Discovery Lake


San Marcos



Discovery Lake is way more than a lake. Nestled in a San Marcos neighborhood next to a children’s playground and picnic area, it offers miles of trails, including one that loops around the lake. Only a mile and a half off the 78 freeway, you’ll park in a small parking lot. But there is plenty of street parking if it’s full, which it probably will be. Make your way past the always-closed car gate and cross the Discovery Creek bridge.

You’ll immediately have a stunning view of the lake and surrounding hills. Ducks are plentiful in the lake and on the rocks.

With a fishing license, you may fish off a handy dock, but you can’t do anything else in the lake. Plenty of benches around the unblocked section of the lake and elsewhere give you ample time to relax and soak in the view. If you prefer a hike, the lake loop is 0.8 miles, and the neighborhood loop is 1.5 miles. The neighborhood loop can be steep, while the lake loop is flat with benches. But trees blocking most of the lake prevent you from seeing much. You can hike to Double Peak Park from the neighborhood loop by taking Stoneridge Way for a tenth of a mile. It’s two miles from Discover Lake to Double Peak Park, but its elevation will make it take longer.

Nearby Adventures

Double peak is one of those rare viewpoints where you have an unhindered panoramic view of a lot of different landmarks in the area.

Lake San Marcos isn’t your typical outdoor destination but it’s still worth a visit even if you have no interest in dining.

Quick Info

Why goAn easy hike with great views
Why passNone
ParkingLimited free parking but there’s street parking
Data4G, no WiFi
BathroomsYes, regular ones
Scenic Rating3.5
GPS33.123804, -117.179057

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