Canyoneer Hike List

Sweetwater Regional Park (Sweetwater Dam Loop)

Sunday, December 3, 2017 8:30 AM

This hike heads toward the Sweetwater Reservoir. Along the way, pass through several habitats, both natural and man-made, to experience a wide variety of plant and animal life. End the hike by visiting Morrison Pond to look for water birds and other aquatic species. This is an intermediate 5 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of up to 500 feet.

(Bonita) From I-805, merge onto CA-54 E and go 3.2 miles. Exit on Briarwood Rd. Turn right and go 0.6 mile. Turn left on Sweetwater Rd. and then turn right into the Sweetwater Regional Park parking lot. No facilities. (GPS N32.675502, W117.023020)




Santa Margarita River (River Trail)

Saturday, December 9, 2017 9 AM

The Santa Margarita River is one of the last free-flowing rivers in San Diego County. The river peacefully flows under a canopy of tall trees, between banks lined with dense riparian growth. It's a cool, refreshing place for a hike any time of the year. Wildlife, including deer and other large mammals, depend on this river corridor. The area is also noted for raptors that may be seen overhead or perched in trees. This is an intermediate 3 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of up to 500 feet.

(Fallbrook) From I-15, go west on Mission Rd. and continue onto East Mission Rd. for 4.9 miles. Turn right on North Pico Ave., which becomes De Luz Rd. Go 1.2 miles. Turn right on Sandia Creek Dr. Go 1.1 miles. Parking lot is on right. No facilities. (GPS N33.413515, W117.241602)




Anza-Borrego Desert State Park (Bighorn & Nolina Canyon Loop)

Saturday, December 16, 2017 9 AM

Explore two lightly visited canyons with bighorn sheep, fascinating rock formations, and an array of wildflowers (if the rains have cooperated). It is also interesting to compare these two canyons and their washes. While similar, they also have their differences. This is a difficult 8 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of up to 1000 feet.

(Tamarisk Grove) Take CA-78/79 to Julian and turn right on Main St. Continue on CA-78 (Banner Rd.) and go 22.7 miles. Meet the Canyoneer host at the signed entrance to Pinyon Wash (4.1 miles past Yaqui Pass Rd.) 4WD or high-clearance vehicles are needed to reach the actual trailhead. No facilities. (GPS N33.132162, W116.311512)




Anza-Borrego Desert State Park (Glorietta Canyon) New!

Sunday, December 17, 2017 9 AM

This canyon offers an escape from some of the more frequently visited areas around Borrego Springs. Wildflowers can be found in abundance if the rains have been kind. This is a challenging hike with boulder scrambling and elevation gains and losses. This is a difficult 5 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of up to 1000 feet.

(Borrego Springs) Take CA-67 north or CA-78 east to Ramona, continue east on CA-78 for 14.4 miles to Santa Ysabel (DudleyÕs 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 17.4 miles. Turn right on Palm Canyon Dr. (S-22) and go 1.4 miles. Park at Christmas Circle in Borrego Springs to meet the Canyoneer host, then caravan to the trailhead. 4WD or high-clearance vehicles are needed to reach the actual trailhead. Facilities at Christmas Circle. (GPS N33.256111, W116.375040)




Anza-Borrego Desert State Park (Five Groves & Torote Bowl)

Saturday, January 6, 2018 9 AM

Explore the vegetation and animal life of five palm groves with different habitats, two of which have spring-fed surface water. We'll also visit Torote Bowl, home of the unique elephant tree. This is a difficult 5 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of up to 1000 feet.

