Bayside Trail | A beautiful 3-mile Hike at Cabrillo National Monument

Trail Stats

2.89 miles
Elevation Gain
371 feet
Total Time
1 hours 32 minutes
Moving Time
1 hours 20 minutes

Bayside Trail is a 2.89-mile trail with 371 feet of elevation gain and is part of Cabrillo National Monument located in Point Loma, CA. When I started heading down the hill I was shocked that I had not heard of it before. The views of Coronado, downtown San Diego, and the ocean are absolutely amazing on a clear day.

Parking & Getting There

Getting to this trail is very easy. But as a warning, there is only one way into the park and one way out. Since you will need to pay to get into the park, the traffic is bottlenecked by the parking booth taking payments for all of the vehicles. I would stay away from here on a busy holiday weekend, and try to visit during less popular times.

Parking fees vary based on the car and the amount of time you would like for the pass. There are day and annual passes and vary in price. To find up-to-date information about the parking pass pricing check out: Cabrillo National Monument – Fees & Prices.

Once you make it past the gate, there are plenty of spaces to park in. Pick an available spot, then you can start your adventure from there!

Bayside Trail

After parking, you can start following the signs to head towards the lighthouse. You will end up following a sidewalk and when you are about 50 yards from the Point Loma lighthouse, you will see a road that heads down towards the water. It will also have a sign that says “Bayside Trail”

Bayside Trail Sign at Trailhead
Bayside Trail – Trailhead sign

Once at the sign, you will head down this road for the first portion of the hike. While I did not see any cars on this road, I am sure there are some, so make sure to keep your kids close.

Once you have made it down a good portion of the road you will come across a bench and trail sign for “Bayside Trail”. From here the rest of the trail will be a fairly wide well-groomed dirt trail. I saw a person take a stroller on the trail, but I would not call it stroller-friendly. They probably had to work hard bringing it back up the trail.

Bayside Trail Trailhead WIth Bench
Trailhead sign for dirt path

As noted on the sign, this trail is open until 4 pm (always verify, hours can change). Make sure you plan to have enough time to make it off the trail on time. It’s also important to note that this is a “reverse hike”. Meaning that you go down to the bottom of the trail to start. After reaching the end of the trail, you get your elevation in, climbing back to the top.

Dogs and bikes are not allowed on this trail. The trail signage is great and easy to follow. Depending on where the sun is while hiking this trail, there may not be any shade. Make sure to bring plenty of water.

The trail will abruptly come to a stop and will be very obvious at the end. There is no access to the water either. Once at the end, enjoy the views. On a clear day, you can see Coronado, downtown San Diego, and even further!


Overall, on a clear day, Bayside Trail is a hidden gem for San Diego trails. Now that I know about it, I will make sure to come back. While you are here, make sure to check out the lighthouse and Cabrillo Monument. There is a lot of signage explaining all of the histories in the area which adds to the overall experience.

Wrap Up

Is there a specific hike that you would like to see next? Leave a comment down below or reach out via the Contact Form and hopefully I will be able to get a recap and virtual hike posted soon! Thanks for stopping by, enjoy your adventure.

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