Learn about The Haunted Trail at Balboa Park

2 Haunts at 1 Location

The Haunted Trail of Balboa Park is BACK, with two haunts in one; a mile long terrifying outdoor trail through twisted pines and gnarled oaks and the 3,500 square foot eXperiment Maze.

Follow the faceless boy through Merlin’s Forest, float downstream with Pennywise, climb aboard the Ghoul Bus where a cloister of Nuns share the horrifying ride with you, steampunk Chainsaw-Wielding clowns have the run of the trail, feel your way through the fog of the upside down world, and meet your favorite Horror Icons lurking in the dark corners……Do you have the guts?

CNN named The Haunted Trail on the Top 5 BEST HAUNTED ATTRACTIONS in America!! True to it’s reputation, these haunts are not for children under 10 or the faint of heart.

Parking is FREE at the Haunted Trail of Balboa Park!

We’re Here to Scare


Things to know before you go

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  • Scare factor: Scary

  • Appropriate For: Ages 10+

  • Organization Type: Commercial/For profit haunted house

  • Category: Haunted House

  • Additional info: Outdoor Events, Touching not allowed, Free parking


Answers to common questions

In general, The Haunted Trail is open 7:30pm – 10:30pm but hours are extended on certain dates.

Please check the Dates & Times page for full calendar of dates and hours of operation.

As the Haunted Trail is outdoors, inclement weather may cause us to close due to safety reasons but WE WILL MAKE ALL EFFORTS TO STAY OPEN!

If there are light or intermediate showers, we can typically stay open. If it turns into a storm or heavy rain, we will have to close.

If the official decision is made that we must close, whether it is before opening time or at some point during the night, it will be posted on our Facebook page (TheHauntedTrailBalboaPark). If you bought a ticket for a night that we have to close, we will include on that post when you are able to return with that ticket for entry.

This update/info will also be on our website as soon as we are able to put it up but FB will have the quickest update.

We do not have designated parking but you can find parking throughout Balboa Park and walk over. Majority of parking is free.

If you are dropping off or picking up, you will want to get to the cross streets of Balboa Dr & Juniper. The entrance is just to the left. You can pull over to drop off here but you cannot park or stay so you will need to find parking elsewhere.

If you are picking up, this is also where the customers will come to once they exit the haunt. The exit of the Trail is at the bottom of the closed off street and they will walk back up the street to the entrance area.

Please Note, on Busy Nights this intersection can get very congested as this is where customers will walk as they leaving the event.

Before you start on the mile long Trail, you will be sent through The eXperiment Maze. You are in the maze until you find your way out (usually no more than 15 minutes unless you are having a very difficult time). After you exit the Maze, you will have short wait before you are sent through the Trail, which takes anywhere from 20-30 minutes depending on the pace of your group. However, this does not include your wait time in line.

The Ticket Booth & General Admission entrance lines can be very long on busy nights. We strongly recommend that you buy your ticket online in advance and to save even more time, you can opt for the Timed Ticket or VIP Admission.

Your wait in line depends on what night you are going/how busy, if you purchased online in advance, and what ticket type you have purchased. Typically, if you go the first 2 weeks of season and/or on a Sun-Thurs, the wait is not too long. If you go on a later weekend or on/around Halloween night, the Ticket Booth & GA entrance line can be well over 1 hour each.

This year, to stick with nightly capacity limits, all tickets are date specific and subject to selling out. We strongly recommend that you purchase online in advance.

What to expect when you arrive: There is a separate line to PURCHASE at the Ticket Booth if you didn’t buy in advance and then you will need to wait in the Entrance Line. There are 3 different Entrance Lines once you have your tickets: General Admission (typically the longest wait), TIMED TICKET (about 1/3 wait of GA line), VIP (shortest wait with Fast Pass entry).

The Ticket Booth line can get long on busy nights and is subject to selling out. We strongly recommend buying online so you can go directly to entrance line when you arrive.

