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The Best Beach Hike in San Diego, California

The Best Beach Hike in San Diego, California

Ho Chi Mihn trail is located in a residential neighborhood in La Jolla, Ca. This is one of my favorite beach access hikes to do in San Diego! Every few yards, the trail environment changes, just be warned: it isn’t for everyone. This trail is not for small children or the elderly. It is steep, slippery, and requires repelling at the end!

Ho Chi Mihn trail is a ‘secret’ surfer entrance through a neighborhood. As you hike, you will undoubtedly run into them carrying their boards up and down to the beach (if you get lost, just follow them… the trail is NOT marked).

Difficulty: moderate-difficult / experienced

Location:  La Jolla, San Diego, California

Trailhead Address:  9883 La Jolla Farms Road, La Jolla, Ca, 92037

The trailhead is REALLY easy to miss if you aren’t paying attention. When you get to the trailhead access, you should see a few cars parked. The trailhead access is between two brown/ medal fences that belong to private properties. At the street entrance you will see a brown sign mentioning heat and animal warnings; follow that down, you’re going the right way! At the bottom of the first hill, make sure you cross this plank (pictured below) so you know you are going the right way.


Distance: 2.4 (ish) miles round trip

Time: 1-2 hours out-and-back, depending on your experience/ fitness level, and how long you stop to take pictures

Trail type: out-and-back

Traffic: Light - Moderate

Best Time to visit: Year-round

Parking: Free, 2-hour parking on the street!

Animals: Dog are allowed on the trail, but not on the beach. I don’t recommend taking ANY pets the first time you attempt this trail. You will be crawling at some points!

Bathrooms: N/A

Hours of Operation: Open all year

Fees/ Permits: N/A

Water sources: N/A There are no clean water sources on the trail. Be sure to back a regular sized-water bottle. It is not a strenuous hike so you don’t need a lot.

Food: I advise you eat before going and having some kind of fruit (banana, orange) and/or a protein bar to enjoy on the beach!

Shade: The hike is through a canyon so there’s bits of shade, but nothing is covered 100% of the time. I always recommend sunscreen and a hat, especially if you plan to walk along the beach.

The Trail is dog friendly, but the beach is NOT. I only recommend taking your dog on this trail if you have done it before.


Typically an empty beach other than the surfers.


Here is a poor quality photo of the ropes for repelling at the end. It is a relatively short distance, but is especially slippery after it rains. The ropes are often replaced because they are used so frequently and wear out. My advice is to go slowly backwards, but don’t put too much weight on the ropes, they can break!

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