Canyoneer Hike List

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park (Nude Wash)

Saturday, December 10, 2022 9 AM | Capacity: 25 people.

This hike is in an often-overlooked small wash and canyon with fascinating geology and vegetation, similar to that found in the larger, more frequently visited washes and canyons in the Vallecito Mountains.

Vegetation includes not only the spiny plants and ironwood trees found in the sandy wash, but also desert lavender, creosote bush, wishbone bush, and brittlebush. It offers an opportunity to see many interesting geological features as well. There are several dry waterfalls and a steep rocky descent that make this hike challenging. Hiking poles are recommended. This is a difficult 4-mile hike with an elevation change of 1,050 feet including some strenuous challenges. The hike is scheduled from 9 AM–1 PM. (Tamarisk Grove) Take CA-78/79 to Julian and turn right on Main St. Continue on CA-78 (Banner Rd.) and go 24.3 miles. Meet the Canyoneer host at the entrance to Nude Wash on the right (5.7 miles past Yaqui Pass Rd.). No facilities. (GPS N33.13948, W116.28976)

Capacity is limited, and advance registration is required. Registration will open to members five weeks prior to the hike date and to non-members one month prior to the hike date.



Tijuana River Valley Regional Park (Dairy Mart Trailhead)

Wednesday, December 14, 2022 9:30 AM | Capacity: 25 people.

Midweek hike! This 1,800-acre park is bisected by the Tijuana River. The broad, flat floodplain provides an ideal environment to observe the diverse vegetation communities that attract transient bird populations as well as lizards, frogs, and toads.

This is an easy 3-mile hike with an elevation change of 100 feet. The hike is scheduled from 9:30 AM–noon. (Imperial Beach) From I-5 S, exit right on Dairy Mart Rd. and go 0.5 mile to the old road parking lot on the right (0.2 mile past Camino De La Plaza) to meet the Canyoneer host. No facilities. (GPS N32.551318, W117.062591)

Capacity is limited, and advance registration is required. Registration will open to members five weeks prior to the hike date and to non-members one month prior to the hike date.



Batiquitos Lagoon (Gabbiano Trailhead)

Saturday, December 17, 2022 7:30 AM | Capacity: 25 people.

The trail along the north side of Batiquitos Lagoon in Carlsbad hugs the shoreline, providing great views of shorebirds and plant life. This is a pleasant walk on level terrain, suitable for kids of all ages.

Don't miss the compact but very comprehensive visitor center with native plant garden at the trailhead at Gabbiano Lane. This is an easy 3-mile hike with an elevation change of 200 feet. The hike is scheduled from 7:30–10 AM. (Carlsbad) From I-5, exit east on Poinsettia Ln. and go 0.3 mile. Turn right on Batiquitos Dr. and go 0.5 mile. Turn right on Gabbiano Ln. and go 0.3 mile. Park at the end of the road. Wheelchair accessible. No facilities. (GPS N33.093746, W117.301354)

Capacity is limited, and advance registration is required. Registration will open to members five weeks prior to the hike date and to non-members one month prior to the hike date.



Anza-Borrego Desert State Park (The Mormon Trail)

Sunday, December 18, 2022 9 AM | Capacity: 25 people.

New this year! Choose between two hikes. Both begin by following the trail blazed by the Mormon Battalion in 1847 through diverse desert microenvironments. After the first mile, hikers can decide to cross S2 to enter Hornblende Canyon or continue up the canyon to explore Box Canyon.

The longer Hornblende Canyon hike twists and turns as it climbs the shoulder of Granite Mountain with some dry waterfalls, old mines, plus Native American sites with morteros. The easier Box Canyon option continues along the Mormon Trail past a steep dry waterfall (Box Canyon), using the same trail that was carved using little more than hand tools. The shorter, easy 4-mile hike has an elevation change of 550 feet, or continue on to complete an intermediate 6-mile hike with an elevation change of 1,300 feet. The hike is scheduled from 9 AM–noon or 9 AM–2 PM. (Shelter Valley) Take CA-78/79 to Julian and turn right on CA-78 E (Main St.). Go 11.3 miles. Turn south on S-2 (Great Southern Overland Stage Route) and go 10 miles. Park in the dirt lot on the left side of the road. Alternate route: (Ocotillo) From I-8 E, exit left on S-2 at Ocotillo and go 37.5 miles (8.8 miles past Agua Caliente Hot Springs). Park in the dirt lot on the right side of the road. No facilities. (GPS N33.003966, W116.454262)

Capacity is limited, and advance registration is required. Registration will open to members five weeks prior to the hike date and to non-members one month prior to the hike date.



Daley Ranch (Engelmann Oak Loop)

Saturday, December 24, 2022 8 AM | Capacity: 25 people.