You can reserve a specific time frame for arrival by purchasing a Timed Ticket or you can purchase VIP Admission and arrive anytime during hours of operation on your selected night. Both of these options will let you skip the General Admission entrance line. In addition, when you purchase online in advance, you do not have to worry about a ticket booth line.

If you have already been waiting in the entrance line with ticket in hand, we make all efforts to make sure everyone is able to get through. If the line is simply too long or we have reached our time limit for operating, we will honor your tickets on another night when we are open. It is always best to arrive as early as you can and/or buy your tickets online in advance.

Yes! We strongly recommend buying your ticket online in advance. This will guarantee your entry before the night is sold out and will also allow you to skip the ticket booth line when you arrive. Please be sure to read ticket instructions so that you bring the correct ticket with barcode to be scanned.

Buying your ticket in advance will save you from the ticket booth line (which is usually a long wait). You will need to wait in the GA entrance line, which can also be very long on busy nights, unless you purchase the Timed Ticket or VIP Admission. The entrance line for those ticket options is typically significantly less than GA.

Printing your online tickets is the safest option but as long as you can pull up the Barcode and do not have a cracked screen, we will be able to scan from your phone.

Please note, sometimes the wait in line is long, if your phone battery dies and you cannot access your tickets, you will need to purchase new tickets for entry.

You can reschedule the date of your ticket(s) up to the night before your scheduled date. For example, if you have a ticket for Saturday, you must reschedule it by 11:59pm Friday. To Reschedule:

-Go to your 2021 Tickets email, click on the link to print your tickets.

-At the top of that webpage, click Reschedule.

-You can choose the new date (if still available) for some or all of your tickets and save. Please note, if you are changing to a date that is a higher priced night, you will need to pay the difference.

-Reprint your new tickets.

If you want to UPGRADE your tickets from GA to Timed or VIP, you cannot do this through the reschedule feature. You will need to place a new order for the Ticket Type & Date that you want and then contact the office to have your original order canceled.

If you arrive at the entrance with a ticket for a different date or time, we cannot guarantee entry as we are subject to nightly capacities.

VIP Admission will allow for you to use the Fast Pass entrance. These lines may still have a short wait but you will not need to wait in the General Admission entrance lines.

If you already have a GA ticket, you can purchase the Fast Pass separately at the ticket booth (if still available) but please note, you may have to wait in the ticket booth line. On site Fast Pass upgrades are typically $10-$15 per person but can go up on busier nights.

Sorry, no refunds.

We do not offer refunds for unused tickets or patrons (including children) who are too scared to go through. If you have an unused ticket, you are more than welcome to give it to a friend to use before the season is over.

Yes! If you are buying at least 20 tickets in advance through the office, you may qualify for a group discount. NOT VALID for entry on Fridays/Saturdays/Halloween.

Group Tickets must be ordered and picked up in advance through our office.

For more details or to place an order, please email [email protected].

Yes, thank you for your service! There are a few restrictions so please read carefully.

You can receive a military discount of $5 off when you buy at the Ticket Booth & show your valid Military ID. Only valid for admission SUNDAY-THURSDAY, excluding 10/31. One ID will be valid for up to two discounted tickets.

Not valid on Fri/Sat/Halloween. Not valid with any other coupons or discounts.

Our haunts are NOT recommended for children under the age of 10. They will be allowed in if parents choose to bring them, however you will NOT be allowed to carry them. They must be able to stand and walk on their own two feet.

No Babies, Stollers, or Children being carried will be allowed entry.

Children need a ticket to enter and we do not offer special pricing for children. There are many emergency exits throughout each attraction in case anyone gets too scared to continue, but please be warned, scared patrons/children who need to exit (or choose not to enter) will not receive a refund.

Sorry, but no pregnant women, infants, or children being carried will be allowed entry. This attraction is not recommended for visitors who have heart conditions, are prone to seizures, or are in general poor health. We reserve the right to determine if you are not allowed in due to safety reasons.

