Sunset Cliffs Natural Park

Sunset Cliffs Natural Park

We love the ocean and have several favorite spots to run on the beach in San Diego. We also have several favorite spots for viewing the ocean. One of those is Sunset Cliffs Natural Park as it is one of the most stunning places to view the ocean. The fun part of it is there are actually two different sections which provide two entirely different experiences. And despite living in San Diego full time for nearly 7 years and part time for over 3 years, we just found out about one of the sections today!

Normally we visit the linear 18-acre area along Sunset Cliffs Blvd between Adair and Ladera Streets. You can park in one of the lots along Sunset Cliffs Blvd or along the road. The “trail” is a hard packed dirt path along Sunset Cliffs Blvd. that overlooks the ocean. Although the views are stunning you are essentially walking along a busy road. Despite that it’s well worth the visit.

Today we let our GPS lead us to the park and it took us to an entirely different area that we knew nothing about. We drove through Point Loma Nazarene University and found a parking lot on the right-hand side. From there we found two entrances to the trails leading through a 50-acre hillside.

The trail is packed dirt with vegetation on either side and a stunning view of the ocean in front of you. The trail leads down the hill from the parking lot to other trails that wind around the hillside and cliffs. We found several areas to overlook the cliffs and down on the ocean. It was a little nerve-wracking to be that close to the edge and see the ocean so far below. Despite that we had a peaceful and wonderful hike along the trails. This is a much quieter and less busy way to enjoy the views than the section along Sunset Cliffs Blvd.

Sunset Cliffs Natural Park trail
Sunset Cliffs Natural Park trail
Sunny and wild flowers

We only walked about 1.6M, but spent an hour wandering around and enjoying the views. A much longer hike could be done if you include both sections of the park. In addition to hiking the trails there are many areas to sit, relax, and enjoy the view.

Sunny on the rock
Sunny and Art at Sunset Cliffs Natural Park

Our Rating

Sunny and I rate Sunset Cliffs Natural Park hillside 4 out of 4 paws up. The views are stunning, the trails are well maintained, and parking is great. Sunny also likes that there are quite a few bunnies and lizards which are fun to chase. It’s also fairly quiet, at least on a weekday morning making it a wonderful place to hike and even picnic.

How Do I Get There?

Follow Catalina Blvd in Point Loma to Lomaland Dr. Take a right onto Lomaland Dr. and follow it through the entrance of Point Loma Nazarene University. The road winds around through the campus. Look for the parking lot on the right-hand side. There are two entrances to the trails from the parking lot and they are well-marked.

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