Bayshore Bikeway


22 Reviews

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Bayshore Bikeway Facts

States: California
Counties: San Diego
Length: 17.1 miles
Trail end points: Coronado Ferry Landing Park (Coronado) and S 32nd St & Harbor Dr (San Diego)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt, Concrete
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6015312

Bayshore Bikeway Description

Coastal rail-trail experiences don't get much better than this—a long, smooth, palm-tree-lined trail with stunning views of the Pacific, San Diego Bay and the downtown skyline, plus easy access to parks, tot play areas and chic cafes.

Before you start, note that the coastal leg of this bikeway can be windy, especially in the afternoon. If you want the wind mostly at your back, ride the trail from north to south. Paved portions of trail are wheelchair accessible, but a section near 10th Street and Glorietta Boulevard is an on-street bike lane and not a separate trail. Also, the route of the Bayshore Bikeway on the east side of the bay is predominantly on-street bike lanes.

The Bayshore Bikeway sets out from Coronado Ferry Landing and the Ferry Landing Shops & Restaurants. Bring your bike over on the San Diego–Coronado Ferry or rent one at the Bikes & Beyond shop. Head south along the palm tree-lined path past some upscale restaurants and trailside cafes. You can take in wonderful views of the downtown San Diego skyline as you skirt Tidelands Park, with its grassy fields and playground.

Bike underneath the beautiful arching Coronado Bridge and keep your head up as you roll past the Coronado Golf Course, a public course with million-dollar views. As you wind around the perimeter of the golf course, the separated bike path ends; cross over to the right side of Glorietta Boulevard into the on-road bike lane for a short distance. At 10th Street and Glorietta Boulevard, cross Glorietta and pick up the off-street path again. A sign marking the trail here indicates BAYSHORE BIKEWAY & IMPERIAL BEACH.

To your right you might recognize the signature red roof of the historic Hotel del Coronado. Marilyn Monroe fans may recognize the 1888 hotel as the location for the Miami Beach scenes in "Some Like it Hot." Cutting south from the hotel, the pathway follows the Silver Strand, the narrow spit of land separating San Diego Bay and the Pacific Ocean, where the Coronado branch of the San Diego and Arizona Eastern Railroad once traveled. The railroad began construction under prominent San Diego resident John D. Spreckels in 1906 and was completed in 1919. It was built to link San Diego to the Southern Pacific Railroad in El Centro, CA. In 1932, Spreckel's heirs sold their share of the railroad to Southern Pacific, and in 1933, it became the San Diego and Arizona Eastern Railway.

On the left is the Coronado Community Center and a beautiful bayside park that's perfect for an afternoon picnic. Following the narrow, blustery corridor, with shorelines and sand dunes on both sides of the rail-trail. You'll pass the large U.S. Naval Amphibious Base (where Navy SEALs train), and then a 0.5-mile nature path with observation decks and interpretive signs. At Silver Strand State Beach, pedestrian tunnels beneath State Route 75 offer access to the bigger surf on the ocean side, or the calmer, warmer waters on the bay side.

Beyond the state beach is the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge, which was dedicated in June 1999 and contains the majority of the remaining wetlands, mudflats and eelgrass beds in San Diego Bay. The 3,940-acre refuge supports many endangered and threatened species of flora and fauna, which makes it an important stop on the Pacific Flyway, a north–south migratory bird route along the Americas. Visitors can bird watch from various points along the bike path.

The continuous, paved portion of the rail-trail ends at the south end of San Diego Bay at Main Street in Chula Vista. Bike lanes along streets with light traffic connect to another short portion of trail near the S. Bay Freeway (SR 54) and over the Sweetwater River, connecting to the Sweetwater Bikeway. To complete the 24-mile loop around the bay, the rail-trail links with on-street bike lanes and bike routes through Chula Vista, National City and downtown San Diego and on to the San Diego-Coronado Ferry.

Parking and Trail Access

The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) provides easy access to the trail. Visit the MTS website to plan your trip.

For those driving, parking is available at a number of locations along the trail. View the TrailLink map for all options and detailed directions.

Bayshore Bikeway Reviews

Don’t call this “Bikeway”!

To call this a “Bikeway” or even a “route” misrepresents the meaning of those words. Sure, the west side of the bay is lovely— a well-marked, separated and well-maintained bikeway with great views of the Pacific, sand dunes, and wildlife preserves. Unfortunately, the trip north from Chula Vista devolved from unpleasant to one of the most terrifying experiences I’ve had in 50 years of cycling. Riding alongside Harbor Drive on the segregated trail was ok; it is a busy road but the trail is fine. However, it is at S 32nd Street that the “route” became more of a suggestion. The trail map indicates a crossing to the west side of Harbor Drive, to the oncoming traffic side. How? Via a pedestrian bridge with only stairs. From there, the “bike lane” such as it is, changes from non-existent, to two way, to a one way lane heading against you (so that you are riding towards oncoming traffic on a very busy highway), then disappearing entirely, then returning as a single lane against you again. There was no indication of a north bound bike lane on the east side of Harbor Drive. It was when a Fed Ex truck and then a semi barely cleared the lane that we really felt we might not make it. Sanity returned, briefly, at the Hilton Bayfront, when a marked mixed use trail took us along the Bay again behind the Convention Center and a few hotels. It wasn’t long however before the “bikeway” became a pedestrian walk on which cycling is prohibited. My advice, travel south from the Del Coronado (I can’t vouch for the route from the ferry to the Hotel Del), but turn around when you reach Frontage Road. You will live longer.

