Lake Miramar Hiking Trail Guide

Lake Miramar Hiking Trail Guide

Lake Miramar Trail Hiking Guide

Nestled in the affluent community of Scripps Ranch, above Mira Mesa, and next to the large military base, MCAS Miramar lies a fairly large reservoir. The lake, which is man made, completed construction in 1960 and has been supplying San Diego with water ever since. Water coming from distances as far as the Colorado River and far reaches of Northern California via the California Aqueduct, help to keep the parched mouths of San Diegans well watered. When full the lake has a depth of of 114 feet and has a storage capacity of 6,682 feet. The year round water supply help to attract migratory and other coastal birds during the year. 

Aside from Lake Miramar being vital to San Diego’s water supply, the area also offers up a variety of outdoor activities. The space includes approximately five miles of paved hiking trails. The paved trails attract many visitors as they are also dog and bike friendly. The lake itself can be used for boating or kayaking activities. Most of the views that Lake Miramar has to offer are of the surrounding Scripps Ranch neighborhood. The location of this lake is nestled in some of the first hills and valleys coming up off of San Diego’s mesas. at an elevation of roughly 700 feet. The lake of obstructing views on the lake’s western side make this a great place to watch a sunset. Views from the area look down on the sprawling San Diego metropolitan, Pacific Ocean, Coronado Islands, and down into coastal Baja California. 

Lake Miramar Operating Hours

The lake is open daily from sunrise to sunset. Holiday closures include Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.  Boats, kayaks, and bikes can be rented from a concession stand on site. From November to March the stand is open Thursday to Sunday from 6:00am to 5:00pm. From April to October rentals are available from Thursday to Sunday from 6:00am to 6:00pm. For more information on concession rentals call 858-527-1722 or by visiting the concession website. For general information about Lake Miramar, visit the City of San Diego website. All fishing or boating activities require a valid permit.

Do you have any updates to the hiking trail or want to share your hike/pictures? Please leave a comment below.

  • Overall Difficulty: 35% 35%
  • Overall Views: 55% 55%
Miramar Lake Trail Quick Facts:
  • Elevation: 725 feet.
  • Elevation Gain: 98 feet.
  • Estimated Distance: 5 miles.
  • Estimated Time: 1-3 hours.

**The track on my gps got restarted so the total distance isn’t accurate in this picture. The total trail is approximately five miles with very minimal elevation gain.**

Miramar Lake Trail Directions:
Open in maps. The main parking lot and lake access site is in the heart of Scripps Ranch of Scripps Lake Drive. There are two main parking lots and finding a place to park is generally not an issue. Parking is free and the area is accessible from sunrise to sunset.
Lake Miramar Trial Pictures:
Who Lake Miramar Trail Is For:
Novice Hikers: This hike is perfect for new hikers. The trail is paved surrounding the entire lake and there is very little overall elevation gain. Those not wanting to walk the entire five miles can just explore as far as they want then turn back. 

Advanced Hikers: Although this is an easy trail for advanced hikers, there’s a certain level of enjoyment about walking around a lake shore. Advanced hikers who enjoy solitude may want to plan on getting there early to avoid crowds. If you need a quick outdoor near a body of water that’s not near a beach, this is a great option.  

Expert Hikers: Same.

It’s always a good idea to be aware of what type of hiking level you’re at.

Best Time Of Year To Hike Lake Miramar:
Miramar Lake Trail Conditions:
The trail surrounding Miramar Lake is in exceptional condition. The primary path is a maintenance road that circumferences the entire lake. Because of this, the road is very well maintained and great for hikers as well as bikers. On the eastern side of the lake there is a use trail that travels below the road near the waters edge up until the far eastern shore of the lake. From my experience the shore trail was far less crowded than the road. The use trail is primary dirt and it can get very muddy after a rain. There are a variety of use trails that extend down from the surrounding neighborhood. 

There shouldn’t be any poison oak along the main road. I don’t want to say there is none because there is a possibility near the use trail along the lake trail. Also keep an eye out for rattlesnakes during the warmer months from spring to late fall.  

About The Author

The Simple Hiker

Husband. Father. ER nurse. Hiker. Nature lover.

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