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La Jolla Loop

  3.0 ( 1 ) Favorite


6.2 mile 10.0 kilometer loop


Ascent: 872' 266 m
Descent: -872' -266 m
High: 821' 250 m
Low: 48' 14 m


Avg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 24% (13°)


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Trail shared by John McKinney

Hike through the La Jolla Canyon and grasslands.

John McKinney

Features Birding · Lake · River/Creek · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife


Loop through the La Jolla Valley to experience rugged canyons and peaceful grasslands just above the coastline.


This utilizes the La Jolla Canyon Trail and the La Jolla Valley Loop Trail starting out at the Ray Miller Trailhead and the associated parking area. Head northward up the fire road, past the yellow gate. The path will cross over the creek back and forth until you're 8/10 of a mile into the trail and you come across a 15-foot waterfall beside the trail.

Moving beyond the waterfall you'll come across a swath of coreopsis plants. In the springtime this area is full of a variety of blossoming flowers. Moving further along the trail you'll run into a trail junction with the the La Jolla Valley Loop Trail on the left. Be sure to stay with the La Jolla Canyon Trail. 6/10 of a mile later you'll come across the second trail junction. Here you can leave the trail to the left toward the pond. This is a good place to spot some birds and ducks along the trail. Continue past the pond until you reach an intersection with the La Jolla Valley Loop Trail fire road, at which point the La Jolla Canyon Trail ends. You can go up the fire road to the right to check out the La Jolla Valley Camp, which has tables and picnicking spots.

At this point take the La Jolla Valley Loop Trail to the west. This trail begins as an extension of the La Jolla Valley Fire Rd. on the north edge of the La Jolla Valley. Follow the path as it turns toward the south and moves through grasslands. The trail will then bend toward the east, passing a juncture with the Mugu Peak Trail. Make sure you stick to the La Jolla Valley Loop Trail. 4/10 of a miles later you'll come to an intersection with the La Jolla Canyon Trail as the Valley Loop Trail comes to its end.Follow the La Jolla Canyon Trail back to the trailhead from here.

Thanks to John McKinney, The Trailmaster, for sharing this trail description. To learn more about trails in California, check out his guides at The Trailmaster Store.

Flora & Fauna

You might be able to spot some deer along the trail.

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Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Need to Know, Dogs Allowed, History & Background


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Apr 8, 2018
Elaine Donovan

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