(Ocotillo) From I-8 E, exit on Imperial Hwy. (S-2) at Ocotillo. Turn left on S-2 and go 17.3 miles to about 0.1 mile before mile marker 47 (decreasing numbers). Turn left at the signed Mountain Palm Springs Campground entrance and follow a short dirt road to the end. Meet the Canyoneer host at the trailhead. Facilities are available at the campground. (GPS N32.862550, W116.218790)




McGinty Mountain Ecological Reserve (McGinty Mountain Trail) Midweek

Wednesday, January 10, 2018 9 AM

This small mountain southeast of El Cajon offers a hike with a 1,400-foot elevation gain/loss. Plants endemic to this island of gabbro soil are of special interest. The short hike to the South Ridge is about 2 miles round trip. The long hike to the summit is about 5 miles round trip and will take four to five hours. This is an intermediate 2 or 5 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of up to 1000 feet.

(Jamul) From I-8, take CA-125 S for 2.1 miles. Exit on Spring St. for CA-94 E. Turn left on Spring St. Go 0.1 mile and turn right on CA-94 E. Go 4.6 miles. Turn right on Campo Rd. (CA-94). Go 4.5 miles. Turn left on Lyons Valley Rd. Go 0.7 mile. Turn left at Jamul Dr. and continue for 0.4 mile. Parking lot is on right. No facilities. (GPS N32.729406, W116.872688)




Anza-Borrego Desert State Park (Harper Flat) New!

Saturday, January 13, 2018 9 AM

This hike takes you up Pinyon Wash and into Harper Flat, an extensive area of Native American use. We'll find multiple bedrock morteros worn into the boulders that were used in the preparation of food. Keep an eye out for broken shards of pottery and obsidian flakings left from the making of arrow points or other tools. Remember, anything you find must be left here. This is a difficult 8 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of up to 1000 feet.

(Tamarisk Grove) Take CA-78/79 to Julian and turn right on Main St. Continue on CA-78 (Banner Rd.) and go 22.7 miles. Meet the Canyoneer host at the signed entrance to Pinyon Wash (4.1 miles past Yaqui Pass Rd.) 4WD or high-clearance vehicles are needed to reach the actual trailhead. No facilities. (GPS N33.132024, W116.311167)




Mission Trails Regional Park (Oak Canyon)

Sunday, January 14, 2018 8 AM

The walk starts past the Old Mission Dam (a nationally registered historic landmark) and follows a streambed rimmed by coast live oaks. This area is rich in both native plants and animals. This is an easy 4 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of up to 500 feet.

(Mission Trails Regional Park, Santee) From I-8, exit north on Mission Gorge Rd. Continue about 4 miles, then turn left onto Father Junipero Serra Trail. Drive past the Visitor Center through the gated road for 1.8 miles to the parking lot at the dam on left, or park along the road to the dam. Alternate route: From CA-52, exit east on Mast Blvd. Go 0.2 mile. Turn right on W Hills Pkwy. Go 0.7 miles. Turn right on Mission Gorge Rd. Go 0.3 mile. Turn right on Father Junipero Serra Trail. Go 0.6 mile to dam parking lot on right or park along the road at the dam. Facilities. (GPS N32.839722, W117.041389)




Marian R. Bear Memorial Park (Regents Road Trailhead)

Saturday, January 20, 2018 9 AM

Chaparral and California sage scrub habitats provide an opportunity to look for coyote melons and fragrant doveweed. This is a good place to learn to recognize poison oak! This is an easy 2 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of up to 200 feet.

(Clairemont) Take CA-52 to the Regents Rd./Clairemont Mesa Blvd. exit. Turn south on Regents Rd. Go 0.1 mile and turn right into the signed entrance for the Marian R. Bear Memorial Park parking lot. Facilities. (GPS N32.839660, W117.219082)




Rancho Jamul Ecological Reserve (Grasslands Loop)

Sunday, January 21, 2018 9 AM

Canyoneers have special permission to hike this 5,600-acre California Fish and Wildlife ecological reserve. Here we'll find sage scrub and riparian environments, and efforts to convert grasslands to native habitat. The ruins of an historic brick-making kiln will also be visited. This is an intermediate 5 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of up to 1000 feet.

