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Trail to Bay Challenge

Due to COVID-19, many of our programs have been placed on hold or gone virtual. You can find more information at thelivingcoast.org/coronavirus.

Become an outdoor champion and complete the 


Take the challenge by attending three hikes and one cleanup             hosted by the Living Coast Discovery Center. 

What is the challenge about? 

The Trail to Bay Challenge is free to join. Every hike will be guided by an educator and you will learn about the rich biodiversity of our local environment, ways to identify native wildlife and plants, and more. The Living Coast cleanups will take place at various locations throughout the year. You will join other families and volunteers passionate about making an impact in their community and help clean up areas near the bay affected by trash and debris. You will also learn ways to conserve our planet, recycle and compost by making small changes in your daily lives.

Groups that complete the Trail to Bay Challenge will get a family four pack valued at $64 (one per household) and a Sustainability Hiking Pack consisting of a first aid kit, reusable sandwich bag, sunscreen, and lip balm. 

The Living Coast is proud to partner with the City of Chula Vista on the Trail to Bay Challenge.


Hikes are temporarily suspended until further notice. Hikes will resume as scheduled once stay at home measures have been lifted. For updates, click here.

QUESTIONS or to RSVP to attend hikes by emailing education@thelivingcoast.org 

*Location and times may vary depending on extreme weather conditions. RSVP’d guests will be notified ahead of time. 

Onsite hikes happen every Saturday at the Living Coast Discovery Center. For more information visit our Guest Adventures page.


Sunday, July 11- 9:00 a.m. at Otay Valley Regional Park

Sunday, August 29- 9:00 a.m. at Rice Canyon

Saturday, September 12- 6:00 p.m. at Mother Miguel (sunset hike) 

Sunday, September 20- 9:00 a.m. at Otay Valley Regional Park

Sunday, October 4- 9:30 a.m. at Otay Lakes County Park

Saturday, October 31- 9:00 a.m. at Rice Canyon

Saturday, November 21- 9:00 a.m. at Otay Valley Regional Park

Sunday, December 20- 6:00 a.m. at Mother Miguel (winter solstice morning hike) 


View upcoming cleanup dates 

Important: To RSVP and receive directions to exact location, email volunteers@thelivingcoast.org

For more information about our cleanups click here


Each onsite hike takes place on the Sweetwater Marsh trails. Take our shuttle to the entrance of the Living Coast. Plan to arrive 20 minutes earlier to allow for pick up and drop off time. 

Onsite hikes happen every Saturday at the Living Coast Discovery Center. For more information visit our Guest Adventures page.


All hikes are free and open to the public.

Questions?  Please contact us at 619-409-5908 or email  education@thelivingcoast.org

How to Prepare

Participants are encouraged to wear comfortable walking shoes, hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen. It is also recommended to bring enough water for the hike, keeping in mind the time of year and temperatures. Dehydration can set in quickly, and it is recommended to bring half a liter of water per mile. Don’t forget to dress for the weather, bring a jacket and dress in layers, if necessary.


Although most sites allow leashed pets, we ask that you keep your pets at home to prevent any disruption to wildlife. Please do not litter or smoke on the trails. Guests of all ages are welcome, but an adult must be present for participants under the age of 18. Please limit phone conversations while on the hike as they are a distraction to your fellow hikers. We ask that these hikes be reserved for families and friends, large groups of 15 or more should inquire about a private hike option by contacting the Living Coast Education Department, education@thelivingcoast.org.


All locations have free parking options, but spots may be limited (Otay Lakes County Park has both paid and free parking). It is suggested to plan ahead and arrive early. All hikes will have a designated location for the group to meet along with a large canopy for identification located nearby the parking lot.


Families and friends are encouraged to join the Living Coast Discovery Center for clean-up events once per month. Locations will vary in and throughout Chula Vista. These opportunities will enable citizens to help make a difference in their community. As the host, the Living Coast will provide all necessary tools for the cleanups. Please dress appropriately. Prior to each cleanup, it is recommended you contact the Living Coast to confirm your spot and to receive important details and instructions. If you plan to complete the Trail to Bay Challenge you are required to participate in one clean up event. More information about upcoming cleanups and how to make a reservation can be found here

Hike Locations 

Otay Lakes County Park

Join us as we discover the gorgeous views of IMG_5087the Otay River Valley, Otay River Gorge and San Ysidro Mountains. We will see the Otay Lakes Reservoir from various viewpoints and learn about the native plants and animals thriving in this protected space. This location has a small incline with a rocky terrain. Click here for directions and details.


Otay Valley Regional Park

OtayCome with us as we become master trackers on the trails of Otay Valley Regional Park. Learn how to identify tracks of different animals and how scientists study scat (animal droppings) to learn about animal diets and health. This hike will take place along a flat gravel trail that is ranked easy and will have two length options. This hike is wheelchair & stroller accessible. Click here for directions and details.


Sweetwater Marsh Trail

This hike is offered most Saturdays at 11:30 at The Living Coast. Come walk the trails of the Sweetwater Marsh and learn about the importance of this National Wildlife Refuge to all living things. On the hike, we will focus on discovering the many different species of birds that depend on the Refuge, including the endangered light-footed Ridgway’s rail! This is our easiest trail and is wheelchair and stroller accessible. Click here for directions and details.


Rice CanyonIMG_3894

Join us as we walk the trails of Rice Canyon and discover the variety of native plants that can be found there. Learn about the important role native plants play in the ecosystem. We will also learn how the native Kumeyaay Indians used these plants in their daily life. This is a mild to moderate walking trail with some uneven surfaces. Click here for directions and details.


Mother Miguel

Join us as we hike and enjoy the breathtaking views from the top of Mother Miguel. We will have opportunities to see Sweetwater Reservoir, the Pacific Ocean, and even take a photo next to the Rock House. On our hike, we will discover what a watershed is and see the entire journey water takes from mountain to ocean. This is the most difficult hike and is best for more experienced hikers. Click here for directions and details.