This trek starts on a ridgeline with expansive views of backcountry and south toward Mexico and Cameron Valley as it ascends up the gentle-to-moderate slope composed of interesting rock formations that will delight geology enthusiasts. It then drops into a valley lined with chamise, mountain blue curls, and big berry manzanita. The reward on the trip comes at Cibbets Flat where Kitchen Creek tumbles over granitic rock and ponds among the cottonwoods and willows. This is an intermediate 6 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of up to 500 feet.
(Buckman Springs) Take I-8 E to Buckman Springs Rd. Turn right at the first stop sign (Buckman Springs Rd.) and left at the second stop sign (Old Hwy. 80). Proceed for 2 miles to the Pacific Crest Trail parking area on the right (just before the Forest Service campground). No facilities. (GPS N32.732066, W116.483295)
Hike into the North Pinyon Mountains, the site of many desert mine locations. Visit a large Kumeyaay village site with hundreds of agave-roasting pits. This is an easy 5 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of up to 500 feet.
(Tamarisk Grove) Take CA-78/79 to Julian and turn right on Main St. Continue on CA-78 (Banner Rd.) and go 21.2 miles. Meet the Canyoneer host at the beginning of Mine Wash Rd. (2.7 miles past Yaqui Pass Rd.) 4WD or high-clearance vehicles are needed to reach the actual trailhead. Facilities. (GPS N33.132884, W116.333960)
This hike is a reminder of the past glory of the Cuyamaca Mountains, as the trees here were not destroyed or heavily damaged by the 2003 Cedar Fire. Additionally, the area is steeped in history. It was in the early 1870s that gold was first discovered in the Julian area, sparking a gold rush that lasted over 20 years. This is an intermediate 6 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of up to 500 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 10.7 miles to the Trout Pond parking area on the right (0.5 mile past Stonewall Mine turnoff). No facilities. (GPS N32.976487, W116.580996)
Encounter windswept vegetation and chaparral scrub forests on cliffs overlooking San Diego Harbor on this 2-mile round-trip hike. Remnants of World War II defense installations are visible. The return walk is all uphill. This is an intermediate 2 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of up to 500 feet.
(Point Loma) Take I-8 W to the end, then turn left on Sunset Cliffs Blvd. and go 0.1 mile. Keep left on Nimitz Blvd. and go 0.6 mile. Exit right on Famosa Blvd./Catalina Blvd. Turn right on Catalina Blvd. and continue 2.7 miles onto Cabrillo Memorial Dr. and follow it 2.5 miles to the monument. Park by the Visitor Center. Meet on the sidewalk to the lighthouse (next to the road). Facilities at the Visitor Center. (GPS N32.673922, W117.240193)
Walk under pines, oaks, and incense cedar on this 7-mile hike that follows the Agua Dulce fire road with a return on the Chico Spur. This is an intermediate 7 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of up to 500 feet.
(Mount Laguna) From I-8 E, exit on the Sunrise Highway (S-1). Turn left and go 8.1 miles. Turn left into the Wooded Hills Campground. Go 0.6 mile to the Agua Dulce Trailhead parking lot on right. Facilities. (GPS N32.853845, W116.435488)
The owner of this private property has given the Canyoneers special permission to lead a hike on this date only. This Poway location has an exceptional variety of native plants. This is an intermediate 2 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of up to 500 feet.
(Poway) From I-15, exit east on Rancho Bernardo Rd. and go 1.5 miles. Continue onto Espola Rd. (S-5) for 0.7 mile. Turn right on Martincoit Rd. and go 1.3 miles. Continue on Orchard Gate Rd. for 0.3 mile. Turn left on Lime Grove Rd. and go 0.3 mile. Lime Grove Rd. turns right, becoming Arroya Vista Rd. Go 0.1 mile. Turn left on Boulder Mountain Rd. and meet the Canyoneer host. Do not be late, as access through the gate is limited. No facilities. (GPS N32.998514, W117.044096)
A pond and seasonal wildflowers are highlights of this 5-mile walk in grasslands that continues on through sage scrub and chaparral habitats. This is a birding hotspot so be sure to bring your binoculars. This is an easy 5 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of up to 200 feet.
(Ramona) From CA-67, go north on Highland Valley Rd. for 2.3 miles. Turn left to stay on Highland Valley Rd. Go 0.8 mile. Parking lot for the Ramona Grasslands Preserve is on the right. Facilities. (GPS N33.033142, W116.950561)
This loop has excellent views along the trail at Boucher Hill. Stop at a California Registered historical fire lookout tower at an elevation of 5,348 feet. With the chance of finding two species of wild orchids and ripening berry plants, this hike is a winner! This is an intermediate 4 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of up to 1000 feet.
(Palomar Mountain) Take I-15 N past Escondido, exiting on CA-76 east toward Pala. Go 20 miles, take the South Grade Rd. (S-6) for 6.7 miles. Turn left at S-7 (just before the store and restaurant) and go 3 miles to Palomar Mountain State Park. Turn in at the first left past the Park entrance and meet the Canyoneer host in the Silver Crest Picnic Area parking lot. Facilities. (GPS N33.332127, W116.906599)
Daley Ranch has habitats that support a variety of plant and animal species. Enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding area along the trail. This is an intermediate 4 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of up to 1000 feet.
(Escondido) From I-15, exit east on El Norte Pkwy. and go 3.1 miles. Turn left on La Honda Dr. Go 1.3 miles. Parking lot for Daley Ranch is on the left. No facilities. (GPS N33.166300, W117.052483)
The Canyoneers have special permission to drive into Ward's Flat as a jumping off point for this challenging hike. The trail up to the top of Morena Butte is steep and rocky but the views are spectacular. On our return, look for seasonal wildflowers in Ward's Flat. This is a difficult 5 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of greater than 1500 feet.
(Morena Village) Take I-8 E to the Buckman Springs Rd. exit. Turn right (south) onto Buckman Springs Rd. (S-1) and go 5.3 miles. Turn right on Oak Rd. Go 1.6 miles. Turn right on Lake Morena Dr. Go 0.4 mile. Meet at the Pacific Crest Trail parking lot on the left side of the road (before entering the Park). Facilities. (GPS N32.682503, W116.516984)
This hike will pass through a riparian habitat wildlife area with the remains of a cabin and evidence of floodwaters. Lunch will be along a creek, sitting on boulders before heading back on the trailhead. A longer loop option will be offered for those wishing to go farther. This is an intermediate 4 or 6 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of up to 500 feet.
(Jamul) From I-8, take I-805 south and go 3.9 miles. Exit onto CA-94 E (M. L. King Jr. Fwy.) and go 5.2 miles. Keep right to stay on CA-94 E and go 5.1 miles. Turn right on Campo Rd. and go 9.5 miles. Turn left on Honey Springs Rd. and then make a quick left into the parking lot to meet the Canyoneer host. Facilities. (GPS N32.670541, W116.822886)
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)