When completed the Coast to Crest Trail will link the headwaters of the San Dieguito River at Vulcan Mountain to where it empties into the Pacific Ocean in Del Mar some 70 miles distance.
Technically the Coast to Crest Trail begins across from the fire station at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, however it’s great to start at the Del Mar River Path. Pick up the River Path on the south side of the river at the ocean or at the end of 28th street, which adds about one mile RT to this four mile RT walk, it’s too easy to call a hike.
The Del Mar River Path follows the south side of the San Dieguito River. It is a wide dirt path with flowers, interpretive signs, rest benches and fishing holes.
The official start of the Coast to Crest Trail is on the north side of the river at Jimmy Durante – across from the fire station. The only parking here is $10 at the fairgrounds parking lot. There is free parking along Via de la Valle, or as I suggest along the Del Mar River Path.
The trail begins on a raised boardwalk over the marshes behind the Del Mar Fairgrounds. After the marsh area the trail is a wide well maintained dirt path.
Do not linger under the swallows nesting under I-5, there was a lot of activity there on this day. And just beyond BEES!, the bees were trying to decide if this was a good place to settle in.
As the trail follows the lagoon it becomes a multi-use trail and equestrians have access to the shared trail.
Also beyond the lagoon the trail is shared with rattlesnakes! Yikes!
This section of the trail is open to El Camino Real. Plan on going at least as far as the dressage and polo grounds to enjoy some of the counties finest horse facilities. The practice session for the 1984 LA Olympics equestrian events was here.
A few wild flowers are still in bloom.
Fidel’s and Tony’s have been on this corner of ‘Little Mexico’ for decades. Either is a good choice, but today we choose Tony’s, even tho Fidel’s has Nopales (cactus) on their menu, which is great for breakfast … it’s Margarita time!