San Diego, CA

South San Diego: Imperial Beach & Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge

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South of San Diego near the Mexico border, there are some nice running options:

Imperial Beach. Good beach for running, with firm, flat sand near the water. Be sure to take a jaunt out Imperial Beach Pier. It’s also possible to run along Seacoast Dr., but it’s a distance from the beach — though at the southern end, it skirts the Tijuana River Estuary, with some nice views. The beach is~2 miles long.

Google Street View

Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge/River Estuary.  A 2,800 acre area with several miles of scenic trails around wetlands. The trails are wide and easy for running, and there are great views out to the estuary. This trail map shows the various trails and distances. Note that there’s a break between the North McCoy & South McCoy trails, but you can use the trail at the east end as the connector. There’s also nice beach running, especially the 1.5 mile South Beach Trail. South of Monument Rd., there are additional trails in Goat CanyonNote: Some of the trails can be softer sand.

Essentials
  • Imperial Beach is ~2 miles. The Refuge/Estuary has several miles of trails
  • Generally flat
  • Imperial Beach: Palm Ave. or Pier; Refuge: the Visitor Center is a good start point
  • NWR/Estuary: Visitor Center off Imperial Beach Blvd.

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Essentials
  • Imperial Beach is ~2 miles. The Refuge/Estuary has several miles of trails
  • Generally flat
  • Imperial Beach: Palm Ave. or Pier; Refuge: the Visitor Center is a good start point
  • NWR/Estuary: Visitor Center off Imperial Beach Blvd.