Hello everyone! This is a friendly reminder that any of these fun places we may visit, we are a guest at. Please treat both businesses and trails with the utmost respect. We here at Hidden San Diego follow the 'Leave no Trace' mantra, meaning whatever you bring with you comes back with you. If you see trash on a trail, please do your part to help remove it. Remember, we are not picking up trash from another person but instead cleaning up for Mother Nature. Happy adventures!

bridle trail

Balboa Park

32.735105, -117.156080

Hike: There are multiple trails you can take on this spot    Level: Easy

Dog-Friendly: Yes    Kid-Friendly: Yes




Personal Experience: The Bridle Trail really comes as a surprise if you happen to stumble upon it. Basically being located in the heart of the city, it's not the type of place you'd expect to come across in this area. This trail is located west of Route 163 in Balboa Park, and in fact, during parts of the trail you will walk right alongside the freeway and underneath the Cabrillo bridge! You can access the trail from several points including along Balboa dr. & 6th ave. and a spot several yards north of the lawn bowling site.

I love this trail for so many reasons: the tranquility, unique beauty to San Diego, the flower fields in the springtime, fresh air. It all evokes clarity and peace of mind. I would not recommend going alone as you will occasionally come across a suspicious person or two. Balboa is notorious for lewd activities, such as sexual assaults and drugs.

Update as of May 2016: I have noticed the trees are dying.

Update 2019: Most of the trees have now been cut down.  This page may have to become part of our lost history section at this point. Redwoods are not meant for this weather, I was told.  But how did they survive for so many years up until this point?  They seemed to be thriving even 6 years ago!  I am lost.

The hike is actually right along the freeway much of the time:

One day there was a bird that I swear escaped from the zoo which is right next door!

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3 Reviews

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3 Reviews


  • A VdW
    Rating Overall Rating Difficulty Finding

    You missed the long, winding, stone stairway at the very south end! It’s beautiful! Continue about 1/4 mile south of the Cabrillo Bridge.

    The largest trees are redwood trees. During one of the expositions the California Redwood Association planted those trees period they are suffering though because they require the coastal mist or at least a lot more humidity and cool weather.

    June 21, 2017

  • Anonymous
    Rating Overall Rating Difficulty Finding

    It doesn’t look so great now. I am astonished that there used to be a lake under their. It looked beautiful!

    November 28, 2017

  • Anonymous
    Rating Overall Rating Difficulty Finding

    Great website but please,please, please be cautious of transients while exploring this area. around Balboa Park

    July 5, 2019

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Bridle Trail, San Diego, CA, USA


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