West Side Good/East Side Not so good eBike Ride

Started at the Imperial Beach Trailhead near Trident Coffee and rode the east side of the bay. Scenic but noisy from traffic. Rode the Coronado Ferry to the west and rode the west side to complete the loop. West side has a lot of street riding and is not scenic with lots of industrial views. I would recommend only riding the west side of the loop. 26 mile total ride.

ok if you’re in the area

I did the entire loop yesterday to train while I was in San Diego. It is paved, so that’s a good thing (for me!) but frankly it’s just not as scenic as advertised and there are sections that are just industrial and ugly. So much trash along sections and the onroad portion on the San Diego side of the bay is terrible. On the more scenic side, you are mostly riding next to a high-speed road so it’s noisy. Can’t really ride along the San Diego side once you get to the crowds - or at least go very slowly. (Same right near Coronado but that thins out quickly.) Bottom like is that it’s worth checking out if you are here, but not something to travel a distance for. I managed to do ~30 miles by adding a loop around Coronado and going out and back on the Sweetwater Bikeway.

Good ride

It was a pretty ride. Lots of walking traffic along the way, so if you’re riding a bike you have to be extra cautious.


Flat and easy

Rode round trip from Chula Vista Marina to National City Marina, and from Trident Coffee to Fiddlers Cove. Good surface all around. Windy along the Silver Strand Blvd side, and noisy from the Hwy 75 traffic. A bit confusing near Bay Blvd and E St.

Rode from 9th street access, Imperial Beach to Coronado for late lunch. Stopped at Silver Strand Beach for break. Clean flat asphalt bike trail. Wonderful ride. Abt 20 mi RT. Do It!

Rode from 9th street access, Imperial Beach to Coronado for late lunch. Stopped at Silver Strand Beach for break. Clean flat asphalt bike trail. Wonderful ride. Abt 20 mi RT. Do It!

bike and lunch

Started at imperial Beach stopped in Coronado Cays at the Calypso Café for lunch great bike ride

Nice trail between the ocean and the bay

During a recent visit to San Diego we rode from Coronado to Chula Vista and back. We parked at the Silver Strand state park parking area. The parking cost was $8 at the kiosk. Restrooms are available at this location. We then went thru the tunnel under HWY 75 leading toward the Loews Coronado resort. Once thru the tunnel we proceeded south in the direction of Imperial Beach. Beautiful views of San Diego Bay and the tidal wetlands on the left. The views of the Pacific are obstructed by the dunes on the west side of Hwy 75. The trail then leads into Imperial Beach, still very close to the bay. Next, into Chula Vista and the surrounding beauty of the bay starts to deteriorate into a heavy industrial area. I didnt feel unsafe, but your not in the tourist area of Coronado at this point. As of October 2020 you have a short ride on the street, but the traffic is very light if any. Next you arrive at the Chula Vista Marina. Restrooms and a few restaurants are at the marina offices. The area was a heavy industrial area currently undergoing redevelopment. We turned around and headed back to Coronado. Altogether, out and back, we rode about 15 miles.

Awesome Ride for a Little Distance

This route came recommended to me by a friend. I decided to explore it for its full potential and I was not disappointed! Very scenic, mostly flat and all around therapeutic. There are a few short segments where there is no set path, but there’s minimal traffic. ***Rider Beware: there is minimal shade so make sure to go early or lather up with the sunscreen!

Bayshore Bikeway

We rode the Bayshore Bikeway on a glorious July weekday and have very fond memories of it.
We started at the southeast end near the salt flats and pedaled north to the Coronado Ferry Landing. After snacks and some shopping, we then headed back down the same way. You have to do some on road riding, but it's no big deal through a fairly quiet neighborhood overlooking the Coronado Municipal Golf Course. The wind creates some resistance, but look on the bright side: at least you won't sweat as much!
It was a fun experience with lots to see and plenty of Kodak moments. We took it slow and made a day of it. It was a superb ride for a couple of vacationers!

One of my favs

Most of the route goes through scenic areas, both marshy and through Coronado. Sure, there’s some industrial parts and can be hefty headwinds but it’s an overall nice ride.

Bayshore Bikeway....we did it!

My wife, Kindred, and I did the trail staring at the ferry and going clockwise around for a 25.09 mile ride, including the ferry trip back across the bay. A perfect day to ride even though there was a little wind! Highly recommend doing this lovely bike ride. 3/30/2018

Fun. scenic and windy

Just a word of caution, don't miss the sharp left turn near the start that runs you parallel with 5. We missed it and rode about 3 miles in the wrong direction. The turn off sign was spray painted with graffiti, And it led right onto another trail so easy to miss especially if you are from out of town. But overall it was awesome and I would highly recommend. Just not on a beach cruiser from a hotel!!

