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Mission Trails Regional Park

One Father Junipero Serra Trail
San Diego, CA 92119-1008

(619) 405-0177
View Website
Region: East County Hours of Operation: Park Open Daily.

Visitor & Interpretive Center:
Daily: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Except New Year's, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
Mission Trails Regional Park

Everything at Mission Trails Regional Park is free and it is just 12 miles from downtown San Diego.  At 5,800 acres, it is the largest urban open space park west of the Mississipi. The park features 40 miles of spectacular trails for your walking, hiking, mountain biking, birding, and rock climbing. Explore and enjoy the park's 14,575-square-foot Visitor and Interpretive Center, two lakes, a scenic stretch of the San Diego River, and the Old Mission Dam, a California State Historical Landmark - built by the Kumeyaay Indians circa 1816. Climb Cowles Mountain, whose summit at 1,592 feet is the highest geographical point in the City of San Diego. It offers a panoramic view of San Diego clear to the ocean. Visit the Equestrian Staging Area. Mission Trails is open seven days a week.  The Visitor Center is located at One Father Junipero Serra Trail - check our website for directions and all the events and activities at Mission Trails Regional Park and our Visitor & Interpretive Center.

Visitor & Intrepetive Center

The Visitor Center is open from 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. everyday except New Year's, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.  It features state-of-the-art exhibits that makes learning about the park's geology, plants, animals, and history, fun and easy. The gift shop offers souvenirs, Kumeyaay Indian-made items, and a unique selection of informative books. The 93-seat theater features captivating films of the park's natural beauty, and the history and culture of the Kumeyaay Indians who worked and lived within what is now the park. The Visitor Center also features a rotating exhibition of talented and award-winning artists and photographers.

Every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, at 9:30 a.m., a Volunteer Trail Guide will take you on a 90 minute guided walk on any of three trails adjacent to the Visitor Center. 

What to Know:

  • Everything at Mission Trails is Free
  • 12 miles from downtown San Diego
  • Exciting Guided Nature Walks from the Visitor Center
  • There are 42 miles of trails to hike and explore
  • There is a 14,000 square foot Visitor & Interpretive Center
  • Free guided nature walks every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday at 9:30 AM.

What You Can Do:

  • Tour the 14,575 square foot Visitor Center
  • Visit the historical Old Mission Dam
  • Hike Cowles Mountain and/or Rock Climb Kwaay Paay Mountain
  • Enjoy Lake Murray and the Kumeyaay Lakes
  • Discover the Kumeyaay Indian grinding rocks
  • Mountain Bike throughout the park

More Information

  • Historic Landmark
  • Park Type: Parks

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