(Jamul) From I-8, exit onto I-805 S and go 3.9 miles. Merge onto CA-94 E. Go 11.4 miles. Turn right on Campo Rd. (CA-94) Go 7.8 miles to the entrance of the reserve on the right. If you reach Honey Springs Rd. you have gone 1.8 miles too far. Facilities. (GPS N32.684428, W116.846851)




Anza-Borrego Desert State Park (Ironwood Wash & Canyon)

Saturday, January 27, 2018 8 AM

Ironwood Wash gets its name from the more than 100 desert ironwood trees found here. There are also multiple palisades and side canyons in its serpentine reach toward Whale Peak. The higher reaches of the canyon have views toward June Wash and the Mud Palisades. This is a difficult 8 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of up to 1500 feet.

(Ocotillo) From I-8 E, turn north on S-2 (Imperial Hwy), and drive 23 miles to the turnoff on the right for June Wash (signed), about one-half mile beyond highway mile-marker 42. No facilities. (GPS N32.931402, W116.256650)




Navajo Canyon Open Space Park (Adobe Falls Trailhead)

Sunday, January 28, 2018 8 AM

Walk along the streambed part way up Navajo Canyon, which cuts narrowly into the communities of Del Cerro and Allied Gardens. Many native plant species, including gooseberry and scrub oak, may be seen. This is an easy 2 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of up to 200 feet.

(San Diego) From I-8, exit north on Waring Rd. and go 0.3 mile. Turn right on Adobe Falls Rd. and go 0.1 mile to the stop sign. Park on the street by the trailhead. No facilities. (GPS N32.782915, W117.086372)




Anza-Borrego Desert State Park (Plum Canyon)

Saturday, February 3, 2018 8 AM

Experience lower elevation desert vegetation on this walk along an abandoned wagon road, once a major route into this section of Anza-Borrego. It is now a peaceful canyon filled with many native desert plants and animals. This is an intermediate 6 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of up to 1500 feet.

(Tamarisk Grove) Take CA-78/79 to Julian and turn right on CA-78 E (Main St.) and go 15.7 miles. Meet the Canyoneer host at the Plum Canyon turnout on the right side of the road. If you reach Tamarisk Grove (Yaqui Pass Rd.) you have gone 2.7 miles too far. A 4WD or high-clearance vehicle is needed to reach the trailhead. No facilities. (GPS N33.128676, W116.425221)




Calavera Regional Nature Preserve (Lake Calavera Trail)

Sunday, February 4, 2018 9 AM

This hike offers the opportunity for views from the mountain top and to see natural lands habitat restoration in progress. Also explore an ancient extinct volcano, view waterfowl visiting the lake, and observe several different plant communities. This is an intermediate 3 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of up to 1000 feet.

(Carlsbad) From I-5, go east on CA-78 for 3.2 miles. Exit on College and turn right (south). Go 0.4 mile to Lake Blvd. and turn left. Go 0.9 mile and turn right on Sky Haven Ln. Go 0.3 mile to the signed trailhead on the left. Facilities. (GPS N33.173976, W117.281093)




Azalea Community Park (Manzanita Canyon) New! Midweek

Wednesday, February 7, 2018 8:30 AM

Come and explore two of San Diego's unique urban canyons. While in the heart of the city, Manzanita and Hollywood canyons are home for many native plants, birds, insects, reptiles and mammals. Along the way we'll be able to enjoy some interesting neighborhood art projects. This is an intermediate 2 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of up to 500 feet.

(City Heights) From I-5, take CA-94 E and go 2 miles. Take the Home Ave. exit. Turn left on Home Ave. Go 0.5 mile. Turn left on Gateway Dr. Go 0.2 mile. Turn right on Midvale Dr. Go 0.1 mile. Turn right on Ralene St. Go 0.1 mile. Continue onto Tulip St. and go 0.2 mile. Turn right on Pepper Dr. Go 0.1 mile. Turn left on Violet St. Go 0.1 mile. Turn left on Poplar St. and into the Azalea Community Park parking lot. Facilities. (GPS N32.732829, W117.107837)