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Hiking a California Canyon at the Beach (Annie’s Canyon Trail)

Are you ready to go up?  This is a hike I went on yesterday with my two sons and daughter in law. The dogs had to stay at home for this trip.

Of course take the right hand side of this trail to a slot canyon.

All photos taken by me. Note to photographers:  There will be a lot of blown out photos, as the sensor is not great in this. I did do the best I could. lol

Sit back and enjoy the sights without even climbing!

Annie’s Canyon Trail …  For years, the area was known as “The Mushroom Caves” located at the San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve in Solana Beach California and was off limits to the public. Of course that only prevented responsible, law abiding hikers from going there. Vandals frequented the location, defacing the delicate sandstone canyon walls with graffiti and carvings, using the area as a party spot.

Although I am with three other people, you would never know it. I take so long snapping photos of everything along the way. Sorry kids!

Thanks to a generous donation by someone known only as “Annie,” as well as tremendous effort by volunteers, the area has been cleaned up and a new trail known as “Annie’s Canyon Trail” has been established. The hope is that by opening the area to the public it will no longer be a desirable hangout for illicit activities. As the trail has become instantly popular with the San Diego hikers, it appears this will be an effective tactic.

Aha! There they are! Waiting for me as usual. Time to go up the canyon.

Its starting to look real “canyony.” Yes, I made up a word!

The website warns not to go if you are claustrophobic. I don’t THINK I am. Guess we will find out.

This is where the trail leads…

Right behind you guys! Hummm… notice the ant size guy on the top? The kids stopped to wait for me here as it is a fork in the road. The left hand side leads to a cave while the right hand side leads on up to the slot canyon.  We had to go see the cave which still has remains of the graffiti that was once everywhere!

Below we have what is left of one of the caves. A massive rain came and washed away the floor of the cave. The kids had been here before back when it was a hangout for the kids. lol The cave floor used to hold around 10 people comfortably.

Looking up! I it’s hard get the ground in the shot as well as the sky. The slot narrows…


Since I am still weak and out of shape from last years broken foot and ankle I found out if I place my butt on the opposite side of the wall and spider up sideways works the best. lol You gotta do what you can.

It does open up in places..

This is the way to the cave they say.

I wouldn’t like to be here if it were raining!

The wall on the right.

and to the left..

and then it narrows again… Hint: Don’t take too big of a backpack!

It’s so awesome! I am really loving this hike.

We finally made it to the cave. Check out my next post for more.

Have a great day!


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Written by Kim_Johnson

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