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Rim Trail

Worthwhile primarily for the view, which can be wide-ranging and spectacular on the clearest late fall or winter days, the Rim Trail in Mission Trails Regional Park rambles along a sparsely vegetated ridgeline overlooking much of metropolitan San Diego to the south and west. To the east, Fortuna Mountain rises like a scruffy hog’s back, and below, at its foot, lies the pristine, oak-lined valley of Suycott Wash.

To get to the trailhead, exit Interstate 15 at Tierrasanta Boulevard. Drive two miles east (nearly to Tierrasanta Boulevard’s dead-end), and turn left on Colina Dorada. Drive 1.0 mile north to the intersection of Colina Dorada and Calle de Vida, where parking is available.

From the trailhead, start hiking (or biking) northeast along the wide, nearly flat trail. At 0.5 mile you pass a deep road cut (accompanied by a trail) on the right where a proposed Clairemont Mesa Boulevard extension would have connected with a proposed extension of Jackson Drive. This road connection is not likely to happen at any time soon, if ever.

Continue straight (northeast) along the west side of a hill to a wide intersection of trails on a 730-foot-elevation saddle at 0.8 mile. The “Twin Towers” cylindrical structures on the hill are part of the second San Diego Aqueduct, which supplies water to our region from sources far to the north.

At the 730-foot saddle, veer left on the signed Rim Trail. Some 2.4 miles later you will return to this saddle after looping counterclockwise on a route that is popular with mountain bikers as well as hikers. There are many intersections along the way with directional signs that are easier to spot if you follow the route counterclockwise. Keep in mind that the Rim Trail is just that — it stays high on the ridges and does not descend very far into ravines. When you get back to the 730-foot saddle, return to the trailhead the way you came.

Rim Trail
On foot or by mountain bike, travel panoramic trails on the west rim of Mission Trails Regional Park.
Distance from downtown San Diego: 12 miles
Biking length: 4 miles
Difficulty: Moderate

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Worthwhile primarily for the view, which can be wide-ranging and spectacular on the clearest late fall or winter days, the Rim Trail in Mission Trails Regional Park rambles along a sparsely vegetated ridgeline overlooking much of metropolitan San Diego to the south and west. To the east, Fortuna Mountain rises like a scruffy hog’s back, and below, at its foot, lies the pristine, oak-lined valley of Suycott Wash.

To get to the trailhead, exit Interstate 15 at Tierrasanta Boulevard. Drive two miles east (nearly to Tierrasanta Boulevard’s dead-end), and turn left on Colina Dorada. Drive 1.0 mile north to the intersection of Colina Dorada and Calle de Vida, where parking is available.

From the trailhead, start hiking (or biking) northeast along the wide, nearly flat trail. At 0.5 mile you pass a deep road cut (accompanied by a trail) on the right where a proposed Clairemont Mesa Boulevard extension would have connected with a proposed extension of Jackson Drive. This road connection is not likely to happen at any time soon, if ever.

Continue straight (northeast) along the west side of a hill to a wide intersection of trails on a 730-foot-elevation saddle at 0.8 mile. The “Twin Towers” cylindrical structures on the hill are part of the second San Diego Aqueduct, which supplies water to our region from sources far to the north.

At the 730-foot saddle, veer left on the signed Rim Trail. Some 2.4 miles later you will return to this saddle after looping counterclockwise on a route that is popular with mountain bikers as well as hikers. There are many intersections along the way with directional signs that are easier to spot if you follow the route counterclockwise. Keep in mind that the Rim Trail is just that — it stays high on the ridges and does not descend very far into ravines. When you get back to the 730-foot saddle, return to the trailhead the way you came.

Rim Trail
On foot or by mountain bike, travel panoramic trails on the west rim of Mission Trails Regional Park.
Distance from downtown San Diego: 12 miles
Biking length: 4 miles
Difficulty: Moderate

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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