Oak Canyon Trail

Mission Trails Regional Park, California

Elevation Gain333ft
Trailhead Elevation416ft
Elevation Min/Max271/417ft
Elevation Start/End416/416ft

Oak Canyon Trail

Oak Canyon Trail is a hiking trail in San Diego, California. It is within Mission Trails Regional Park. It is 1.4 miles long and begins at 416 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 1.9 miles with a total elevation gain of 333 feet. This trail connects with the following: North Perimeter Trail and Fortuna Saddle Trail.

Oak Canyon Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"Oak Canyon, a sycamore- and oak-lined ravine winding north from the Old Mission Dam, is a perfect place to celebrate the return of spring in San Diego. Heavy rains never fail to revive the canyon’s intermittent stream and transform the hillside vegetation from dormant brown to festive green. By March, annual wildflowers pop up amid the tender new blades of grass, blooming ceanothus colors the slopes, and the pungent, sweet smell of sage floats on the warm breeze."

"A small stream with mini-waterfalls; extravagant springtime vegetation."

"This excellent hike features a rugged canyon, rolling hills, and begins at one of the city’s most historic sites: the Old Mission Dam."

Oak Canyon Trail Reviews

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Great hike with a gentle slope adjoining the SD river what little there is of it.
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Great 2-3 hour hike following the water! Some good geocaching in the area as well.
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Although rated as "easy" be prepared for a short but pretty steep section of fire road as the trail leaves Oak Canyon to the southeast towards the Grasslands area. The trail follows a meandering stream for most of the hike, bordered with riparian flora and shady oaks but once you leave the canyon, the openess of the grasslands area is a stark constrast. During the summer months and beginning in late spring, the creek can run dry, but when it's flowing (particularly after a period of rain) the sound of splashing water at several wee waterfalls is a surprising delight. Small pools draw wildlife to the area, especially in the morning and at dusk. It's really a fun hike that can be enjoyed over and over again. When it is cool enough during the day, lunch is especially enjoyable at the larger falls near the top of the canyon. You'll find plenty of room to stretch out a small table cloth on the flat rocks nearby. When hiking in the summer, you might consider hiking it in reverse from the route described. Start out in the sunny grasslands area, then finish in the relative coolness of the oak shaded canyon. Also, if you park well away from the historic dam parking lot, you can add a little extra milage to your day. Last note, water fountains and chemical toilets can be found near the dam parking area.

Oak Canyon Trail Photos

Trail Information

Mission Trails Regional Park
Nearby City
Mission Trails Regional Park
Dog-friendly, Kid-friendly
Skill Level
Mission Trails Regional Park
Local Contacts
USGS La Mesa
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Sep 2018