“A quick out and back from the Point Loma Lighthouse down to the water.
— John Shuttlesworth
Views · Wildlife
A short hike with great views of San Diego Bay and all the naval traffic including ships, planes, and helicopters.
Need to Know
This National Monument is surrounded by government land on all sides, so adhere to all signage and stick to the marked paths. You'll likely see a military presence during your visit due to the proximity to their facilities, so ensure that you keep to the side of all roadways.
This trail is fairly tame with a well maintained tread that offers wonderful views of San Diego Bay, local boating traffic, as well as lots of naval traffic (including submarines, destroyers, fighter jets and attack helicopters—all of which were viewed on this hike).
You begin your hike from the main parking area just outside of the visitor center. You'll then travel up the trail towards the lighthouse. Just before you get to the lighthouse you'll veer left and stay on the shoulder of the road. You then travel on the paved road for about a 1/2 mile where you'll see a sign next to a bench. From there you'll depart the road and connect with a gravel/dirt path on your left. The path then follows the contour of the landscape and gradually descends until you are about 350 feet directly below the visitor center. The trail ends at a government property fence where you'll turn around and retrace your steps back to the parking area.
This trail is very dry, with no trees for shade, so bring plenty of water and sunscreen. I would also recommend a pair of binoculars for viewing the traffic in the bay. This is a desert environment with rattlesnakes and other biting insects, so tread carefully and stick to the path. This trail does have several old military relics with corresponding signage along the way, as well as some nice benches overlooking the bay that make for great spots to stop, rest, and enjoy your surroundings. Overall this trail is time well spent as you enjoy the entirety of the Cabrillo National Monument.
Flora & Fauna
Desert dwelling critters call this area home including snakes, rodents, bugs, and a variety of bird life. Be mindful to stay on the trail to avoid any unnecessary contact with the local wildlife.