Hike Batiquitos Lagoon Trail
|In This Guide|
|Distance||3.4 miles (5.5 km)|
|Hike Time||1-2 Hours (Total)|
|Total Ascent (?)||100 feet (30m)|
|Highest Elevation||3,080 feet (939m)|
|Fees & Permits||None|
|Park Website (?)||Batiquitos Lagoon Foundation|
|Stay In Touch||Newsletter - Instagram - YouTube - Facebook|
The Batiquitos Lagoon Trail hike is easy and peaceful, offering a great way to experience one of the few remaining tidal wetlands in Southern California. There’s lots of wildlife, a nice mix of sun and shade, and a family and stroller-friendly path that’s great for everyone. The Batiquitos Lagoon Trail is also right off of Interstate 5 in Carlsbad, making it a convenient place to connect with nature amidst interstates, tourist attractions, and other development.
Batiquitos Lagoon Trail Parking
The good news is that parking for the Batiquitos Lagoon Trail is free. The bad news is that there’s not a lot of it. There’s a small parking lot by the trailhead, but otherwise you can park on the residential streets for free. If you park on the street, please be respectful of the people in the neighborhood. That means don’t block their driveways, leave trash outside of your car, play loud music, etc. Be warned; if you park in a “no parking” zone or block a driveway, you will be ticketed and towed.
The Batiquitos Lagoon Trail is open from dawn to dusk, every day.
There are several ” Batiquitos Lagoon Parking” areas on Google Maps, all at different points along the trail. But to start the trail from the beginning, use this trailhead address:
Batiquitos Lagoon Foundation, 7380 Gabbiano Ln, Carlsbad, CA 92011
Gear for the Hike
This is an easy and mellow hike, and you don’t need any special gear for it. I wear light hiking gear, but fitness clothes work great too. In a pinch, you can get away with casual clothing but it might not be the most comfortable. There is no water along the trail, so bring 1L of water to stay hydrated.
The La Sportiva Spire boots feel like comfortable sneakers but offer the protection of hiking boots. They’re great on everything from short hikes to longer hikes of 10+ miles. You don’t want to skimp on your feet.
Reviews & Lowest Prices: Women – Men
I test a lot of gear, and for short to medium day hikes, travel, and everyday use, the Osprey Stratos (men) and Osprey Sirrus (women) are consistently the best. They’re lightweight, hold a hydration bladder to make drinking water easy, have lots of pockets to organize gear, and most importantly, are incredibly comfortable. Check out the reviews; they are impressive.
Reviews & Colors Here: Osprey Stratos (men) and Osprey Sirrus (women)
If you’re not familiar with the Garmin InReach technology, it allows you to send and receive text messages where you don’t have cell phone signals. You can also get weather reports and trigger an SOS to emergency responders. Even if you don’t have an emergency, sending a quick message telling a loved one that you’re okay or are running late is well worth the cost. The Mini fits in your palm and weighs next to nothing. Read my review and see the lowest prices and reviews at REI (or Amazon).
Here’s my complete gear list that I personally use, have tested, and recommend, updated March 2020.See All of My Best Gear Picks Here
No company pays me to promote or push a product, all the gear you see here is gear I use and recommend. If you click an a link and buy gear, I get a small commission that helps offset website expenses. There is no cost to you.
Batiquitos Lagoon Trail Maps
Hike Batiquitos Lagoon Trail Map Downloads
Download the Hike GPX File
View a Printable PDF Hike Map
- “Batiquitos” means “little watering hole” as originally named by the Spanish explorers who visited here in 1769.
- Native peoples have been living by the fertile lagoon for thousands of years, with the earliest site found dating back 6,000 BC.
- Development on the coast took its toll, and by the 1980s, 90% of California’s coastal wetlands had been destroyed. Only five species of fish were left. Batiquitos Lagoon was almost silted up and expected to be fully filled (and gone) within 50 years.
- Realizing it was important to save Batiquitos Lagoon, the tide started to turn in the 1990s (pun!). The Port of Los Angeles dredged the lagoon out and more fish species came back to breed, which then attracted the birds, and then the mammals. The lagoon became a state conservation area. An incredible volunteer organization, the Batiquitos Lagoon Foundation, organized a wide range of activities to help the lagoon and involve the community. You can visit their nature center at the start of the hike. Today the lagoon is a thriving natural area.
Batiquitos Lagoon Trail Directions
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Did something change on this hike? If so, please contact me and let me know. I'll update the guide.