Mission Trails Regional Park

One of America’s largest urban parks, Mission Trails Regional Park encompasses nearly 7,000 acres of mountains, valleys, and lakes. It’s centrally located only 12 miles from Downtown San Diego and provides a quick getaway from the city for residents to enjoy nature and the outdoors. Read on for some ideas.

The park has over 60 miles of hiking trails, camping sites, boating on Lake Murray, and a top-notch Visitor Center. Here, you’ll find state-of-the-art exhibits about the flora and fauna found in the park.

Hiking Trails

With an incredibly diverse landscape and plenty of hiking trails to explore, Mission Trails Regional Park is the perfect place for a forest escape. Centrally located and just eight miles northeast of downtown San Diego, the 5,800-acre park offers a wide variety of biking and walking routes.

For those who enjoy mountain biking, the Park is home to a number of mellow singletracks and double-track trails that are perfect for family outings. Some of the more popular trails include Grasslands Loop, Oak Grove Loop, and Father Junipero Serra Trail.

One of the easiest rides is Father Junipero Serra Trail, which connects the Visitor Center area with Old Mission Dam and Kumeyaay Campground. This paved road is shared by both visitors and vehicles, making it a great option for families with small children or those who want a mellow ride.

Equestrian Trails

Mission Trails Regional Park is a great place for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. With nearly 65 miles of trails and a variety of terrains, the Park offers something for everyone.

The Park also has a long and rich history. The Kumeyaay people lived in this area for thousands of years and there are many exhibits of their culture.

The park is also home to Cowles Mountain, which has the highest point in San Diego. Visitors can hike to the top of Cowles Mountain or venture farther afield and take part in the 5 Peak Challenge.


Hiking, boating, and camping at Kumeyaay Lake are just a few things to do at Mission Trails Regional Park. It is the third jewel of San Diego’s park system and has something for everyone.

The park has over 60 miles of trails, sports climbing, boating on Lake Murray, and a campground at Kumeyaay Lake. It also offers free nature walks and informative hikes.

In addition to being a beautiful place for hiking, the park is also home to an old-growth forest and the historic site of the Old Mission Dam. This is where water was first stored for the Mission San Diego de Alcala. Visit another area in town here.

Art in the Park

The 8,000-acre Mission Trails Regional Park is home to 65 miles of trails, a rock climbing area, and one of San Diego’s best visitor centers. It’s also the city’s third jewel, along with Balboa Park and Mission Bay Park.

A stunning mosaic wall titled “Watermarks” stands adjacent to the park’s water pump station at Mission Gorge Road and Deerfield Street in San Diego. The oh-so-tiny wall features a blue tile mosaic of the local fauna, including the park’s namesake the sandhill crane, and is one of the city’s most interesting public art installations. The most notable feat of this particular artwork is that it’s all free for the taking! The wall is the brainchild of San Diego artist Glenn Osga, whose eponymous blog, osgalab.com, chronicles his adventures in the outdoors. For the record, he’s a self-described wildlife and nature buff with a passion for acrylic and oil-based mediums.

Special Events

Mission Trails Regional Park offers special events and activities geared toward the whole family. In addition to over 60 miles of trails, the park has boating opportunities on Lake Murray and camping at Kumeyaay Lake.

The park also offers a state-of-the-art Visitor and Interpretive Center that rivals the visitor centers at many national parks. The center hosts educational programs, exhibits, and a 94-seat theater to highlight the history of the area and its residents.

Children can take part in the free Trail Tykes program that features a story, craft, or activity and a short guided walk. It is held at 10 AM every second and fourth Sunday and Monday of the month. Check our next area of interest here.


Driving directions from McCormick’s Window Cleaning to Mission Trails Regional Park

Driving directions from Mission Trails Regional Park to Rohr Park



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