Crest Canyon

Crest Canyon

Crest Canyon is another location that Karlie and I visited a few times. I’ll admit that it wasn’t our favorite place since there are other spots we enjoy more. But today we decided to visit with Sunny since I was looking for a closer to home hike. What I found out is the trail has been expanded making it better than I remembered.

Karlie at Crest Canyon
Karlie at Crest Canyon

Crest Canyon, located between Del Mar and Del Mar Hills, has steep sandstone cliffs with beautiful views of the canyon below and the San Dieguito Lagoon. It provides about a 2.2M hike with the biggest challenge being the steep stairs to get into and out of the canyon. The trail is well marked and easy to follow and although fairly popular with runners and walkers it’s not over crowded. The biggest downfalls are there’s really only one trail so it’s the same hike every time, no designated parking, and no restrooms.

Visiting Crest Canyon

Although the official entrance to the trail is at Durango Drive and Lozana Road, there are some trails on the upper section along Durango Drive. We usually park on Durango Drive shortly after turning off Del Mar Heights Road to explore these trails and get views of the canyon below. After that we walk along the side of Durango Road to the official entrance and the stairs to the canyon below.

trail to the entrance
Crest Canyon sign
more stairs to the canyon

On this visit after entering the canyon we took the trail to the left. This is a loop trail so either direction will lead back to the stairs. The trail is a narrow dirt trail through the vegetation. There are poles with rope to keep you on the trail and out of the vegetation. As you walk along the trail there are views of the San Dieguito Lagoon. The trail winds down to Racetrack View Drive. This is another access point to the canyon and you can cross the road to the lagoon, which we did not do on this trip. After the sign at Racetrack View Drive the trail loops around back to the stairs.

the trail at Crest Canyon
more of the trail
San Dieguito Lagoon
stairs back to the street at Crest Canyon

Our Rating

Karlie, Sunny, and I rate Crest Canyon 3 out of 4 paws up. We originally rated it 2.5 out of 4 paws up, but have increased the rating since the trail has been expanded making for a longer hike. The trail is not very challenging once you climb down the stairs and it’s the same hike every time. Despite that it’s a nice spot to enjoy the beautiful scenery and get away from the hustle bustle.

How Do I Get There?

From I-5 take exit #34 – Del Mar Heights Road and turn left onto Del Mar Heights Road. After .6M turn right onto Durango Drive. You can park anywhere along Durango Drive. The official park entrance is at Durango Drive and Lozana Road. Entry into the canyon is to the left of the sign and down several steep flights of stairs.

Crest Canyon Park sign
steep stairs into the canyon

For more information about Crest Canyon Park check out this link.

San Dieguito River Park – Crest Canyon

Leave a Reply