Border Field State Park


Location: Imperial Beach (18 Miles / 25 Minutes South of Downtown San Diego)

Open Daily: 9:30AM – 5PM (Occasionally Closed Due to Conditions)

Cost: $5 for Parking on Weekends

Features: Most Southwest Corner of the United States; First Boundary Marker Established at the End of the U.S. – Mexican War; Border Fence; Hiking; Horseback Riding on the Beach; Picnics.

southwest-border-markerBorder Field State Park Highlights: The monument signifying the southwest corner of the United States is located in Border Field State Park. Here, you will be able to walk right up to the International Border Fence, which extends out into the Pacific Ocean. There are picnic tables as well as trails for hikers and horseback riders. You will have a very close up view of the Playas de Tijuana, a western suburb of Tijuana, Mexico. The beach and a bull ring arena on the Mexican side of the fence are usually packed with people. It is very quiet on the U.S. side of the fence. Border Field Park is somewhat isolated from the rest of San Diego because it is surrounded on the U.S. side by one of the most internationally significant wetlands in the world. (For information about the wetlands, visit our page about the Visitors Center you will find at the Tijuana River Estuary National Wildlife Refuge.)

What to Expect

  • The parking lot is not open to visitors on weekdays. You must park outside the entrance and walk about 1.5 miles to reach the main area of Border Field Park. On weekends, visitors are allowed to park inside of Border Field Park, within feet of the International Border. There is a $5 fee to drive into the Park.border-fence
  • The Park is occasionally closed due to poor conditions – usually for a few days after winter rains. It may also be closed when work is being performed on the Border Fence. For the most up-to-date closure information, call 1-619-575-3613.
  • The stone monument marking the Southwest Corner of the United States is on Monument Mesa. It is about 10 feet tall and is part of the fence.
  • There is plenty of space and tables for a picnic.  You will get an up close view of the Bull Ring Stadium on the Mexican side of the border, the Pacific Ocean, the nearby mountains.
  • The Border Fence stretches only 30 feet into the ocean so you will see a Border Patrol agent on duty and stationed on the bluff overlooking the beach area.
  • You will probably see a number of people talking to one another through the Border Fence.  Immigrants who are not allowed to cross the border often visit with family members who are on the Mexican side of the fence.
  • You will not see people in the ocean on the U.S. side of the Border Fence because of the dirty water run-off that comes from the Tijuana River.  The ocean is often off limits for health concerns, especially after a rainstorm. However, you will see hundreds enjoying the beach on the Mexican side.
  • The Border Patrol occasionally sets up a checkpoint outside the exit of Borderfield State Park. Be sure to have a driver’s license or other form of I.D. available. You will be asked about the nature of you visit and then waived on.

border-fence-mexico-stadiumHiking / Horseback Riding – On the Visitors Page of the Tijuana Estuary web site, you can access a separate page with directions and maps. One map shows where to find hiking and horseback riding trails. Note that you can ride horses along the Pacific Ocean here at Border Field State Park. It is the only beach in San Diego County where horses are allowed. There is one company that does offer horse rentals and guided rides. Tours start at $50 for 1 hour.  Visit the Happy Trails web site for more details. Horse owners can visit the Tijuana River Valley Equestrian Association web site for information on current riding news and conditions.

Food – Due to its remote location, there are no nearby food options. If you visit our page on the Tijuana River Estuary, which is 6 miles north of the Border Field State Park, you will find information about local food options.

Information on Visiting Border Field State Park

Fees / State Park Web Site:

  • Parking inside the Park at the International Border is $5
  • Otherwise, Entrance is Free

Directions from Google Maps to Monument Road in San Diego, CA 92154. You will continue about a half mile past the point shown on the Google Map to reach the Park entrance. From there, it is a little more than a mile to reach the parking lot adjacent to the International Border. There is a sharp bend to the left less than a quarter mile from the beach. Most visitors will go left and drive up the bluff to the main parking lot. Those bringing horses will continue straight towards the ocean where they will find a small dirt parking area for horse trailers.

Traffic – Travel to Border Field State Park is relatively easy during its hours of operation. Watch out for a few large potholes and horseback riders as you drive down Monument Road. Also, keep an eye out for flash floods after a rainstorm.

Transit – There is no convenient access to Border Field Park using Public Transportation.

Find More Attractions with Similar Themes or Location: Hiking, Horse Carriages, Riding & Racing, Horseback Riding, Parks - Local, State & National, Scenic Views, South Bay, Wildlife - Places to See |

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