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Balboa Park Trail #12



2.4 mile 3.9 kilometer loop
93% Runnable


Ascent: 263' 80 m
Descent: -264' -80 m
High: 285' 87 m
Low: 140' 43 m


Avg Grade: 4% (2°)
Max Grade: 13% (8°)


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Map Key

Trail shared by Susan Patch

An overall tour of Florida Canyon with some fun obstacles and easy access.

Susan Patch

Features -none-

Need to Know

The trail is mixed-use between bicyclists and walkers/runners. Dogs must be leashed throughout the trail system, but this trail passes an off-leash dog park.


The trail is marked with green squares with a 12 and arrows in them, but trail signs are sporadic and damaged at times.

Begin at Morley Field Gateway. Take the sidewalk south, and turn right across the grass just past the tennis courts. Go through the eucalyptus grove. This will lead you to the dog park, which you'll circle around clockwise. Note the trail in the southwest corner, but do not go down it, continue circling. Take either the road shoulder, or the parking lot and its driveway. Continue north along Morley Field Drive and cross Upas Street, which extends to the east. A few feet farther north, a discontinuous segment of Upas Street runs west. Take this (it is a dead end) and pick up the trail/sidewalk at the end. Go down a very steep hill.

At the bottom of the canyon, cross Florida Street, and the trail picks up on the left on the other side, before you get to where the hill begins. Conti ue one block and cross Morley Field Drive. You may need to dismount, as traffic does not stop and there is a curb on the south side. Pick up the trail on this side. You'll go straight into the brush a few feet and then take the first right (not along the road shoulder). This is a short, fairly steep, and rocky section of trail. Bear left at the Y junction.

The next segment of trail is singletrack and can be close and brushy. It more or less follows the contours of the hillside. There are a few alternate trails which split off and merge back in. The official trail is marked, but poorly. If you are not sure which way to go, just keep straight. There's nowhere to get lost, so you'll eventually wind up in the right place, as long as you don't go dramatically up or down. The trail ends up going downhill, with a couple of wooden bridges to cross. There is one steep section with stairs in the middle and trail on each side, which may require a dismount. Cross a cobbled riverbed and go up the other side to come out on Florida Street. Cross at the stop sign, and pick up the trail, going north this time, on the other side of the canyon.

Keep straight until you go up a longer incline. **NOTE** The official map takes a trail toward the Velodrome, but it is closed for environmental recovery. Instead, either go all the way up, which will take you back to the dog park (recommended), or take the trail to the right through a small creekbed (marked as Dog Park Bypass on Google Maps), which is in poor condition and very brushy (shown on this route).

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