Bayshore Bikeway


24 Reviews

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Bayshore Bikeway Facts

States: California
Counties: San Diego
Length: 24.7 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


Nearly encircling the San Diego Bay, the Bayshore Bikeway offers views of downtown San Diego and the resort town of Coronado while providing access to a number of parks and beaches. Currently, the 24-mile route includes 17.1 miles of completed multiuse pathway, with the rest consisting of on-road sections. The pathway is also a segment of the California Coastal Trail, a network of bicycling and hiking trails that, when complete, will stretch along the coastline for 1,230 miles from Oregon to the Mexican border.

About the Route

Since much of the route on the eastern side of the bay entails on-road riding, exploring the western side makes for an easier, more relaxing experience. The western side is likely accessible, but a section near 10th Street and Glorietta Boulevard is an on-street bike lane and not a separate trail. east side of the bay is predominantly on-street bike lanes. Note that there is no shade along the trail, so be sure to wear sun protection and bring water.

The southwest endpoint is located at Coronado Ferry Landing Park on the northern tip of the Bayshore Bikeway, where parking, restrooms, bike rental shops, and restaurants are readily available. Within minutes of setting off, there is a spectacular vista of the Coronado Bridge, which received an Award of Merit in the American Institute of Steel Construction’s 1970 selection of the country’s most beautiful bridges open to traffic, and—in true California style—the first beach is in less than a mile. The trail also passes by the iconic Hotel del Coronado, which was built in 1888 and has been the backdrop for a few movies, including Marilyn Monroe’s Some Like It Hot.

Continuing south from the hotel, the pathway follows the Silver Strand, the narrow spit of land that separates San Diego Bay from the Pacific Ocean and on which the Coronado branch of the San Diego and Arizona Eastern Railway once traveled. Construction of the railroad began under prominent San Diego resident John D. Spreckels in 1906 and was completed in 1919.

On the left is Glorietta Bay Park, which offers a beach, a playground, a picnic area, and restrooms. Although the rail-trail parallels CA 75 on this stretch, wildflowers and brush along the route keep the journey pleasant as the trail continues south.

Approaching the south end of the bay, there are spacious views of the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Its preserved wetlands offer prime opportunities for birding and support many endangered and threatened species of flora and fauna. Entering the residential community of Imperial Beach, look for the entrance to the Bayside Birding & Walking Trail at Seventh Street; the dirt pathway parallels the Bayshore Bikeway for 0.4 mile and has interpretive panels on topics like migratory birds and salt marsh restoration.

After continuing east 0.8 mile from the entrance to the birding trail, take the opportunity to turn right at the short trail spur just before the red pedestrian bridge to reach Imperial Beach’s Bikeway Village, where there are public restrooms and a coffee shop. The continuous, paved portion of the rail-trail ends 1 mile farther on at Main Street and West Frontage Road in Chula Vista.

To continue on the Bayshore Bikeway along the east side of the bay, follow the marked on-road bike lanes (largely paralleling Bay Boulevard) and a few short stretches of paved pathway north through Chula Vista and into San Diego.

Crossing over the Sweetwater River, the route connects with the Sweetwater Bikeway. Nearing the northeast endpoint, the bikeway passes Linear Park and connects with the Martin Luther King, Jr. Promenade. Just past the intersection of Park Boulevard and Harbor Drive, the route leaves the road behind and follows the waterfront as a very wide, paved pedestrian boulevard through San Diego's Embarcadero. 

Another highlight of this section is Chula Vista’s Living Coast Discovery Center, which features interactive exhibits on the animals and plants of coastal California. Approaching the Coronado Bridge, be sure to also check out the colorful collection of murals in Chicano Park, which celebrates the heritage and culture of Barrio Logan, San Diego’s oldest Mexican-American neighborhood.


Crossing over the Sweetwater River, the route connects with the Sweetwater Bikeway. Nearing the northeast endpoint, the bikeway passes Linear Park and connects with the Martin Luther King, Jr. Promenade

Parking and Trail Access

The Bayshore Bikeway runs between Coronado Ferry Landing Park (Coronado) and S 32nd St & Harbor Dr (San Diego).

The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) provides easy access to the trail. For those driving, parking is available at a number of locations along the trail, including:

  • Embarcadero Marina Park North (400 Kettner Blvd, San Diego), where there are restrooms.
  • Pepper Park (3299 Tidelands Ave, National City), where there are restrooms and drinking fountains.
  • Glorietta Bay Park (1975 Strand Way, San Diego), where there are restrooms and drinking fountains.

View the TrailLink map for all options and detailed directions.

Bayshore Bikeway Reviews

Full loop

Imperial west is good. San Diego side is a poorly marked jumble of urban paths. Not recommended.

A mid-day Wednesday loop

On a day trip to see my daughter in South Park, I took the 2 hour ride and thoroughly enjoyed it.
I rode through Downtown to catch the ferry, only had to wait about 10 minutes. I wound my way through Coronado before I figured out how to get on the bikeway. Then it was plain sailing.
I agree that the east side does not have the aesthetic and has more challenges, but since this is a major city and this is the industrial part, along with the Naval presence, I was pleasantly surprised that this bikeway exists. I took a minor detour by my missing my turn in the Bayfront area of Chula Vista, but then noticed the Bayshore Bikeway signs. Since I ride a Giant Rincon hybrid, I can handle the few instances the road section was potholed. It got a bit tricky passing the Naval Station between 32nd and 28th between folks coming in and out and road construction. I opted to take 28th to get back to my daughter's place.
I live in the San Gabriel Valley/Pasadena area, and I have learned to be a defensive cyclist, so this seemed quite tame and a nice 26 miler in a major city.

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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