The City of Escondido owns and manages this 3,000+ acre preserve that provides more than 25 miles of hiking and dirt-biking roads and trails. The Engelmann Oak Trail is in a more secluded part, offering a degree of solitude not found on the trails near the main entrance.

Also, Engelmann oaks are a somewhat rare live oak tree, usually with upright trunks and flat, gray-green leaves. This is an intermediate 5-mile hike with an elevation change of 1,000 feet. The hike is scheduled from 8 AM–noon. (Escondido) From I-15 exit on Deer Springs/Mountain Meadow Rd. Turn east on Mountain Meadow Rd. and go 1.3 miles. Continue straight on Hidden Meadows Rd. for 0.8 mile. Hidden Meadows Rd. turns left and becomes Granite Ridge Rd. Go 0.2 mile. Turn right on Meadow Glen Way E. and go 0.3 mile. Make a slight right turn on Cougar Pass Rd. and go 0.8 mile to the blacktop parking lot on the right. The last 0.5 mile of Cougar Pass Rd. is dirt, but most passenger cars are able to pass. No facilities. (GPS N33.210085, W117.085716)

Capacity is limited, and advance registration is required. Registration will open to members five weeks prior to the hike date and to non-members one month prior to the hike date.



Coyote Mountains Wilderness BLM (Wind Caves/ Domelands)

Sunday, January 1, 2023 10 AM | Capacity: 25 people.

Along the trail, discover an amazing variety of marine fossils attesting to the ocean waters that once covered this area. We'll stop at the other-worldly Domelands wind caves for a lunch break before retracing our path.

This is a difficult 5-mile hike with an elevation change of 1,000 feet. The hike is scheduled from 10 AM–4 PM. (Ocotillo) From I-8 E, turn north on S-2 (Imperial Hwy.), and drive 7.1 miles to the turnoff on the right at the Coyote Mountains Wilderness Kiosk, also signed as Route 93. Consolidate into 4WD or high-clearance vehicles and caravan 2 miles to the trailhead. No facilities. (GPS N32.779171, W116.089914)

Capacity is limited, and advance registration is required. Registration will open to members five weeks prior to the hike date and to non-members one month prior to the hike date.



Ramona Grasslands (Wildflower Loop Trail)

Saturday, January 7, 2023 9 AM | Capacity: 25 people.

A pond and seasonal wildflowers are highlights of this walk through grasslands which continues on through sage scrub and chaparral habitats. This is a birding hotspot, so be sure to bring binoculars.

This is an easy 4-mile hike with an elevation change of 350 feet. The hike is scheduled from 9 AM–noon. (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)

Capacity is limited, and advance registration is required. Registration will open to members five weeks prior to the hike date and to non-members one month prior to the hike date.



Jacumba Wilderness BLM (Smugglers Cave)

Wednesday, January 11, 2023 10 AM | Capacity: 25 people.

New, midweek hike! This "cave" is located in the Jacumba Wilderness in the vicinity of Valley of the Moon where the rocks have been sculpted into interesting forms by the elements. There are stories of the cave being used by bandits and smugglers as well as rumors of at least one gun fight.

Scattered pottery sherds and nearby grinding holes are indications that Native Americans lived here. As the saying goes, if this cave could talk, what intriguing stories it could tell. Hiking poles are recommended. This is a difficult 4-mile hike with an elevation change of 950 feet. The hike is scheduled from 10 AM–2 PM. (Imperial County, Jacumba Wilderness Area) Take I-8 E to In-Ko-Pah Rd. (Exit 77) and turn right and immediately turn right again onto Old Hwy. 80. Go about 0.2 mile to Valley of the Moon trailhead parking on the left. No facilities. (GPS N32.63988, W116.10713)

Capacity is limited, and advance registration is required. Registration will open to members five weeks prior to the hike date and to non-members one month prior to the hike date.



Anza-Borrego Desert State Park (Bow Willow - Rockhouse Canyon Loop)

Saturday, January 14, 2023 9 AM | Capacity: 25 people.

This is a strenuous hike over some rocky trails. Hearty desert plants like cholla, ocotillo, and creosote bush are likely to be seen on the way to a rock shack, watering trough, and pipeline leading to a seasonal spring and waterfall.

Part of the journey requires boulder hopping and some simple route finding. Hiking poles are recommended. This is a difficult 9-mile hike with an elevation change of 1,400 feet including some strenuous challenges. The hike is scheduled from 9 AM–3 PM. (Ocotillo) From I-8 E, turn north on S-2 (Imperial Hwy.). Drive 16.5 miles to mile marker 48 and look for a turnoff on the left (west) for Bow Willow Campground (signed). Drive 1.6 miles on a well-maintained dirt road to the campground. Continue to the westernmost campsite (#1) and park. A Day Use Fee or California State Park Pass is required for each vehicle (1 day for $10.00). Day use passes can be purchased online using the Yodel app (follow instructions on the signs found at parking locations - $0.35 fee added), at a kiosk, or Iron Ranger, depending on the location. Note: Any Day Use pass is valid at all locations that require a pass within the park. See https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=1049 for more information. Facilities. (GPS N32.842399, W116.224588)

Capacity is limited, and advance registration is required. Registration will open to members five weeks prior to the hike date and to non-members one month prior to the hike date.



