Peñasquitos Canyon: East Trailhead to Peñasquitos Waterfall

San Diego, CA
Length: 6.00 mi.
Type: Out & Back

About This Trail

[Total: 5    Average: 3.4/5]

The East trailhead to the Peñasquitos waterfall is a six mile round trip hike, but the trail is very flat and wide. The Peñasquitos waterfall should have water year round but it is worth it to go in spring when the water is really flowing. You can climb along the rocks at the falls but watch your step because they can be slippery. Follow signs to the waterfall. This trail is also a great bike trail! Keep an eye out for poison oak along the trail.

The trailhead is toward the back left of the parking lot. If you go under Black Mountain Road you are going the wrong way. There will be many trail intersections along the way, but keep going straight on the fire road. The creek should be on your right the entire way. You will eventually see signs for Carson’s Crossing, that is a good sign you are going the right way but keep going straight. If you are getting tired or need a snack, the bridges and shaded area here are a great place to stop. From there continue on for a little less than a mile until you reach signs for the Penasquitos Waterfall. Once you are ready to go home, head back the way you came. If at any time you accidentally get on the wrong trail which is easy to do, it’s ok. Keep heading in the right direction and eventually you will find a connecting trail.

Restroom: Unsure


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Trail Features

Seasons Fall, Spring, Summer, and Winter
Surface type Dirt
Stroller friendly Yes
ADA accessible No
Water fountains No
Bathrooms No
Cell reception Excellent
Pet friendly Yes
Nearby convenience store Yes
Camping Nearby No
Emergency support
within 5 miles

Trail highlights

Bike Trails, Creek / River, Natural Play Area, and Waterfall

Long but easy hike to a small waterfall.

Fee & Parking Details

Fee : $0.00

Park in the trailhead parking lot.

Trail Contributor

[Total: 5    Average: 3.4/5]

Hike it Baby member since spring 2016. Current HiB Asheville NC Branch Ambassador. Past HiB San Diego CA and Orange County CA Branch Ambassador, and past National Team volunteer for Community Values, HiB30 Challenge Prizes, Mentor, and Ambassador Continued Education teams.