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)
Dramatic ocean views and impressive cliffs overlooking pocket beaches are the hallmark of this park. The sandstone cliffs erode naturally with wave action. This is also a great spot to watch sea birds, such as pelicans, western gulls, and cormorants, glide above the oceanÕs surface. The stairs at the corner of Ladera Street and Sunset Cliffs Boulevard offer a breathtaking journey down the cliffs to the north end of Garbage Beach which can be explored at low tide. This is an easy 3 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of up to 200 feet.
(Point Loma) Take I-8 W to the end and turn left onto Sunset Cliffs Blvd. Keep right to remain on Sunset Cliffs Blvd. and go 3.1 miles. Turn left onto Ladera St. Go 0.1 mile. Park in the signed parking lot towards the end of Ladera St. on the right. Facilities. (GPS N32.719175, W117.254516)
This loop trail begins and ends at Paso Picacho Campground. The walk is through meadows and dense forest, following a creek. Azaleas, columbines and tiger lilies bloom along this shady, cool stream. This is an intermediate 4 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 9.3 miles to the entrance of the Paso Picacho Campground on the left. Meet the Canyoneer host in the parking lot. Facilities. (GPS N32.960090, W116.580295)