Sunset Cliffs Trail – San Diego, CA (Ocean Views)

Trail Stats

2.97 miles
Elevation Gain
161 feet
Total Time
1 hours 0 minutes
Moving Time
1 hours 0 minutes

Sunset Cliffs Trail is a 2.97 mile trail with 161 feet of elevation gain and is part of Sunset Cliffs Natural Park located in San Diego, California. This is a wonderful trail along the ocean that can be as long or short as you want.

Parking & Getting There

Getting to Sunset Cliffs is easy, but it is up to you on where you want to park. I chose to use the location reccomended by AllTrails since it was less central and easier to find parking. I also wanted to walk the entire thing, so I only had an option of one end or the other.

Sunset Cliffs Trail Parking

In the picture from Google Maps above you can see the red line which provides some parking that is available and the green which is the start of the trail. If you watch the recap video you will see that I start by going through the construction area on the bottom of this map.

Directions to my starting point: Google Maps

The Trail

This is a great trail that I would consider a walk. While I do mention that there is elevation gain, it really goes unnoticed for the most part. While walking the trail you will notice that there are many times where you need to leave the dirt path and walk in the bike line. This is because the cliff has eroded so much that it ends literally at the road / guardrail.

There is no shade on the trail so make sure to keep that in account. If it’s a warm day make sure to bring sunscreen and plenty of water. Seeing that it is right on the ocean, how warm can it actually get? I didn’t see too much trail signage, but it isn’t really needed since all you need to do is find somewhere to start and follow the ocean.

One of my favorite things about this trail was all of the happy people you walk by on your journey. You will find that people are painting the ocean, taking photos, engagements, relaxing, or having a picnic. With how busy life can be it is nice to see a place with so many people enjoying.

Something you will see a long the way that is really cool is the Open Ceiling Sea Cave. You can read more about it here. From the top, it is a fence around a hole in the ground. I think you need to go inside to truly appreciate it. This can be extremely tricky since you need to time the tide. I have never gone in the cave before and would not recommend it unless you do some really good research ahead of time on how to do it safely.


Overall if you are looking for a nice walk a long the ocean, look no further this is the one. If you have the time, check it out during sunset as the views are amazing! I took my son with me and was able to make it out and back without any issues. He enjoyed the view from his child harness backpack. What is your favorite time to go here? Leave a comment below to get the conversation started.

Photo Gallery

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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