Annie’s Canyon is a short hike in Solana Beach, part of San Diego County, with some fun scrambling in a small sandstone canyon. It was off limits for a long time and had become a graffiti-ridden location until some residents took up the cause to make it beautiful again. The trail opened a few years ago, and it still looks much better than I anticipated it looking. Plus, it is a great short hike that older kids would enjoy as well; here is all the information.
- 1.5 miles round trip, only .25 in the canyon
- 100 feet of elevation gain
- This information is from my visit in 2018
From San Diego, you will take the 5 Freeway North and get off on exit 37 (Lomas Santa Fe Dr). Turn left and then proceed to N Rios Ave, where you will turn right. The trailhead is right at the end of the street, and you can park on the street (observe any posted signs).
After parking in the small cul-de-sac, you will head to the end and see a trail that goes off to the right.
This trail has numerous signs pointing you to Annie’s Canyon, which is about a half mile away.
The trail is beautiful as it goes along the ecological preserve and has some wetlands to look over.
There are multiple benches you can take a break at while on the hike as well, but it is mostly flat in this section.
Eventually, you will reach a split in the trail with one way heading up to the viewpoint and the other heading into Annie’s Canyon.
This area forms a small loop, so you will end at the top of the viewpoint when you come out of the canyon.
The canyon starts wide, but after the first bend, it begins to narrow quickly.
The path is pretty easy to follow, as there are signs that mark the places you are not supposed to go.
On the trail, you will be squeezing along the rocks and using your hands to help get yourself to the next area. It is not that difficult, but it does take a little time.
On one of the uphill portions, there is a split that takes you to a small cave and shows you what the area looked like before it got cleaned up.
Continuing on, you will make it to the metal stairs that will take you the rest of the way out of the canyon.
When you get out and are at the viewpoint, you will have an excellent view back down where you just came up.
The terrain here reminds me a lot of Torrey Pines with the rough eroding stone making up the hillside.
This is also a great view out over the preserve and all the way to the ocean in the distance.
From here, you will head down the switchbacks to where you headed onto the Annie’s Canyon trail and can make your way back to where you started the hike.
While this hike doesn’t take very long, it is still an impressive escape in the city and a fun family hike with older kids. Check it out and let me know what you think in the comments.