Caving & Hiking

Try spelunking and experience some of the most beautiful hidden places in San Diego.

Anza Borrego Canyons and Caves

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Join us on this popular overnight trip. By day we will explore mud caves, palm oases, wildflowers, vistas and Native American Pictographs. By night, we indulge in delicious food from a Dutch oven, soak in the hot springs, and take in the amazing star display far from the contamination of city lights. We will spend Saturday exploring the corners of Arroyo Tapiado Caves with our headlamps. Sunday will find us picking our way through the desert canyons in search of one of the many oases or desert vistas. No Anza-Borrego trip is complete without a stop for famous Julian pie on the way home. This trip has a waiting list every time, so sign up early.


Prior to the trip

  • Reserve and pickup Outback provided equipment
  • Gather personal equipment


  • 7:00am: Meet at Outback, final gear check, depart for Anza Borrego Desert
  • Visit to the Arroyo Tapiado mud caves
  • Relax in the Agua Caliente hot springs


  • Morning canyon hike and return to Outback Adventures.
  • Stop for Julian Pie if time allows
  • Return to Outback Adventures

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Los Penasquitos Canyon Hike

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This beginner friendly trail is about 6 and a half miles with just 300 feet of elevation gain. This is a great get away hike for anyone looking for some relaxing nature experiences. The Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve is dominated by a year round creek, making for a lush wilderness unlike anything elese in San Diego. With dense woodland, waterfalls and deer you will forget that you are so close to campus. We will meet at Outback adventures at 8am and should be back on Campus around 1pm

See a trail map here

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Potato Chip Hike Mount Woodson

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Get your photo taken on this awesome ‘potato chip’ rock outcrop. The hike starts in Poway and follows a fire trail that overlooks the Poway dam for about 3 miles. The trail narrows as you start to climb the mountain and gets steep at times but is great for beginners. The view from the top is amazing on a clear day you can see the ocean and downtown San Diego.


  • 10:00 am: Meet at the Outback Adventures Rental Shop/HQ
  • Depart for Mount Woodson (~45 minutes)
  • Hike to Potato Chip Rock, take photos!
  • 4:00 pm: Arrive back at Outback Adventures

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Sunset Hike Cowles Mountain

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You will be amazed at just how much the moon lights up the mountain on this great local adventure. Cowles Mountain is just 20 minutes from campus in Mission Trails Park. Hiking three miles in the moonlight and taking in the panoramic views of the skyline are a great way to spend a few hours away from campus.


  • 6:00 pm: Meet at the Outback Adventures Rental Shop/HQ
  • Depart for Coles Mountain (~30 minutes)
  • 9:00 pm: Hike down and leave Cowles
  • 10:00 pm: Arrive back at Outback Adventures

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Drugs, alcohol, tobacco and firearms are not permitted on any Outback trip. Presence of these items is grounds for immediate removal from the trip at the participant's expense.

Current emergency contact and medical information must be provided.

All participants must complete a Liability-Waiver (PDF) prior to the trip.

Cancellation Policy

Rental gear listed as provided above by Outback Adventures must be reserved and picked up at the Outback Rental Shop prior to the trip, during store hours. There is no extra charge.


Adventure travel has inherent risks of injury and/or death. These risks contribute to the "adventure" aspect of our trips. UCSD Outback Adventures and its employees assume no liability for any damages, loss, injury or death as a result of our trips. Some trips have a prerequisite fitness level, for which the participants are responsible. Any person participating in an Outback Adventures trip is personally responsible for his or her own safety.