Canyoneer Hike List

Del Rey Canyon (Camino Del Rey Trailhead)

Saturday, October 20, 2018 9 AM

This easy walk offers the opportunity to see a variety of our native chaparral and riparian plants along one of our urban canyons. Observe a variety of wildlife that call this canyon home. This is an easy 3 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of up to 200 feet. 9–11 AM.

(Chula Vista) From I-805 S, exit on H St. East. Turn right on E H St. and go 2.8 miles. Turn right on Paseo Ranchero and go 0.3 mile. Turn right on Camino Del Rey and go 0.2 mile and park on the street. Meet the Canyoneer host at the trailhead. No facilities. (GPS N32.634628, W117.014323) We are always hoping to see wildlife. Please leave dogs at home and come enjoy nature.




Anza-Borrego Desert State Park (Soapstone Loop)

Sunday, October 21, 2018 6:30 AM

This section of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park was acquired in 2001. The lands are adjacent to Lake Cuyamaca and connect the desert park to Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, providing a wildlife corridor between the mountains and the desert. This is a difficult 9 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of up to 1000 feet. 6:30 AM–1:30 PM. 

(Mt. Laguna) From I-8, exit north on Sunrise Hwy. (S-1) and go 20.6 miles. Turn left into the Sunrise Trailhead parking lot. Facilities. (GPS N32.978223, W116.524863) We are always hoping to see wildlife. Please leave dogs at home and come enjoy nature.




Santa Margarita River (River Trail)

Sunday, October 28, 2018 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. 9 AM–NOON.

(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) We are always hoping to see wildlife. Please leave dogs at home and come enjoy nature.




Dictionary Hill Open Space Preserve (Barcelona Trail) | New!

Saturday, November 3, 2018 8 AM

One of the newest additions to the County‚Äôs open space parks, this area supports a wealth of native plants, birds, and wildflowers. The trail leads from Bancroft Creek 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 3 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of up to 1000 feet. 8–10 AM.

(Spring Valley) From CA-94, exit south on Sweetwater Springs Blvd. and go 0.9 mile. Turn right onto Austin Dr. and go 0.7 mile. Turn left onto S. Barcelona St. and go 0.3 mile to the end of the road to meet your Canyoneer host. No facilities. (GPS N32.726880, W116.983417) We are always hoping to see wildlife. Please leave dogs at home and come enjoy nature.




Cleveland National Forest (Secret Canyon Trail)

Sunday, November 4, 2018 8:30 AM

Follow Pine Valley Creek and pass under the Pine Valley Bridge, which is 400 feet above the gorge. Explore remains of an 1895 flume intended to move water from a proposed reservoir in Pine Valley to King Creek, a San Diego River tributary. This is a difficult 5 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of up to 500 feet. 8:30 AM–1:30 PM. 

(Pine Valley) From I-8, exit north on Pine Valley Rd. and go 0.4 mile. Turn left on Old Hwy. 80 and go 1.6 miles. Turn left at the Pine Valley Trailhead sign and go 0.5 mile. Park near the vault toilets. A National Forest Adventure Pass is required to park. Facilities. (GPS N32.837365, W116.541780) We are always hoping to see wildlife. Please leave dogs at home and come enjoy nature.




Cuyamaca Rancho State Park (Conejos Spring Trail)

Saturday, November 10, 2018 9 AM

This hike explores a forest of Coulter pines, with its big cones littering the trail and includes a vista all the way to San Diego. The shorter hike will stop along the trail, while the longer hike will go to the top of Cuyamaca Peak. This is a difficult 5 or 8 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of up to 1000 feet. 10 AM–NOON or 10 AM–3 PM.

(Cuyamaca Rancho State Park) Take I-8 east to CA-79 north and proceed 13.5 miles (mile marker 10.7) to the large parking area on the right (0.5 mile past Stonewall Mine turnoff). No facilities. (GPS N32.976640, W116.581570) We are always hoping to see wildlife. Please leave dogs at home and come enjoy nature.




Lake Hodges (North Trail)

Sunday, November 11, 2018 10 AM

There are alternatives for this hike, depending on public interest. Bring your binoculars. On Hike 1, view birds while crossing the new footbridge over the lake and then explore Felicita Creek. On Hike 2, cross the footbridge and then climb Bernardo Mountain for a panoramic view of the lake, with possible views to the ocean. This is an easy 3 or 6 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of up to 200 feet. 10 AM–NOON. 

(Rancho Bernardo) Take I-15 to West Bernardo Dr./Pomerado Rd. and turn west. Go 0.5 mile. There is a turnoff into a dirt parking lot on the right. Meet at the signed Bernardo Bay Natural Area. No facilities. (GPS N33.054405, W117.075216) We are always hoping to see wildlife. Please leave dogs at home and come enjoy nature.




Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve (Way Up Trail) | Midweek

Wednesday, November 14, 2018 9 AM

While crossing Escondido Creek, enjoy wildflowers and the soothing sounds of the water. Then go uphill on the Botanical Loop Trail to descend back to the staging area (about a 1-mile round trip). Choose to continue on the Way Up Trail to the top of the ridge for spectacular views. This is an easy 1 or 3 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of up to 200 feet. 9–10 AM or 9–11:30 AM. 

(Escondido) From I-15, exit west on Valley Pkwy. for 1 mile. Turn right on Avenida Del Diablo and go 0.6 mile. Turn right on Citracado Pkwy. and go 0.1 mile. Turn left on Harmony Grove Village Pkwy. and go 0.4 mile. Turn left on Harmony Grove Rd. and go 2.2 miles to the Reserve's parking area on the left. Alternate route: From I-5, exit east on La Costa Ave. and go 4 miles. Turn left on Rancho Santa Fe Rd. and go 1.7 miles. Turn right on San Elijo Rd. and go 1.5 miles. Turn right on Elfin Forest Rd. and go 2.7 miles. Continue onto Harmony Grove Rd. and go 1.7 miles to the Reserve‚Äôs parking area on the right. Facilities. (GPS N33.087299, W117.145451) We are always hoping to see wildlife. Please leave dogs at home and come enjoy nature.




