San Clemente Canyon Trail: San Diego, California

Trail Stats

2.68 miles
Elevation Gain
95 feet
Total Time
52 minutes
Moving Time
52 minutes

San Clemente Canyon Trail is a 2.68 mile trail with 95 feet of elevation gain and is part of Marian Bear Memorial Park located in San Diego, CA. This is a central San Diego hike that is easy to access. While you can still hear the freeway with the cars going by, you definitely get the sense of being in nature.

Parking & Getting There

Getting to the trail is very easy. You can follow the directions located above where it will take you to a decent size gravel parking lot. While the trail is pretty active, I have not seen parking be an issue here before. My guess is that there is plenty of parking most of the the time. About 200 feet away from the trail head you will find some bathrooms and trash cans. I am not sure the quality of them as I did not go in.

San Clemente Canyon Trail Parking

The Trail

You will find the some people are walking, while others are running, and you will even see some mountain bikers out there as well. Near the beginning of the trail you will have a stream crossing. This crossing is easy to navigate as people have already created a path of stacked rocks to easily cross without getting your feet wet. I am not sure if this would be the case after a heavy rain. With it so close to the beginning of the trail head, if you find it too difficult to cross you can turn back around to the car, and check it out another day.

After the water crossing you will have an easy trail to follow for the rest of the route. You will be surrounded by trees, streams, open fields, and cars. Don’t forget the cars… Since you are near the freeway you will be hearing the cars driving. If you have a creative mind, that’s great, because to me it sounds like the waves of the ocean. Just kidding, but it is something to be aware of.

Once I made it back to the end of the trail I headed back the same way that I came. In comparison to the All Trails route I did not go to the very end. The trail started to get narrow with the brush getting closer to the single track trail. I did not feel the urge to go the extra .05 miles through this area. It was a bit warm out and did not want to find and surprise friend while visiting.


Overall I found the hike to be very enjoyable. I don’t think this is the kinda of hike I would be excited to go explore on a weekend. But if I lived in the area and was looking for a close place to get the dog out or go on family walks, this would be a great place to visit.

Leave a Comment