San Diego Trails: Sunset Trail

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San Diego Trails: Sunset Trail

Sunset Trail, San Elijo Hills Park might seem an unlikely place to go hiking, after all, San Elijo Hills is a development with around 3,400 homes, but when you realize that the whole place was developed with open space in mind, it becomes clear that this is a great place to hike, cycle, ride your horse and take the dog (on a leash, of course). San Elijo Hills enjoys 18 miles of glorious trails, and the Sunset Trail is one of the best.

Sunset Trail starts on the northern edge of the Park, there are actually lots of different trails here so it’s a great place to “mix n match”, with around 18 miles to choose from you really can make a new walk every week. If you call in at the community visitor’s center before you go you can pick up a free trail map so that you can easily plan your route.  The Sunset Trail is around 3.5 miles, so you need to allow at least a couple of hours. Part of the trail is paved but part of it is pretty steep so it is quite strenuous in places, but there is an alternative switchback on offer which will get you to the same place . . . eventually and more gradually. As you get higher up the trail you’ll get terrific views over Lake San Marcos and even the Palomar Mountain and the ocean.

Finding San Elijo Park

San Elijo Park can be reached on Interstate 5. Take the exit at La Costa or Leucadia and head eastwards towards Rancho Sante Fe Road, then turn left, then a right turn into San Elijo Road followed by a left onto School House Way and you’re about there. There is an alternative route from Twin Oaks Valley Road via state Route 78.  You’ll find San Elijo Park at the end of School House Way. There’s loads of free parking spaces available . . . enjoy.

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