William Heise County Park (Desert View)

Sunday, November 18, 2018 9 AM

The Desert View trail ascends to the Park's highest point. Glen's View, elevation 4,927 feet, looks out on North Peak, Julian, and the desert. William Heise Park occasionally gets snow. Be prepared for temperature changes. This is an intermediate 5 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of up to 1000 feet. 9 AM–1 PM.

(Julian) From CA-79, turn south on Pine Hills Rd. (1 mile west of Julian), and go 2.3 miles. Turn left on Frisius Rd. and go 2 miles to the park entrance to meet the Canyoneer host. A $3 day use fee or a San Diego County Park and Recreation Parking Pass is required. Facilities. (GPS N33.039624, W116.592220) We are always hoping to see wildlife. Please leave dogs at home and come enjoy nature.




Anza-Borrego Desert State Park (June Wash) | New!

Sunday, December 2, 2018 9 AM

While enjoying the spectacular geologic scenery, the goal of this hike is to reach the saddle and ridgeline which are the headwaters of the Sandstone Canyon/Fish Creek and June Wash/Vallecito drainage systems. Along the way, encounter many desert plants and animals and possibly some ancient Native American artifacts. This is an intermediate 7 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of up to 500 feet. 9 AM–3 PM. 

(Ocotillo) From I-8, 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 and meet your Canyoneer host. Consolidate into 4WD or high-clearance vehicles and caravan to the trailhead. No facilities. (GPS N32.931405, W116.256619) We are always hoping to see wildlife. Please leave dogs at home and come enjoy nature.




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

Sunday, December 9, 2018 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. 9 AM–2 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) We are always hoping to see wildlife. Please leave dogs at home and come enjoy nature.




Mission Trails Regional Park (Kwaay Paay)

Saturday, December 15, 2018 7:30 AM

Wear a hat and boots on this steep and rocky round trip up to Kwaay Paay peak with 880 feet of elevation gain. Low chaparral enables views along the trail. There is a county-wide view at the top. This is an intermediate 3 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of up to 1000 feet. 7:30–10 AM. 

(Santee) From I-8, exit north on Waring Rd. Continue 1.5 miles, then turn left onto Princess View Dr. and go 0.7 mile. Turn right on Mission Gorge Rd. and go 3.8 miles. Turn left on Father Junipero Serra Trail and go 0.1 miles to the parking lot at the intersection of Bushy Hill Dr. and Father Junipero Serra Trail. Alternate route: From CA-52, exit on Mast Blvd. and go 0.2 mile. Turn right on West Hills Pkwy. and go 0.7 mile. Turn right on Mission Gorge Rd. and go 0.2 mile. Turn right on Father Junipero Serra Trail. and go 0.1 mile to the parking lot at Bushy Hill Dr. Meet in lot. Facilities. (GPS N32.838977, W117.033730) We are always hoping to see wildlife. Please leave dogs at home and come enjoy nature.




Navajo Canyon Open Space Park (Adobe Falls Trailhead)

Sunday, December 16, 2018 10 AM

Walk along the streambed part way up Navajo Canyon, which runs through 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. 10 AM–NOON.

(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) We are always hoping to see wildlife. Please leave dogs at home and come enjoy nature.




Anza-Borrego Desert State Park (Coyote Canyon‚ Lower Willows)

Saturday, December 29, 2018 9 AM

Hike to the largest year-round spring in San Diego County. With abundant water from Santa Catarina Spring, dense vegetation provides habitat for many birds and insects. Seasonal desert wildflowers add vibrant color to this unusual desert oasis. Wading through water may be necessary. The elusive peninsular bighorn sheep use the area as a seasonal water source. This is an intermediate 5 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of up to 500 feet. 9 AM–3 PM.

(Borrego Springs) Take CA-67 or CA-78 east to Ramona, continue east on CA-78 for 14.4 miles to Santa Ysabel (Dudley‚Äôs 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 to Christmas Circle roundabout. Take the 4th exit to stay on Palm Canyon Dr. (S-22) and go 0.4 mile. Turn left on Di Giorgio Rd. and go 4.7 miles to the end of the pavement, and meet the Canyoneer host. Consolidate into 4WD or high-clearance vehicles and caravan to the trailhead. Facilities at Christmas Circle. (GPS N33.325078, W116.367493) We are always hoping to see wildlife. Please leave dogs at home and come enjoy nature.




Anza-Borrego Desert State Park (Palm Canyon)

Sunday, December 30, 2018 10 AM

Dramatic desert-varnished canyon walls rise high above en route to a clear, bubbling stream flowing near a cool, shady oasis of native California fan palms. Be on the lookout for elusive peninsular bighorn sheep that are often spotted along this trail. This is an intermediate 4 mile hike with an elevation gain/loss of up to 1000 feet. 10 AM–2 PM. 

(Borrego Springs) Take CA-67 or CA-78 east to Ramona, continue east on CA-78 for 14.4 miles to Santa Ysabel (Dudley‚Äôs 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 left on Palm Canyon Dr. and go 0.2 mile. Turn right into the entrance to the Borrego Palm Canyon Campground (if you reach the Anza-Borrego State Desert Park Visitor Center you have gone too far). Drive to the west end of the campground and park in the day use parking lot and meet the Canyoneer host. There is an $10 day use fee. Facilities. (GPS N33.270230, W116.418276) We are always hoping to see wildlife. Please leave dogs at home and come enjoy nature.