Explore this delightful little canyon as you walk its gently sloping trail. Desert vegetation and seasonal wildflowers makes this small canyon an easy and enjoyable walk. The steep walls provide insights to desert geology and the processes that formed the canyon. Marvel at the brightly colored and foliated schists and gneisses of a Paleozoic seabed that was formed over 200 million years ago, long before the surrounding San Ysidro mountain crests reached a mile into the sky.
(Borrego Springs) Take CA-67 or CA-78 east to Ramona, continue east on CA-78 for 14.4 miles to Santa Ysabel (Dudley’s world-famous bakery). Turn left on CA-79 towards Warner Springs and go 11.4 miles. Turn right on San Felipe Rd. (S-2) and go 4.7 miles. Turn left on Montezuma Valley Rd. (S-22) and go 16.6 miles. Turn left into the parking lot at the bottom of the grade. Meet the Canyoneer host here. (If you reach Palm Canyon Dr. you have gone too far). Facilities (GPS: N33.248402, W116.405711)
Explore this Balboa Park canyon preserved by Helen Witham Chamlee. Together with citizen-scientists from the San Diego Natural History Museum, Chamlee founded the Canyoneers in 1973 as the "Florida Canyoneers." This is an easy 2 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of up to 200 feet.
(Balboa Park) From CA-163, exit east on Washington St. and go 0.3 mile. Turn right on Lincoln Ave.and go 0.2 mile. Turn right on Park Blvd. and go 0.7 mile. Turn left on Morley Field Dr. and go 0.2 mile. Cross Florida Dr. and continue uphill for 0.1 mile. Turn right and then take another immediate right. Park in the California Native Plant Garden lot. Facilities at tennis courts. (GPS N32.739718, W117.142435)
Hiking a section of the Pacific Crest Trail where wildflowers should be plentiful along Agua Caliente Creek. This is a difficult 8 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of up to 1000 feet.
(Warner Springs) From CA-67, continue east on CA-78, then left (north) on CA-79 at Santa Ysabel. Go 16.3 miles to a parking area on the left (just past mile marker 36.5). No facilities. (GPS N33.288252, W116.656601)
Enjoy a downhill trek through this beautiful stream-cut canyon in the Laguna Mountains. Pass through a stand of California bay-laurel trees and look for wild orchids, penstemons, and woolly blue curls. Bring plenty of water as the hike down to Pine Valley passes through open chaparral. This is a difficult 8 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of up to 1500 feet.
(Pine Valley) From I-8, exit north on Pine Valley Rd. for 0.4 mile. Turn left on Old Hwy. 80. and go 1.2 miles. Turn right on Pine Creek Rd. and go 1.6 miles. Turn right at the Noble Canyon Trailhead sign and go 0.2 mile and then caravan to trailhead. Facilities. (GPS N32.849770, W116.523082)
Learn chaparral plants and the history of the area on this morning walk along the canyon following La Cuenta Dr. ridge for a three-mile loop via Tierrasanta Blvd./Ducos Place. This is an intermediate 3 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of up to 200 feet.
(Tierrasanta) From I-15, exit east on Tierrasanta Blvd. Go 1.3 miles. Turn right on La Cuenta Dr. Go 0.2 mile. Park on the street next to Roadrunner Park. No facilities. (GPS N32.819188, W117.099919)
Hike this trail through one of San Diego's urban canyons and explore part of the San Diego River watershed. Start with a visit to a native plant garden before descending into the canyon that is filled with both native and exotic plants and birds. This is an intermediate 3 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of up to 1000 feet.
(Serra Mesa) From I-15, exit west on Aero Dr. and go 1.1 miles. Turn left on Ruffin Rd. and go 0.6 mile. Cross Gramercy Dr. and park on the east side of Taft Middle School. Alternate route: From I-805 exit north on Murray Ridge Rd. and go 1.3 miles. Turn right on Sandrock Rd. and go 0.1 mile. Turn left on Gramercy Dr. and go 0.6 mile. Turn right on Ruffin Rd. and park on the east side of Taft Middle School. No facilities. (GPS N32.801658, W117.129044)
Observe many unique salt marsh plants that tolerate high salinity and being submerged by salt water. There is also an abundance of both visiting and year-round birds on this short 2-mile walk in this 37-acre natural wetland preserve. This is an easy 2 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of up to 200 feet.
