail features steep switchbacks and narrow, winding paths, so be prepared for a strenuous hike. Don’t forget to snap a photo of the summit, which offers sweeping views of the San Elijo Lagoon and Pacific Ocean (200 feet above sea level).
Torrey Pines State Reserve Trails
Another place to experience the area’s gorgeous sandstone formations is Torrey Pines State Reserve. Here, the trails range from moderate to strenuous in difficulty. Choose between six interconnected pathways: The Guy Fleming, Parry Grove, High Point, Razor Point, Beach, and Broken Hill trails. Whether you’d rather see blooming Yucca flowers, unbelievable sandstone structures, or panoramic beach views, Torrey Pines State Reserve is sure to become your new favorite hiking spot.
The Trails at Manchester Preserve
Encinitas is a hotbed for all kinds of hiking trails, and those at Manchester Preserve combine all of the area’s most unique natural elements. These trails are popular for both recreational hikers and birdwatchers—there are so many different species to spot! Within this trail system, you’ll notice all kinds of vegetation. Look for coastal sage scrub, cacti, and sandstone cliffs. The habitat is part-desert, part-beach, and part-brush, so it’s a truly unique place to see for yourself!
After a day full of hiking, get some rest and relaxation at The Inn at Moonlight Beach! Our luxurious, family-owned inn is close to everything Encinitas has to offer and nourishes life from the inside out. It’s the first hospitality building in the world undergoing the WELL Building Standard™ certification. Our Sublime Suites’ thoughtful architecture and flourishing gardens make for a truly unique, elegant retreat just steps away from Moonlight Beach. Thanks to the clean air, purified water, circadian lighting, nutritious food, and on-site spiritual wellness activities, discovering your healthiest, most awakened self begins here. There’s no better place to return after working your body on the trails!