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Potato Chip Rock

7 Natural Wonders of San Diego

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postedOctober 5, 2020

While San Diego’s calling card may be its wide-open, sand-swept beaches, the city boasts a treasure trove of outdoor experiences away from the Pacific shores. Non-beach, outdoor options are plentiful, and many of the top spots are included on the 7 Natural Wonders of San Diego list.

“The majority of the 7 Wonders are enjoyed inland, thus providing visitors a look at a completely different side of our destination,” says Benjamin Eastman, director of tourism development for the San Diego Tourism Authority. To learn more, email him or go to

Potato Chip Rock  This Instagrammable spot, located on the east side of Lake Poway, is reached by a long hike on the Mount Woodson Trail. The giant boulders along the path also are photo-worthy.

San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve  Hikers can journey along Annie’s Canyon—a true slot canyon—in the reserve, which is one of the largest remaining wetlands in San Diego. 

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park (Photo by Joanne DiBona)

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park  The largest state park in California, Anza-Borrego is home to 12 wilderness areas. It teems with desert wildlife and, in the spring, thousands of wildflowers.

Sunset Cliffs’ Hidden Sea Cave  Tucked away below an oceanfront neighborhood that is a top sunset watching spot, this fascinating cave is at the southern end of Luscomb’s Point.

Cedar Creek Falls
Cedar Creek Falls (Photo by Brad Spiess)

Cedar Creek Falls  Located in the Cleveland National Forest in rural East County, this spectacular set of falls rewards those who make the 6-mile round-trip trek.

Torrey Pines State Nature Reserve  The reserve, one of only two places where you can find the Torrey Pine tree, has six hiking trails with views of sandstone rock formations and the ocean.

La Jolla Underwater Park  The first coastal underwater preserve on the U.S. West Coast, the park is inhabited by marine life that includes orange Garibaldi, octopus, sea turtles, and more.

Top photo: Potato Chip Rock
Photo by Luis Garcia


Support for Courier articles provided by:
A Closer Look Tours
Cochise County Tourism Council
Norwegian Cruise Line