Annie's Canyon Hike
N Rios Ave, Solana Beach, CA 92075
Distance: 1.5 miles, Level: Easy
This newly renovated trail has quickly claimed the hearts of many hikers in San Diego. One of many hiking options along the San Elijo Lagoon, Annie's Canyon is a short but sweet trail in Solana Beach with a fun twist - slot canyons! This route starts at the N. Rios Avenue entrance at the end of the cul de sac. Parking is free along the neighborhood streets, but this trails popularity also means parking spots can be tough to come by during the busy times. It's recommended to check this spot out during the week or early on the weekends. A stroller or baby carrier can be used, when you get to the slot canyons you take a loop off of the main trail so you can leave your stroller or carrier there and wing back around to get it. Wearing your normal workout clothes and running shoes are suitable for this trail, also, there are no public restrooms.
You'll start the trail by walking underneath a beautiful tunnel of willow trees followed by a path lined with buckwheat, sage and baccharis. You will not feel like the busy 5 freeway is only a few minutes drive away, the San Elijo Lagoon travels you to a serene nature experience. At just over .5 mile you will see the turn-off for Annie’s Canyon on your right. This is where the slot canyons start, you will see a sign offering a "hard" or "easy" option but both lead you to the same viewpoint. The "hard" path is labeled as such because of the very narrow slot canyons, the trail here starts off wide but soon becomes a very narrow short climb to a ladder that brings you to the top, you will need to carry small children or dogs through this part. The "easy" route leads you along a well paved path. At the top of both options you will be rewarded with beautiful views of the ocean, lagoon and terrific sculpted sandstone canyon walls.
Once you've finished the Annie's Canyon slot canyon loop you will find yourself back under the grove of towering Eucalyptus trees where you can take the same route back. As you may have noticed on your hike in, there are a few side trails, all of them connect so if you're looking to explore more take a stroll along any of them.
Check out some nearby restaurants in Solana beach, some local favorites are Pizza Port, Pillbox Tavern, Claire's on Cedros and Naked Cafe.