Karlie and I visited Miramar Reservoir many times. In fact it was one of our favorite hiking spots in San Diego and you can read all about it at Miramar Reservoir. So it seemed only fitting that our first adventure upon returning to San Diego would be to Miramar Reservoir. The good news is that Sunny seemed to enjoy it as much as Karlie did. That made my heart happy.
There are two trails around the reservoir – a dirt trail and an asphalt road. As usual we took the dirt trail instead of the asphalt trail favored by walkers and cyclists. During our visit the trail was more mud than dirt as we had recently had some rain. Despite that there were only a few areas with big puddles and luckily I found a way around them so my feet stayed dry. Sunny, on the other hand, didn’t seem to mind tromping through the mud and puddles.
At the start of the trail it feels more like a hike in the woods and you don’t really notice the reservoir. This quickly changes as you start to have views of the reservoir on the left side. After about half a mile there is a rock that juts into the reservoir. This is Karlie’s rock and the place we took a picture on every visit. Keeping with tradition we took a picture with Sunny.
After passing Karlie’s rock, the trail continues to wind around the reservoir with off and on views of it. At times the vegetation is quite tall and surrounds you making it difficult to see the reservoir. After about 3M you come upon a fishing pier and port-o-potty. It looks like the trail ends, but if you cross the road and look to the right you will find the continuation of the dirt trail. After another mile the dirt trail ends and you climb up to the asphalt road. This continues over the dam and back to the large parking lot and restroom. The total distance around the reservoir is about 5M.
The dirt trail is fairly flat, but does have sections where you can climb up to the asphalt road. It is wide in some sections, but also narrows in other areas. There are several sections where the grass on either side is so tall you can’t see other people coming toward you. This is rarely a problem as most people seem to take the asphalt road instead of the dirt trail. The dirt trail may not be appropriate for those with mobility or stability issues, but the asphalt road would be a good option for those individuals.
Miramar Reservoir remains 4 out of 4 paws up. We love walking around the reservoir on the dirt path, but it’s also nice to have the option to walk on the asphalt road. Having the view of the reservoir and the opportunity to get close to it is an added bonus. Ample parking and restrooms along the trail make this hike nearly perfect.
How do I get there?
The best way to locate the trail is to use Miramar Reservoir boat launch as the location. The directions will have you enter off Scripps Lakes Road and then turn near the water treatment plant. Follow the road to the large parking lot. Since we like to start the hike by walking on the dirt trail around the lake, we drive past the large parking lot and follow the road to the right. We continue as far as possible and park near where they close the road to vehicle traffic. Walk toward that area and either walk on the asphalt or take the dirt trail on the left.
For more information about Miramar Reservoir check out the San Diego website.