Viking Hiking (and Mead)

Hike at Buena Vista Park and Visit Twisted Horn Mead and Cider in San Diego County

Hike Buena Vista Park In San Diego County

Engage in some Viking hiking at Buena Vista Park via a 2-mile loop trail that features a steep warrior ascent (almost all the way to Asgard!), expansive chaparral fields (Freyja would be proud), and a hidden wetland with ferocious beasts (okay, it’s actually a pond with cute ducks!). After the journey, reward yourself at a mead hall fit for the likes of Odin … and you!

Gallery image 1 of 3
Gallery image 2 of 3
Gallery image 3 of 3

Park and check out the adjacent pond before starting your adventure. There is a surprising amount of local waterfowl here—mallards dominate the flock, but you can also find coots and geese. Search for the colorful crests of wood ducks amongst the waddlers and a resident black-crowned night heron perched on a tree branch above the water. Start hiking on a dirt path at the southern end of the lot.

Hiking at Buena Vista Park in San Diego County

Check the map at the shaded bench. There are multiple options to complete the loop, but we recommend taking the left path. The trail immediately provides a leg-hammering ascent to bring out your inner Thor. At the top, enjoy the expansive panoramas of the park and surrounding suburbs of Vista—the park is, after all, named for its good views. Explore the different viewpoints before heading down the steep northeastern slope that takes you to the creekbed.

Follow the stream south; the trail becomes shaded here under gnarled oaks and is perfect for a cooldown. There is also a picturesque bridge that crosses the stream (just be sure to stay on the trail as there is poison oak here). When the trees part, stay left to reach a large meadow framed by rolling hills, a prime spot for photography and the final stretch of your park exploration as it deposits you back at the lot.

undefined

Bonus Mead: Head to nearby Twisted Horn Mead and Cider to complete your Vista Valhalla Voyage. It’s no surprise this drinking establishment with patio seating is Nordic themed (check out the mead hall!), the perfect atmosphere for your indulgence in all things mead. What’s more, the mead is some of the best in Southern California. We love the bochet-style Thor’s Mighty Impearment, but are truly obsessed with Freyja’s Obsession (orange blossom honey, strawberry and Madagascar vanilla!). Skol!

To get to the Buena Vista Park lot and trailhead, from the north take the CA-78 to the Melrose Dr. exit and head south. Stay on Melrose for nearly 3 miles before turning right onto Shadowridge Dr. The park entrance and lot will be your first left. Dog-friendly!

Trending Stories SoCal

View all Stories
  1. Image that represents the story

    Truly Grand Day Hike

    One of the best spring day hikes in the Grand Canyon? See layer upon layer of the park’s grandeur—including the river—on this 3-mile (one-way) journey to Skeleton Point via the South Kaibab Trail.

    View
  2. Image that represents the story

    Eucalyptus Loop

    Forest bathing among Australian trees and biting into tasty Australian meat pies—head to the 3.25-mile Eucalyptus Loop in Chino Hills and end with Aussie meat pies at a great local bakery.

    View
  3. Image that represents the story

    Stairstruck in Hollywood

    Beachwood Canyon in Hollywoodland has an action-packed adventure with A-list workouts, big-budget views, and a stair-studded cast. Running time is 1.25 miles with five staircases

    View
  4. Image that represents the story

    Do it Yourself Walking Tour of Solvang

    Solvang has long been described as a “little slice of Denmark in Southern California." Experience the historic village on a 3-mile walk that explores the architecture, food, wine, and green space.

    View

Trending Stories Northern CA

View all Stories
  1. Image that represents the story

    Tam It All

    The hills have gone green just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, and this 7.5-mile lollipop loop hike passes through some of Mount Tam’s lushest spots, with bridges, creeks, a waterfall, and big views.

    View
  2. Image that represents the story

    Headlands Over Heels

    People come from all over the world to get a glimpse of the Golden Gate Bridge. Get a dramatic and novel view of the bridge without all the people on this moderate 6-mile hike in the Marin Headlands.

    View
  3. Image that represents the story
    Sponsored

    Wildflower Hiking Guide

    California’s wildflowers will be lovely this spring! So how do you find the best in bloom? Check out POST’s complimentary Wildflower Guide to find the best hiking trails with wildflowers.

    View
  4. Image that represents the story

    Ohlone Time

    Keep this epic East Bay hike on your radar for wildflowers and a waterfall that only comes to life after rain. Get wayyy back in the Ohlone Wilderness among big hills and scenery, and Murietta Falls.

    View