Oak Canyon Trail

Mission Trails Regional Park, California

Distance1.4mi
Elevation Gain333ft
Trailhead Elevation416ft
Top417ft
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 Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Afoot & Afield: San Diego County (Wilderness Press)
Jerry Schad
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"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." Read more
50 Best Short Hikes San Diego (Wilderness Press)
Jerry Schad & Don Endicott
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"Oak Canyon, a sycamore- and oak-lined ravine that winds north from Mission Gorge’s Old Mission Dam, is a perfect place to celebrate the return of spring in San Diego. Heavy rains 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 (wild lilac) and California poppies color the slopes, and the sweet-pungent smell of sage floats on the warm breezes." Read more

Oak Canyon Trail Reviews

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2/27/2009
Great hike with a gentle slope adjoining the SD river what little there is of it.
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1/11/2009
Great 2-3 hour hike following the water! Some good geocaching in the area as well.
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4/16/2008
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.
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Oak Canyon Trail Photos

Trail Information

Mission Trails Regional Park
Nearby City
Mission Trails Regional Park
Parks
Dog-friendly, Kid-friendly
Accessibility
Moderate
Skill Level
Wildflowers
Features
Mission Trails Regional Park
Local Contacts

Activity Feed

Dec 2018