A service animal is permitted for individuals with a disability. Under the ADA, a service animal is defined as a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. The task(s) performed by the dog must be directly related to the person’s disability. All service animals must remain on a leash or harness and may not be left unattended. Service animal behavior is the responsibility of the owner and you will be asked to leave The Haunted Trail if their behavior becomes a threat to the safety of another guest or employee. We do not have accommodations for pets at the The Haunted Trail. All other will need to stay home where they are safe from our ghouls.

The DOJ/ADA does not qualify “Emotional Support or Companion Animals” as service dogs.

Our actors are not allowed to touch you and you are not allowed to touch our actors. Please be warned, they do get very close and will chase you but they will not grab you. You may brush up against their costumes or props or come into contact with some of the sets, but you will not be grabbed or pushed. We reserve the right to prosecute any patrons who strike or harm our actors.

You can take personal photos/videos while going through the haunt but please be advised, we strongly suggest you keep your phone securely put away! We are NOT liable for lost or damaged phones nor will be have a search party to find it in the haunt. Many phones get lost or broken so please be aware!

NO FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY OR LIGHTS! For the safety of our actors as well as not ruining the experience for other patrons, we do not allow any type of FLASH photography or flash lights while you are walking through the haunts. You may be asked to exit early should you use flash or have any type of light turned on while going through.

If you are trying to film for media purposes, you will need to contact the office ahead of time to get permission.

YES! You are allowed to wear costumes. PLEASE NOTE: if your costume is offensive or involves nudity, you will not be allowed in. Any props you are carrying will need to be left at the entrance.

Yes!! We do not allow foul language, pushing, vulgar behavior, weapons of any kind, alcohol, harming our actors or staff, etc. We do not allow babies or children to be carried through. Smoking and alcohol is not allowed. We reserve the right to remove any patron from the event if we feel it is necessary.

Violation of these rules will usually bring a warning and then being asked to leave without a refund.

Items NOT allowed into the Haunted Trail include, but are not limited to, the following:

Large Bags
Laser Pointers
Food or Beverage
Babies/ Strollers / Children being Carried

There is no smoking or vaping allowed inside our gates or in our lines.

Please also be aware, there is no smoking in Balboa Park in general and you can be fined.

NO! And they are not allowed on the property. Should you bring any, you will be asked to leave without refund.

NO! Smoking is illegal throughout all areas of Balboa Park, including in our lines, inside the gates, and inside of the haunts.

Due to the terrain, it is very difficult for wheelchairs to maneuver through this outdoor event. We can send a staff member to accompany you through in case help is needed, but please be aware the pathways are dirt and mulch and they may be uneven as they wind through the park.

YES! This attraction contains high impact scares and strobe lights which may not be suitable for people with heart conditions or prone to seizures. Attraction may include the use of fog juice as well as spraying water.

This is a walk-through attraction. The eXperiment Maze is a maze which may take some people longer to find their way out but you will not get lost. The Trail has a pathway that you will follow. Rooms may very dark and some may be pitch black but the entire attraction will not be pitch black, you will see the actors and sets.

Yes. We sell bottled water and sodas as well as candy and snacks. We also have glow novelties. The concessions booth is cash only.

Yes, we do have security. We seldom, if ever, have a problem that actually requires security but we have it just in case.

We also have an EMT on staff each night.

Running is the main cause of minor injuries. Make sure to follow the rules and DON’T run and you should be fine!

Unfortunately no, that haunted house does not exist in San Diego. As far as we know, it is an urban legend.


2 Haunts, 1 Location

The eXperiment Maze

Before you are sent through the mile long Trail, you will have to make your way through a 3,500 square foot maze. A maze so horrifying it is known as “The eXperiment”!  Brace yourself as your favorite Horror Icons are lurking in the dark corners; just to name a few, Freddy, Jason, Michael Myers, Chucky, and the Ring Girl are waiting for you!

The Haunted Trail

WE ARE BACK!  Follow the faceless boy through Merlin’s Forest, float downstream with Pennywise, climb aboard the Ghoul Bus where a cloister of Nuns share the horrifying ride with you, steampunk Chainsaw-Wielding clowns have the run of the trail, feel your way through the fog of the upside down world… you have the guts?

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