Annie's Canyon is a little hidden gem in Solana Beach California (Just north of San Diego). It's a short hike, that is pretty flat and easy for most of the way. What makes Annie's Canyon awesome and worth the visit is the small slot Canyon you can choose to squeeze through and climb up! I am not joking when I say squeeze up!
My Fiance and I did a fun 1.4-mile round trip hike through Annie's Canyon this past weekend, and had a blast!
The Caltopo map above can be viewed here, and directions to the trailhead on Google Maps can be found here.
There are a couple of different locations you can potentially park to get down to Annie's Canyon but the weekend we went this was the only one that was open. There was some construction going on for some nearby trails.
Once you park in the neighborhood at the start of Annie's Canyon trail you immediately descend down toward the San Elijo Lagoon. Once at the bottom the trail is pretty flat and straight.
About .2 miles into the hike, the trail does split. If you are in a rush just continue straight, if not I recomend heading towards the San Elijo Lagoon. It's not that much further and it makes the hike more of a loop and less of an out and back which is a little more interesting and it's really pretty down by the water.
I took this picture from near the lagoon looking back towards the area where the hike started. We had some really nice wispy clouds in San Diego during this hike:
We continued to follow the trail along the San Elijo Lagoon but at the next trail split, we opted to go back up towards Annie's Canyon because I wasn't sure if we continued along the trail if we would have another opportunity to get to Annie's Canyon. After looking at a map afterward it looks like we could have continued straight and looped around back towards Annie's Canyon.
While hiking out towards Annie's Canyon we saw a lot of hikers coming back from the Canyon, its a pretty popular hike and not a far drive for residents of San Diego so I wasn't too surprised. Luckily for us, no one else seemed to be hiking in the direction towards Annie's Canyon.
When we got to the entrance to Annie's Canyon we had it all to ourselves!
As you enter Annie's Canyon the slot canyon is not too narrow but the walls are towering above you. As you first enter you can see a lot of people have carved things into the soft canyon walls, please respect this place and do not carve names, or pictures into the beautiful canyon walls:
While on the topic of respecting the canyon as you hike through it, there are multiple signs that you will see that close certain parts of the canyon off, please respect those signs and stay on the main trail. The main trail is pretty epic so no need to create your own!
There is no need to explore those side pockets that are off-limits, the main canyon is absolutely stunning, and as you slowly walk up the slot canyon it slowly gets thinner and thinner.
As you can see in the last picture, the canyon gets thin to the point, I have trouble squeezing through with my peak design everyday backpack on!
As long as you are not claustrophobic the hike through Annie's Canyon is pretty easy. The hardest part of the hike (Other than squeezing through some skinny spots) is at the end where there is a small ladder used for climbing out of Annie's Canyon at the end.
Once at the top and out of the Canyon there is a beautiful view-point overlooking the San Elijo Lagoon and the pacific ocean.