(Pt. Loma) Take I-8 west to the end, then turn left on Sunset Cliffs Blvd. and go 0.1 mile. Keep left on Nimitz Blvd. and go 0.3 mile. Turn left on W. Point Loma Blvd. and go 0.5 mile. After crossing Famosa Blvd., park on the right. No facilities. (GPS N32.752639, W117.228644)
Hike on the largest man-made island in Mission Bay where, despite the abundance of invasive plants, there are thriving native species. We'll look for five plant species that the state considers to be sensitive, including NuttallÕs lotus. Most of these are sand and dune specialists that are hard to find on the increasingly developed San Diego coast. This is an easy 2 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of up to 200 feet.
(Mission Bay) From I-5, go west on Sea World Dr./Tecolote Rd. for 0.3 mile. Turn right onto East Mission Bay Dr., then turn left onto Fiesta Island Rd. Use the parking lot at the corner of Mission Bay and Fiesta Island before crossing the water onto the island itself. If the lot is full, there is additional parking to the right on the island. Facilities. (GPS N32.768974, W117.209465)
This hike has spectacular views as it passes under large pine and oak trees and climbs towards Laguna Meadow. Stop at Water-of-the-Woods pond for a snack break before heading back to the parking location. This is an intermediate 5 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of up to 1000 feet.
(Mount Laguna) From I-8 E, exit on the Sunrise Highway (S-1). Turn left and go 5.5 miles. Park along the side of the road. Meet the Canyoneer host on the left side of the road opposite the wooden information platform on the right. No Facilities. (GPS N32.860868, W116.462077)
The Reserve has more than 250 species of shore and water birds in multiple plant communities that include marsh, sage scrub, and chaparral. Bring binoculars! This is an easy 2 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of up to 200 feet.
(Solana Beach) From I-5, exit west on Lomas Santa Fe Dr. and go 0.9 mile. Turn right onto North Rios Ave. and go 0.8 mile. Park at the end of the road. No facilities. (GPS N33.003597, W117.272490)
The aptly named Piedras Pintadas (Òpainted rocksÓ) trail explores a small part of the rich San Diego County Kumeyaay Indian culture and habitat by following a well-marked trail with interpretive plaques. The trail wraps around Bernardo Bay on Lake Hodges, which is an important habitat refuge for many native and migratory animal species, especially birds. This is an easy 4 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of up to 200 feet.
(Rancho Bernardo) From I-15, exit west on West Bernardo Dr. Turn west and go 0.5 mile. Turn right into the parking lot to meet the Canyoneer host. No facilities. (GPS N33.052047, W117.076418)
Get an early-morning start at the falls and then hike along the east side of the Sweetwater River. After crossing to the west side of the river, return through chaparral, riparian, and meadow habitats. This is an intermediate 5 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of up to 1000 feet.
(Descanso) From I-8 E, exit at CA-79. Turn left and go 2.6 miles. Turn left to stay on CA-79 and go 4.2 miles. Turn left into the Green Valley Campground. Park at the falls day-use parking lot past campsite #76. Facilities. (GPS N32.903104, W116.580471)
The Army Corps of Engineers built rock-faced dikes on both sides of the San Diego River that have created an estuary that is home to numerous birds, fish, and invertebrates. This is an easy 6 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of up to 200 feet.
(Mission Bay) From I-5, exit on Sea World Dr./Tecolote Rd. Turn west onto Sea World Dr. Go 0.9 mile. Turn left on South Shores Pkwy. Parking is along old Sea World Dr. No facilities. (GPS N32.761449, W117.214407)
Enjoy a picturesque trail to Thunder Spring while hiking through bracken fern, oaks, and conifers. There are some steep elevation gains/losses as well as plenty of poison oak along the trail. This is an intermediate 4 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of up to 1000 feet.
(Palomar Mt.) From I-15, take CA-76 E for 20.5 miles. Turn left on S-6 (South Grade Road/Palomar Mountain Road) and go 6.7 miles until the intersection. Turn left to stay on S-6. Turn left again immediately on S-7 (State Park Road), just before the store and restaurant. Go 3.1 miles to the Park entrance. Then go 0.2 mile and turn right at stop sign. Go 1.4 miles following signs to School Camp and Doane Pond parking lot. Facilities. (GPS N33.341747, W116.901352)
Look for seasonal wildflowers and water birds on this out-and-back walk to the west side of the lake toward the dam that was built in 1918. This area is wheelchair accessible. This is an easy 6 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of up to 200 feet.
(San Diego) From I-8, exit north on Lake Murray Blvd. and go 0.5 mile. Turn left at Kiowa Dr. and go 0.5 mile. Go through the gate and drive to the lake. Turn into the right hand parking lot. Meet the Canyoneer host past the picnic tables at the start of the trail. Wheelchair accessible. Facilities. (GPS N32.785757, W117.039050)