San Diego Urban Hike- Maple Canyon

At the base of the trail off of Maple St

Yesterday, SMS and I went for an urban hike featuring Maple Canyon. It was beautiful! Currently, it’s probably a lot more green than its usual condition given recent rains but I think even in dry times, this would be a fun, short-ish hike to do that gives you a different perspective on some San Diego landmarks and my favorite residential neighborhoods!

Trail Overview

One trailhead starts at Maple St near the Little Italy/Mission Hills junction while the other is located at 3rd Ave near Quince St in Bankers Hill. It is mostly flat with one brief steep slope heading into (or out of) the canyon onto 3rd. The trail is wide and consists of packed dirt with some divots. It was moderately crowded and some dogs on the trail, all leashed which is near-miraculous.

Moe Coffee

We started at Maple St after stopping for a coffee at nearby Moe Coffee, which serves excellent espresso! SMS found it by chance but we will be back! We entered the canyon and immediately loved it! There is a lot of vegetation and a small creek to the left. As a flashback to our other urban bridge hike, we saw the First Avenue bridge and the Quince St bridge but this time from below!

First Ave bridge

The First Avenue bridge has a really neat steel arch support. It’s really beautiful and passing underneath it allows for an awesome vantage point.

Quince St Bridge Trestle
Underneath Quince St Bridge

The Quince St bridge is a wooden trestle bridge that also has an intricate support structure best seen from underneath. It also marks the start of the only steep slope of the entire (short) trail).

Spruce St Suspension Bridge, Front St side

We combined the hike with a walk through Bankers Hill and across the Spruce St Suspension Bridge. We walked past my former Banker Hill granny flat home, which is my favorite little area to live.

House color coordination with the landscaping? Perfection!

We also walked along Front St between W. Walnut and Spruce, which had a lot of beautiful houses although most are obscured by fences and/or trees. There was also a really informative sign about La Barranca Encantada near W. Upas & Front, which I recommend reading.

Third Ave trailhead

Although we wanted to walk in the Kate Sessions/Arroyo Canyon under the Suspension Bridge, we couldn’t find an easily accessible entrance. So, we backtracked along Maple Canyon after lunch.

Quince St (?), near 3rd Ave entrance

For lunch, we went to Barrio Star, which we both agreed was fine. Not great, but fine. It’s always seemed a little expensive for what you get, but I think that’s because we weren’t drinking margaritas. I think I remember them being delicious, which means they probably were if my memory is hazy! Next time, I would like to go to Civico by The Park. We will probably go next weekend for brunch!

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