Discover the hidden Hoi Chi Minh Trail

Tom’s Experience on the Hoi Chi Minh Trail: 

The Hoi Chi Minh Trail got its name from UCSD students and local surfers who named it after the Hoi Chi Minh Trail of Vietnam War infamy.

Hoi Chi Minh Trail

This is a short, but steep, trail down to Black Beach through interesting rock formations.

Hoi Chi Mihn Trail to Black Beach

There are some sand steps that are carved out of the sandstone to help people down through some narrow rock formations.

Hoi Chi Minh Trail

Surfers use this trail a lot in order to get down to the beach. We were impressed that the surfers could haul their boards through some of the narrow spots.

Footsteps on Hoi Chi Minh Trail

Black Beach is an interesting beach with very steep cliffs right next to the ocean.

On the Hoi Chi Minh Trail

This trail didn’t take too long to get to the beach but it was steep and the sand made it slick. The sandstone formations were incredible and we really enjoyed this, but be careful and watch your step. Dogs are allowed on Black Beach after 6pm.

Tom’s Rating:

Trail Info: Find parking on Salk Institute Road and follow the road to the end. This road dead ends at some sort of treatment facility. The Hoi Chi Minh Trail starts here and leads down to the ocean.


Trailhead = 32.886104,-117.247124

Black Beach = 32.883718,-117.252389

Similar Adventures:

 Please comment below to share your experience hiking the Hoi Chi Minh Trail to Black Beach. Don’t forget to register to receive the Travel Tom’s Newsletter by submitting your email in the bar above. 

Experience the hidden and unique Mushroom Caves

Tom’s Experience exploring the Mushroom Caves:

 This was a very neat place, but it is too bad that so much spray paint has been used on the canyon walls. Almost every wall you see has paint on it in this canyon.

Mushroom Caves Hike

The hike through the San Elijo Lagoon is pretty level and the trail is very well maintained. You have nice views of the lagoon and the ocean.

Mushroom Caves Graffiti

Once you get to the fork to head toward mushroom caves the trail is not nearly as well maintained. There is a fallen tree covering the trail and numerous trails that seem to dead end in other places.

Slot Canyon Hikes in Southern California Mushroom Caves

Once you get into the canyon there are a few different forks you can go and explore and numerous ladders that have been dug out of the soft sandstone to allow people to climb up to higher caves.

Mushroom Caves San Diego

The rock is very sandy and very slippery even when dry.

Mushroom Caves Slot Canyon

As we were heading into the mushroom caves we passed some workers who had just kicked a few kids out of the area. They said we could go up but that if they saw us climbing on the rocks they would kick us out as well. Dogs are allowed in the San Elijo Lagoon but must be on a leash.

Tom’s Rating:

Trail Info: The Mushroom Cave area is a no-trespassing spot. The trailhead is at the northern-most end of North Rios Ave in La Jolla. Follow the trail to the east and you will see a trail taking off heading south. Follow that trail and after a little bit the canyon starts to narrow and you can explore the area.


Trailhead = 33.003684,-117.272505

Similar Adventures:

 Please comment below to share your experience visiting the Mushroom Caves San Elijo. Don’t forget to register to receive the Travel Tom’s Newsletter by submitting your email in the bar above.