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Mission Trails Regional Park

1 Father Junipero Serra Trail

San Diego, CA 92119

Only eight miles northeast of downtown, Mission Trails Regional Park offers a respite from city life during your visit to San Diego.  This scenic park is made up of rugged canyons and steep hills, and is one of the most beautiful natural areas in Southern California.

Quick Facts:

  • The park is a total of 7,220 acres.

  • It is the 7th largest urban park in the United States.  

  • There are over 60 miles of mountain bike, equestrian and hiking trails in the park.

  • The Kumeyaay Lake Campground in the park features 46 camp sites on a small lake.

  • Mission Trails is known as the “third jewel” in the San Diego Park System, along with Balboa Park and Mission Bay Park.  

  • Cowles Mountain, a 1,592 foot peak is the highest point in the park, and the highest point in the City of San Diego.

  • The San Diego River meanders through the park, flowing from the northeast corner down to the southeast, and is interrupted by the Old Mission Dam near Hollis Lake at the top end.

  • There is a one-way access road through the park which is built for cars, pedestrians and cyclists.

  • The park is open every day throughout the year

The Mission Trails Regional Park Visitor and Interpretive Center is a 14,000 square foot facility that includes exhibits, a library, a 93 seat theater and an art gallery.

A popular attraction within the park is the Cowles Mountain trail, which offers panoramic vistas of San Diego County from the top of its 1500 foot elevation.

The Old Mission Dam, which was built over 200 years ago to irrigate farmland for the Mission San Diego de Alcala is another must-see location.  

Lake Murray, a 168 acre reservoir that supplies drinking water to San Diego is also within the park boundaries and is a popular destination.

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