Solana Hills Trail
Solana Beach, CA 92075
Phone: (760) 436-3944
Hike: 1.6 miles Level: Moderate
Dog-Friendly: Yes (but there is one area of climbing where small dogs must be carried up and large dogs cannot make it up)
Personal Experience: I have known about the Mushroom Caves for years. I have even seen photos and for whatever reason, always put this place on the back burner. I now realize that photos cannot quite capture the enormity or true magic of this place. This is a must-visit spot for the true adventurers. There are secret caves and footsteps carved out of the delicate sandstone everywhere. It is super-slippery so I really don’t recommend too much climbing. I didn’t even begin to scrape the surface of this spot.
Since making this area to the public, most of the more dangerous parts have been closed off. You could have gotten seriously injured, fall, slide to your death, hit a soft-spot on the edge and have it collapse, etc. Overall, I am happy that this spot is now public. People were destroying these ancient slot canyons with graffiti, which then goes directly to the water sources nearby after a good rain. I wish we could all be more sensitive to nature. On the flip side of this spot being public, there are now a lot more people doing the trail.
The hike takes you directly alongside the lagoon:There are now clear signs letting you know that you’ve arrived at the Mushroom Caves, as well as a noticeable change in scenery:Sage really enjoyed herself out here! Some areas we had to lift her in order for her to get up. Not sure I would recommend bringing larger dogs.View from the top!