Annie’s Canyon via San Elijo Lagoon

Was looking for another easy hike to test my foot’s recovery and remembered I had not hiked the new connector bridge under the I-5. Since the main lot was full, we parked across the street at the water district. We strolled along the wide path toward the freeway. Partway, a trail left the main path and took us closer to the lagoon for a while. Once back on the main path, we were almost at the bridge. Slung under the I-5, this nice wide bridge spans the lagoon and offers some nice views. We followed the trail to the right to continue on toward Annie’s Canyon. To our south we could see the trail continuing up and over the hill toward Solana Beach. Thankfully our destination was before that climb. A side trail took us off the paved section and toward the junction with the Annie’s Canyon trail.

Being a Sunday I knew this hike would be crowded. Anita, Ben and Rocky decided to relax on some logs under the shade of some eucalyptus  trees, while I opted to go explore the canyon.

I worked my way up through the narrow sandstone canyon until I reached a queue waiting to make their way through the narrowest of sections where the ladder is. After it was my turn, I enjoyed the view from the viewpoint before taking the switchbacks back to that lagoon’s edge. If you don’t feel like tackling the canyon or ladders, you can take this section of trail to enjoy the view. Just note, you cannot descend the ladder or exit through the canyon. Once back together we retraced our route then headed off to Seaside Market for some lunch.


I am an avid peak bagger, sometimes backpacker, and former sea-kayaker living in San Diego. In 2019, I became the third person to complete the San Diego 100 Peak Challenge. Not stopping with that accomplishment, I set my sights on the harder San Diego Sierra Club 100 Peak list, which I completed in 2021. In addition, I have conquered several Six-Pack of Peaks challenges (SoCal, San Diego, and Arizona-Winter). Beyond attempting the San Diego Sierra Club 100 Peak list a second time, I am looking forward to exploring new summits and new adventures across the southwest. 

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