Canyoneer Hike List

Cleveland National Forest (Upper Espinosa Trail) New!

Saturday, February 22, 2020 9 AM

This trail rises above Horsethief Canyon and wanders among large granitic boulders. Many of our native chaparral plants, as well as their associated wildlife, are found along the trail. This is an intermediate 4 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of up to 1000 feet. Scheduled to end by 12:00 PM.

(Cleveland National Forest, Pine Creek Wilderness Area) From I-8 E, exit south on Japatul Valley Rd. and go 5.5 miles. Turn left on Lyons Valley Rd. and go 1.5 miles. Turn into the parking lot on the left at mile marker 16.4. A National Forest Adventure Pass is required to park. See http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/cleveland/passes-permits/recreation#adventure for more information. No facilities. (GPS N32.747146, W116.669205)




San Dieguito River Park (Coast To Crest Trail—Del Mar)

Sunday, February 23, 2020 8 AM

Hike the westernmost section of the Coast to Crest Trail that will one day extend 55 miles from the ocean at Del Mar to Volcan Mountain just north of Julian. This is an easy 5 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of up to 200 feet. Scheduled to end by 12:00 PM.

(Del Mar) From I-5, exit east on Via De La Valle and go 0.2 mile. Turn right on San Andres Dr. and go 0.2 mile. Park at the end of the street. Facilities along the trail. (GPS N32.978476, W117.247493)




BLM - Southern Anza-Borrego (Domelands)

Saturday, February 29, 2020 9 AM

Along the trail, discover an amazing variety of marine fossils attesting to the ocean waters that once covered this area. Stop at the other-worldly Domelands wind cave for a lunch break before beginning the return. This is a difficult 6 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of up to 1000 feet. Scheduled to end by 3:00 PM.

(Ocotillo) From I-8, turn north on S-2 (Imperial Hwy), and drive 7.1 miles to the turnoff on the right for Domelands (signed). Consolidate into 4WD or high-clearance vehicles and caravan 2 miles to the trailhead. No facilities. (GPS N32.779171, W116.089914)




Santa Margarita River (River Trail)

Sunday, March 1, 2020 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. This is 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 and some moderate challenges. Scheduled to end by 12:00 PM.

(Fallbrook) From I-15, go west on Mission Rd. and continue on 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 (West Butte Borrego Mt)

Saturday, March 7, 2020 9 AM

The trail is a very steep downhill, then a slight uphill through a slot canyon to an area that, when in season, has spectacular wildflower displays. Explore the main slot plus side canyons. This is a difficult 4 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of up to 1000 feet. Scheduled to end by 1:00 PM.

(Ocotillo Wells) Take CA-78/79 to Julian and turn right on CA-78 E (Main St.) and go 28.5 miles. Turn left on Borrego Mountain Wash and park. Consolidate into 4WD or high-clearance vehicles and caravan to the trailhead. No facilities. (GPS N33.158966, W116.218826)




Dictionary Hill Open Space Preserve (Gremlin Way Trailhead) New!

Sunday, March 8, 2020 3 PM

One of the newest additions to the County’s open space parks, this area supports a wealth of native plants, birds, and wildflowers. The trail leads to the top of the mountain, where hikers are greeted by a 360-degree panoramic view of southeast San Diego. Come learn the fascinating story of why this was originally known as Lookout Mountain. This is an intermediate 5 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of up to 1000 feet. Scheduled to end by 7:00 PM.

(Spring Valley) From CA-94, exit south on Sweetwater Springs Blvd. and go 1.3 miles. Turn right on Jamacha Blvd. and go 0.8 mile. Turn right on Whitestone Rd. and go 0.5 mile. Turn left on Greenleaf Rd. and go 0.1 mile. Turn right on Jacoby Rd. and go 0.2 mile. Turn right on Gremlin Way and go to the end of the street to meet your Canyoneer host. No facilities. (GPS N32.72025, W116.98000)




Anza-Borrego Desert State Park (Moonlight Canyon & Inner Pasture)

Saturday, March 14, 2020 9 AM

Hike through Moonlight Canyon from the Agua Caliente Hot Springs to the isolated Inner Pasture. The Kumeyaay once lived in this area between the Sawtooth Mountains and the Tierra Blanca Mountains of Anza-Borrego. This is a difficult 5 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of up to 1000 feet and some strenuous challenges. Scheduled to end by 2:00 PM.

(Ocotillo) From I-8, exit north on S-2 (Imperial Hwy), and go 26 miles to the turnoff on the left for Agua Caliente Hot Springs. Park on the side access road across from the store before the entrance to Agua Caliente County Park. Facilities. (GPS N32.955250, W116.302202)




Anza-Borrego Desert State Park (Cool Canyon)

Sunday, March 15, 2020 10 AM

Cool Canyon is a sun-shaded canyon of Granite Mountain, where the steep granitic walls provide shade from the afternoon sun, and at 2400 feet elevation, the canyon stays relatively cool. Julian schist, pegmatite dikes, and mineralized rock make this canyon interesting in addition to the variety of plant life found here. This is an easy 3 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of up to 200 feet. Scheduled to end by 1:00 PM.

