Get Out!: San Elijo trails offer sights, challenges


Anne Hall

A panoramic view of Double Peak Park in San Marcos. Photo by Anne Hall

panoramic photo of Double Peak Park
A panoramic view of Double Peak Park in San Marcos. Photo by Anne Hall

By Alison Seagle

Staff Writer

Conveniently located next to CSUSM are countless San Elijo Hills trails, one of their most popular challenges being Double Peak.


At the top of the peak, hikers, bikers and runners alike are rewarded with a great view of surrounding cities, the ocean on a clear day and amazing sunsets.


A good place to begin a trip up to Double Peak is from Discovery Lake. Parking, restrooms and water fountains are available but are only open from dawn to dusk. It would be wise to park on the street near the park on a late evening adventure. Water fountains and restrooms are also located at the top of Double Peak.


The trails between the lake and the peak switch between dirt and pavement and are well maintained. In some places the incline can be quite a climb, while other parts are fairly level. The trek to the top is not easy, but people of many different abilities, and even dogs, can be seen enjoying the trail. It is also possible to park atop double peak and hike around from there if you’re not ready to tackle the full climb.


Taking a lap around Discovery Lake itself can be a pleasant trip. The whole path around the lake is paved and relatively flat. Fishing at Discovery Lake is also another option for enjoying a beautiful day in San Marcos.


San Elijo Hills offers students an excellent opportunity to get out and exercise outdoors to relieve the rigors of constant study.


A map of the area including the trails can be found online at

The Cougar Chronicle: The independent student news site of California State University, San Marcos