Easy hike on a dirt road past flowers and marsh with water views. This area is an ideal spot for birders. The park is part of the Pacific Flyway and a huge variety of bird species have been reported here.
The trail, a wide dirt road, starts from the parking lot at the northwest corner of the Tijuana River Valley Campground. Head north to a junction and follow that road to the west, gradually approaching a slough off the Tijuana River. Even during a year of extreme drought, in mid-May the road was densely bordered by a wide variety of tall, lush wildflowers. I can only imagine what it would be like in a year of normal or high rainfall.
This area is an ideal spot for birders. The park is part of the Pacific Flyway and a huge variety of bird species have been reported here. I didn't see a large number of birds in mid-afternoon, but if you are a birder, you'll know the best times to come for birds and when the migratory birds join the local birds. Signs warn of rattlesnakes. I did not see any, but a saw many snake tracts crossing the dust of the road.
One distraction is there is a Naval Landing Field less than a mile to the north. One or more helicopters are often circling around, so the pilots can get in-flight hours and practice landings.
At the junction with the Marsh Spur
Trail turn left. As the trail continues south, it crosses a stream bed that may be flooded or very muddy during the rainy season. Just beyond this, the road curves to the west, paralleling the streambed. 1/4th mile to the west, the road cuts back to curve around a Model Marsh for the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve.
On reaching the road for the South Beach Trail
, following it back to the campground and parking lot.