Canyoneer Hikes

Take a hike.

Strap on your hiking shoes and take in that fresh air with our Canyoneers. For 47 years, these volunteer naturalists have offered free, guided hikes throughout the county. They're here to help you get to know San Diego County's wild spaces like no one else, whether you join a guided hike or hit the trails on your own time. As always, learn how to be prepared and hike responsibly.

Guided hikes

These Canyoneer-led hikes take place from September through June. The hikes are free, but in order to help create the best experience for hikers and the least impact on the environment, capacity is limited and advance online registration is required. Registration will open to museum members five weeks prior to the hike date and publicly open one month prior to the hike date.


If you would like to know if a hike is at capacity, select RSVP and look for a notification directly under the title of the hike. You will see the following notification: Sold Out! / ¡Agotado! This event has sold out. / Este evento esta agotado. If the hike is no longer available for registration. You can always check the hike at a later date to see if any capacity has opened.


  • 24 Oct
    Lake Hodges (Piedras Pintadas Trail)
    • Sunday, October 24, 2021 9 AM
  • 6 Nov
    Santa Ysabel Preserve East (Upper Santa Ysabel)
    • Saturday, November 6, 2021 9 AM
  • 14 Nov
    San Dieguito River Park (Coast to Crest Trail—Mule Hill)
    • Sunday, November 14, 2021 8 AM
  • 16 Nov
    Daley Ranch (Engelmann Oak Loop)
    • Tuesday, November 16, 2021 9 AM
More Hikes


Choose your own trail

Want to strike out on your own? Check out curated lists of our favorite trails and learn about the wildlife you can experience along the way. From paved walking paths to adrenaline-inducing climbs with epic views, the trail systems of southern California will not disappoint. To find out as soon as they're published, subscribe to our newsletter.

Binoculars bring wildlife close to you. And on these three trails, you’re going to need those field glasses to take it all in! Perfect for experienced birders or a nature enthusiast bringing along binoculars for the first time, our Canyoneers recommend some of their favorite trails for this wildlife-watching season.  Read more.


Ten Great Hikes for Summer

Posted: June 8, 2021

Summer sun can be lovely, but it’s sometimes a scorcher across San Diego County. Our Canyoneers recommend their coolest trails for this sunny season. Cool in both senses of the word. Read more.


Ten Great Hikes for Spring

Posted: March 14, 2021

Colors bloom and wildlife sings for spring across San Diego County. Our Canyoneers recommend their favorite trails for this warming season, when there are plenty of opportunities to stop and smell the wildflowers. Read more.


Ten Great Hikes for Winter

Posted: December 16, 2020

From open grasslands, desert views, urban terrains, and flowing rivers, there is plenty to enjoy on brisk winter hikes in San Diego—even without snow. Our Canyoneers recommend San Diego's top trails for winter, where you can find spectacular views, overwintering birds, and more as you stay socially distanced but get up close with nature.  Read more.


Explore More

Hike responsibly

The key to a successful and memorable hike is preparation as well as following rules of courtesy and safety--especially important during a pandemic. More.

Subaru loves our Canyoneers

We’re hitting the road—and the trails—with support from Subaru of America, a proud partner of the Canyoneers program. Keep your eyes peeled for our Subaru Outback, which is used by our researchers, educators, and Canyoneers. You might even see it at the trailhead.

Meet the Canyoneers

One of the few trail-guide groups nationwide affiliated with a natural history museum rather than a park or reserve, Canyoneers have provided free guided tours in San Diego County since 1973. More.

Trail guide now available

Check out the new trail guide written by the Canyoneers. It details more than 250 trails in the region and highlights our local habitats. More.

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