San Diego Hiking: Ho Chi Minh to Black's
While San Diego has tons of great hikes, it has surprisingly few ocean-adjacent trails. One of my favorite beachy hikes links two trails with questionable names: the Ho Chi Minh trail and Black's Beach/Gliderpoint trail. (Supposedly Black's was named after a family whose surname was Black, and as for Ho Chi Minh...I have no idea.)
With its clifftop trailhead west of the Salk Institute, Ho Chi Minh is a steep and slippery path that is best enjoyed by experienced hikers and never after a rain. On a sunny, dry day, it's a fun scramble down to the ocean where a short beach walk will take you to the base of the Black's Beach trail (I should probably mention that Black's is a nude beach). From there, you'll get a quick leg workout on your climb up to Gliderpoint, and you can rest up while leisurely walking around the western perimeter of Salk Institute to return to your starting point.
A few weekends ago, I took a quick break from the lab to hike this loop with my husband and pup. Though it's a short 1.8 miles (according to my Strava tracking), the elevation change, slippery cliffs, and gorgeous scenery provide a decent bit of exercise along with excitement.
All photos by Lauren Shipp & Reggie Robertson