San Diego, CA

Mission Trails Regional Park & Lake Murray

Mark Lowenstein

There are some great running options in 5,800-acre Mission Trails Regional Park, located in La Mesa, 12 miles northeast of San Diego: a scenic path along Lake Murray, and more than 30 miles of trail running with something for all abilities.

Lake Murray Path. The 3-mile paved path along the lake is very popular with runners. There nice views of the lake and area mountains. Note that it’s not possible to go all the way around the lake – it’s a 6-mile out and back. Use the separate parking lot to access the lake.

Flickr: Photos by Clark

Trail Running. Good options for trail running:

  • Easy: 1.2-mile Grassland Loop
  • Moderate: 2.3-mile Visitor Center loop
  • Challenging:  4-mile North Fortuna Trail to the challenging Fortuna Saddle Trail.
  • Super Challenging:  3 miles to the top of 1,591-foot Cowles Mountain, the highest point in San Diego (city).
Park Info and Trail Map
Essentials
  • Lake Murray Path: 3 miles (5 km) one-way; The park has 30+ miles of trails
  • Lake Murray out and back is 175 feet.
  • Depends on trail chosen.
  • For Lake Murray, park at the lot there. For the trails, park at the Visitor Center

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Essentials
  • Lake Murray Path: 3 miles (5 km) one-way; The park has 30+ miles of trails
  • Lake Murray out and back is 175 feet.
  • Depends on trail chosen.
  • For Lake Murray, park at the lot there. For the trails, park at the Visitor Center