(Shelter Valley) Take CA-78/79 to Julian and turn right on CA-78 E (Main St.) and go 11.6 miles. Turn south on S-2 (Great Southern Overland Stage Route) and go 4 miles. Continue 0.4 mile past the Stagecoach Trails RV Resort and park off the road on the right. Consolidate into 4WD or high-clearance vehicles and caravan to the trailhead. No facilities. (GPS N33.055684, W116.420558)




Iron Mountain (Ellie Lane Loop Trail) Midweek

Tuesday, March 17, 2020 8 AM

This alternative approach to hiking Iron Mountain has many of the same challenges and scenery but starts from a less-crowded parking area. There are hillsides of granitic boulders and views of Ramona from a saddle 200 feet lower than Iron Mountain peak. This is a difficult 6 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of greater than 1500 feet. Scheduled to end by 12:30 PM.

(Poway) Take I-8 take CA-67 and drive 13.5 miles north. Turn right at Ellie Ln. (0.5 mile north of the Poway Rd. traffic light) and meet the Canyoneer host in the parking area. Do not turn in at the Poway Rd. intersection entrance to the main Iron Mountain trailhead parking area. No facilities. (GPS N32.987684, W116.976938)




Cleveland National Forest (Garnet Peak)

Saturday, March 21, 2020 9 AM

Garnet Peak offers dramatic views of the desert and the Laguna Mountain Range. On a clear day the eastern views from this section of the Pacific Crest Trail may extend to the Salton Sea. This is a difficult 6 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of up to 1000 feet. Scheduled to end by 2:30 PM.

(Mount Laguna) From I-8, take Sunrise Hwy. (S-1) north. Drive 15.6 miles to the Pioneer Mail Trailhead just past mile marker 29 and park. A National Forest Adventure Pass is required to park. See http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/cleveland/passes-permits/recreation#adventure for more information. Facilities. (GPS N32.924079, W116.480444)




Pacific Crest Trail (Eagle Rock)

Sunday, March 22, 2020 9 AM

Hike a section of the Pacific Crest Trail to reach a formation known as Eagle Rock. The first 2 miles pass through oaks continuing to sparse chaparral and grassland with abundant seasonal wildflowers. This is an intermediate 7 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of up to 1000 feet. Scheduled to end by 2:00 PM.

(Warner Springs) From CA-67, continue east on CA-78 through Ramona. At Santa Ysabel, turn left (north) on CA-79 for 14 miles. Meet the Canyoneer host near the Warner Springs Fire Station. No facilities. (GPS N33.273323, W116.645115)




Meyer Valley (Boulder Creek)

Saturday, March 28, 2020 8 AM

Spectacular geologic formations and desert landscapes show the effects of weathering. Examine nolina (beargrass) as well as other high-desert vegetation. Note: This hike starts and ends at an Old Hwy. 80 embankment and involves some boulder scrambling with loose gravel. This is an intermediate 4 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of up to 1000 feet and some moderate challenges. Scheduled to end by 12:30 PM.

(Jacumba Wilderness Area) From 1-8 E, exit on Mountain Springs Rd. (3.2 miles past In-Ko-Pah Park Rd.). Turn left under the freeway and park in the open area on the right. Caravan to the starting point on Old Hwy. 80. High clearance vehicle required. No facilities. (GPS N32.677823, W116.098719)




William Heise County Park (Cedar Trail)

Sunday, March 29, 2020 9 AM

Enjoy an easy stroll through mountain chaparral on the way to a shady loop trail under a soaring canopy of oaks, pines, and cedars. Deer, wild turkey and other wildlife are often seen on the trail. This is an easy 3 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of up to 500 feet. Scheduled to end by 12:00 PM.

(Julian) From the junction of CA-79 & Pine Hills Rd. (1 mile west of Julian), turn south on Pine Hills Rd. for 2.3 miles. Go left (east) on Frisius Rd. for 2 miles to Park entrance. A $3 day use fee or a San Diego County Park and Recreation Parking Pass is required to park. See http://www.sandiegocounty.gov/content/sdc/parks/discount-programs-and-parking-passes.html for more information. Facilities. (GPS N33.039656, W116.592372)




Blue Sky Ecological Reserve (Creekside Trail)

Saturday, April 4, 2020 8 AM

This easy walk just north of Lake Poway follows a stream and a woodland canyon of large oaks. The tracks of wild animals—including coyotes, mountain lions, and bobcats—attest to the habitats protected by the reserve. The longer hike option will climb to an overlook of Lake Poway. Two hike options will be offered. A shorter easy 3 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of up to 200 feet or continue on to complete a difficult 5 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of up to 1000 feet. Scheduled to end by 10 AM or noon.

(Poway) From I-15, go east on Rancho Bernardo Rd. for 1.5 miles. Continue on Espola Rd. Go 1.6 miles. Turn left into the Reserve's parking lot and drive to the end. Facilities. (GPS N33.017394, W117.024871)




Crest Canyon Open Space Park (Racetrack View Trailhead)

Sunday, April 5, 2020 10 AM

Enjoy a variety of native and non-native plants in this coastal canyon south of San Dieguito Lagoon. The trail ascends gradually into the canyon through sage scrub and chaparral habitats. This is an easy 2 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of up to 500 feet. Scheduled to end by 12:00 PM.

(Del Mar) From I-5, exit west on Via de la Valle for 0.3 mile. Turn left on Jimmy Durante Blvd. and go 0.9 mile. At the traffic circle, take the 3rd exit onto San Dieguito Dr. and go 0.6 mile. This becomes Racetrack View Dr. Continue through the stop sign and park on the road shoulder at the Crest Canyon kiosk. No facilities. (GPS N32.962883, W117.255278)