Poor road conditions on SD side

Grateful I had a riding companion. Heading south from Coronado to Main Street is beautifully paved and marked. From there you are on the rough road. Some sections have no signage at all. We had to stop several times to figure out directions for ourselves. The road along the shipyards and 32nd Street is in very poor condition. Add traffic and a very narrow "bike lane" and it is just plain dangerous. Lots of room for improvement on the San Diego side.

Scenic ride

The Coronado leg is very scenic. However as you ride along the San Diego side, the bike path gets discontineous. I took the wrong streets twice and had to rely on my google maps to get back on the path. I also accidently entered the Wildlife Refuge Park through the exit road and the gate closed behind me and waited till a car exited in order get back on the road. There are chemical smell in the air as you pass by factories. All in all I enjoyed the experience and rode about 32 miles to return to my car at the Spanish Landing park.

Short Ride & Trail Markings are C-rap

This round trip ride is only about 24 to 25 miles. Very nice, but very short. To make the ride longer, add a side trip north on Harbor Blvd in San Diego to Seaport Village or also include Harbor Island. I like 13th Street in Imperial Beach as a starting point.

If this is your first trip, I suggest taking the round trip in the CCW direction, doing the San Diego part of the trip first. The trail marking on the San Diego side are C-rap. But I think going in a counter-clokcwise direction would make the navigation more intuitive.

If you do make the CCW trip, when you get off the ferry, navigate to the Starbucks on Orange and then go to the bike trail. Because, the end of the bikeway close to the ferry port is crowded with people and kidlets and dogs on 30 ft leashes wandering back and forth acorss the path making it difficult to get past without incident.

Very nice trail, completely paved, and mostly off of the roads.

Fun loop

Navy base side of the loop not so nice, ocean side really great, good bird watching at many locations...humming birds and avocets, how cool is that!!

The Full Loop

We started our ride at Pier 32 (32nd street, south of the USN shipyard)... and road the entire loop clockwise... caught the Coronado Ferry and completed the lap back to our Expedition.

The good news:
Lots of parking at Pier 32 & pretty easy to find. The initial part of the ride near I-5 was noisy, but quickly faded as we went by the salt ponds and out to the Silver Strand. The strand is very nice. Prior reviews which mention that you'll face a headwind going north in the afternoon are absolutely correct. Even with the headwind, it was a terrific ride to the Coronado Ferry!

The bad news:
Our truck was at Pier 32... and this was a terrible!! ride from the Ferry Dock south. Past Seaport village is industrial. The "trail" is on beat-up or "under construction" streets with lots of heavy traffic and big trucks. While there is a marked bike lane, it is unsafe and poorly maintained.

Ride over/down to the Coronado Ferry dock from downtown; buy a round trip ferry boat ticket ($8.50) and ride out and back to the salt ponds.. you will LOVE it!
... and this part is a "5 star" rating.

Fine Trail for A Morning Ride

Rented bikes from Bikes & Beyond, Ferry Landing, Coronado. Rode to Imperial Beach and returned most of the way. One of the rental bikes developed a flat tire, so had to walk it a couple miles to Holland's Bicycles. Folks at Bikes & Beyond and Holland's are connected. They didn't charge for the bike rental because of the issues with the bike. Nice morning some breeze. Trail in good condition, flat and wide. Not the most scenic. Does pass along Wildlife Refuge so some birds to watch. A number of other cyclists on the trail and a number offered to help with flat tire.

extension of trail

The extension of the trail from 13TH Street in Imperial Beach to the foot of Main Street in Chula Vista is now open adding over a mile of trail with beautiful views of soutern San Diego Bay and the salt flats.

Imperial Beach Segment Review

"If you’re anywhere near Imperial Beach, I highly recommend checking out the segment of this trail that extends from 13th Street to Route 75. Ample parking is available at the northern end of 13th Street and it’s a quiet and scenic walk, bike ride, or in-line skate trip to Route 75.

This trail segment is constructed mostly on an abandoned railroad right-of-way and unlike the trail segment from Silver Strand State Beach to Coronado, doesn’t run immediately adjacent to a very busy and noisy highway.

The trail surface here is nicely paved with protective fencing and/or guard rails in place as appropriate. Downtown San Diego’s skyline is visible along most of the route. Other views are of the nearby bay, and a wildlife sanctuary.

Don’t miss this gem if you’re visiting the area. Feel free to e-mail me for further information.

Flat 'n fast

"This trail is a great place for a slow, scenic ride, or a fast training ride. It's ALWAYS windy, usually cross winds off of the Pacific.

The trail is very safe and has a clean surface, plus there are great views. Trail users can use the restroom and lunch tables at Silver Strand State Park which has direct access to the trail."

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