Ho Chi Minh Trail-Black’s Beach

Since the summer of 2013, this place has been one of my absolute favorite spots in San Diego.


The Ho Chi Minh trail in La Jolla, CA is a popular trail among surfers attempting to get to a local favorite surf spot on Blacks Beach.

The trail (or lack of one) features sandstone cliffs and slopes, littered with carvings and signs of erosion. But the highlight of Ho Chi Minh is the absolutely breathtaking view of Black’s Beach and the Pacific Ocean, framed by silhouettes of the caves and cliffs of the trail.

A diminutive, but sturdy wooden plank allows hikers to cross over the canyon to continue on their journey towards the beach.


Shallow little caves are spread throughout the north edge of the canyon, which provide amazing opportunities to climb around and find a great vantage point of the ocean. There are plenty of spots to sit and just kick it for a while with friends, and take in the breeze, sand, and sun from a high place.


In this high cave area, carvings made by hikers are in abundance.


There are a couple of slot areas within the canyon; I find these to be the easiest and safest part of the trail (unless you have a surfboard!).


Closer to the end of the trail is a hidden waterfall oasis.




One thing I would be weary of is that this trail requires some balance and strength to get through. On my second visit here I fell and slid on the slopes about four or five times. There are some super narrow parts of the cliff you have to sidestep through to get past. At the very end of the trail, there is a rope to help you get down the steepest slope before you land on the beach, and it’s not very secure or strong. Be cautious and don’t hurt yourself if you decide to try out this hike!

Besides that, Ho Chi Minh is truly one of the best places in San Diego to spend a day exploring. The trip down and back from La Jolla Farms Road to Black’s will leave you exhausted and possibly sore (those hills, man!) but it’s well worth the hike for the views and the caves.

14 thoughts on “Ho Chi Minh Trail-Black’s Beach

  1. Black’s Beach is where I lived from April 27, 1993, to March 1, 1994. After that, I only lived there from Friday evenings to Sunday nights through September 2001. Sadly, I haven’t been back since around 2007. There’s just no easy way to get there and my knees are now past the sandstone-climbing stage.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s