San Diego Wellness & Nature

Step Up Your Run Game: 9 Scenic Spots to Run in San Diego

If you're looking for a city with plenty of outdoor activities, San Diego is the place to be. With its year-round sunny weather, beautiful beaches, and picturesque parks, it's no surprise that San Diego is a runner's paradise.

Whether you're a seasoned marathon runner or just starting out, San Diego has a range of running trails to accommodate your fitness level and preferences.

From coastal trails that offer stunning views of the Pacific Ocean to urban paths that take you through the heart of the city, San Diego has something for everyone.

Whether you prefer running on pavement or hitting the dirt trails, you'll find plenty of options in this city.

One of the best things about running in San Diego is the variety of terrain available. You can run on the beach, in the mountains, or through the city streets. No matter where you decide to go for a run, you'll be surrounded by natural beauty and breathtaking scenery.

San Diego is truly a runner's paradise, and it's easy to see why so many people choose to call this city home. So, grab your running shoes and get ready to explore the best places to run in San Diego!

1. Mission Trails Regional Park

Mission Trails Regional Park
1 Father Junipero Serra Trail, San Diego, CA 92119 (Google Maps)

Mission Trails Regional Park is a runner's paradise with a variety of trails of varying lengths and difficulty levels. The park is kid and dog-friendly, making it a great place for families to enjoy the outdoors.

With stunning landscapes and a historical dam built by natives, Mission Trails Regional Park offers a unique and beautiful setting for a workout.

Hikers and bikers will also find plenty of trails to explore, and the park offers urban camping for those who want to stay overnight.

Whether you're a beginner or a pro, Mission Trails Regional Park is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to run in a beautiful setting.

2. Mission Bay Bike Path

Mission Bay Bike Path
3220 Bayside Walk, San Diego, CA 92109 (Google Maps)

Looking for a scenic and easy place to run or bike ride near the water in San Diego, California without too many crowds or steep hills to climb up and down on your workout, check out Mission Bay Bike Path.

This 12-mile flat and smooth path offers stunning views of the beach and bay, making it perfect for a lazy fun ride or a relaxing jog.

You can also rent bikes nearby or stop by at restrooms along the way. However, be cautious of the pedestrians and out-of-town bicyclists on the sidewalk.

3. Mission Trails Clairemont Mesa Trailhead

Mission Trails Clairemont Mesa Trailhead
Clairemont Mesa Blvd, San Diego, CA 92124 (Google Maps)

Mission Trails Clairemont Mesa Trailhead is a great starting point for those looking to explore the Mission Trails Regional Park.

This location offers a range of trails suitable for both hikers and mountain bikers, with varying degrees of difficulty. The trails are well-kept and offer stunning views of the surrounding landscape.

However, visitors should bring their own water as there is none available on the trails. The park also has emergency air pumps and basic tools for bikers.

With plenty of parking available, Mission Trails Clairemont Mesa Trailhead is a convenient and enjoyable destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

4. Tecolote Canyon Hiking Area

Tecolote Canyon Hiking Area
4600-4616 Genesee Ave, San Diego, CA 92117 (Google Maps)

Tecolote Canyon Hiking Area is a must-visit attraction for those who enjoy running in a serene and natural environment.

The trails are easy to navigate and perfect for a short run or hike. The area is shaded by mature oak trees and surrounded by toyon, creating a beautiful and peaceful atmosphere.

It is a great place to take kids, go birdwatching, or simply enjoy a peaceful stroll. The narrow creek that runs through the canyon is a perfect spot to pause and take in the beauty of nature.

Tecolote Canyon Hiking Area is a hidden gem in San Diego and a great escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

5. Harbor Island Park

Harbor Island Park
1875 Harbor Island Dr, San Diego, CA 92101 (Google Maps)

Harbor Island Park is a tranquil public park that overlooks the bay. It offers a peaceful shoreline path for walkers and a route for bicyclists.

The views of the bay are breathtaking and make for a beautiful backdrop during a run. The park is clean and well-maintained, providing a safe and pleasant environment for runners.

The path is relatively flat and easy to navigate, making it suitable for runners of all levels.

With its serene surroundings and stunning views, Harbor Island Park is a must-visit destination for runners looking for a picturesque place to exercise.

6. Cabrillo Canyon

Cabrillo Canyon
San Diego, CA 92103 (Google Maps)

Cabrillo Canyon is a picturesque nature preserve with well-kept trails.

It's a great place to go for a run, except for the noise from the nearby highway. Despite this, visitors continue to return to the area.

The park was an awesome place to watch the Lunar Blood, Wolfie Moon Eclipse.

If you're looking for a tourist attraction, Balboa Park is nearby and offers something for everyone, young and old.

7. Maple Canyon

Maple Canyon
San Diego, CA 92103 (Google Maps)

Maple Canyon is a nature preserve in an urban area. It's a great place for a short walk or run, with beautiful views of the city and nature.

The trail is clean but narrow in some places, so watch your step.

The canyon is home to coyotes, birds, and some old cabins.

The wooden bridge above the canyon is a must-see. Maple Canyon is a hidden gem that's worth exploring.

8. Shepherd Canyon

Shepherd Canyon
6126 Antigua Blvd, San Diego, CA 92124 (Google Maps)

Shepherd Canyon is a great place to go for a run. The trail is well-maintained by a resident's group, and the scenery is beautiful with lots of native plant life and wildlife.

The trail is short and easy, making it perfect for beginners.

There are no restrooms on the trail, but parking is available nearby. Bring water and remember to pick up after your pets.

It's a quiet and peaceful escape nestled in between subdivisions, perfect for a quick jog or walk.

9. Rose Canyon Open Space Park

Rose Canyon Open Space Park
Regents Rd, San Diego, CA 92122 (Google Maps)

Rose Canyon Open Space Park is a hidden gem for runners looking to escape the city. With well-maintained trails varying from narrow paths to wider dirt roads, there's something for every level of runner.

The park is surrounded by natural vegetation and wildlife, making it a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Parking is convenient and free, and there are even bathrooms available.

Although the park can get muddy after rain, it's worth the extra effort for the beautiful scenery and fresh air. Runners should be aware of mountain bikers on the trails and keep an eye out for poison oak.

Whether you're looking for a quick jog or a longer run, Rose Canyon Open Space Park is a must-visit destination for runners in the area.