Anza-Borrego Desert State Park (Torote Canyon - Palm Bowl)

Sunday, January 15, 2023 10 AM | Capacity: 25 people.

Hike up past smoke trees through Indian Gorge and into Torote Canyon to view native elephant trees. Then climb over a ridge to the isolated Palm Bowl to view the most western palm oasis of Mountain Palm Springs.

This is an intermediate 5-mile hike with an elevation change of 1,100 feet including some moderate challenges. The hike is scheduled from 10 AM–2:30 PM. (Ocotillo) From I-8 E, exit on S-2 at Ocotillo. Go northwest on S-2 for about 18 miles, past the turnoff for Mountain Palm Springs, for the signed turnoff to Indian Gorge on the left. Follow the dirt road to meet the Canyoneer host. No facilities. (GPS N32.879605, W116.211228)

Capacity is limited, and advance registration is required. Registration will open to members five weeks prior to the hike date and to non-members one month prior to the hike date.



Sycamore Canyon County Preserve (Goodan Ranch East)

Saturday, January 21, 2023 9 AM | Capacity: 25 people.

New this year! This 321-acre preserve, located in a valley framed by hills, provides a home for deer, bobcats, and golden eagles. There is a mix of grassland, riparian, coastal sage, oak woodland, and chaparral habitats.

We will stop in at the Goodan Ranch Center, which was built next to the original ranch house that was burned during the 2003 Cedar Fire. This is an intermediate 4-mile hike with an elevation change of 800 feet. The hike is scheduled from 9 AM–noon. (Poway) From CA-67 turn west at the entrance to the Sycamore Canyon Open Space Preserve (12 miles north of I-8 and 0.7 mile south of Scripps Poway Pkwy). Go 1.5 miles on a well-maintained dirt road to the trailhead parking lot on the right. Facilities. (GPS N32.930272, W116.969611)

Capacity is limited, and advance registration is required. Registration will open to members five weeks prior to the hike date and to non-members one month prior to the hike date.



Kate Sessions Memorial Park (Soledad Canyon Trail)

Saturday, January 28, 2023 8 AM | Capacity: 25 people.

Enjoy one of the most beautiful spots in San Diego, overlooking Mission Bay, and explore its natural charm on a sometimes-rough trail in a scrub-covered section of the park.

This is an intermediate 2-mile hike with an elevation change of 350 feet including some moderate challenges. The hike is scheduled from 8–10 AM. (Pacific Beach) From I-5, go west on Garnet Ave. for 1 mile. Turn right on Lamont St. and go 0.6 mile. Shortly after Lamont becomes Soledad Rd. turn right on Park Dr. into the parking lot. Meet near the playground. Facilities. (GPS N32.811210, W117.237245)

Capacity is limited, and advance registration is required. Registration will open to members five weeks prior to the hike date and to non-members one month prior to the hike date.



Anza-Borrego Desert State Park (Coachwhip Canyon)

Sunday, January 29, 2023 9 AM | Capacity: 25 people.

Explore this beautiful desert canyon while hiking up a sandy wash. Along the way, find a number of vaporous-looking smoke trees. Keep your eyes open for some unique geologic formations, and springtime often boasts a variety of seasonal wildflowers.

This is an intermediate 4-mile hike with an elevation change of 900 feet. The hike is scheduled from 9 AM–1 PM. (Borrego Springs) Take CA-67 or CA-78 east to Ramona, continue east on CA-78 for 14.4 miles to Santa Ysabel). 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. Facilities. (GPS N33.256285, W116.374348)

Capacity is limited, and advance registration is required. Registration will open to members five weeks prior to the hike date and to non-members one month prior to the hike date.



Black Mountain Open Space Park (Miner’s Ridge Loop)

Saturday, February 4, 2023 9 AM | Capacity: 25 people.

Black sage is the dominant plant on this trail, although many other native plants abound. There are spots along the trail with great views of the surrounding areas, including Lake Hodges, Carmel Mountain, Palomar Mountain, Mount Woodson, and the remains of an old arsenic mine.

Seasonal wildflowers may be plentiful on this hike. This is an intermediate 3-mile hike with an elevation change of 650 feet. The hike is scheduled from 9–11:30 AM. (Rancho Peñasquitos) From CA-56 go north on Black Mountain Rd. for 2.3 miles. Turn right on Carmel Valley Rd. Go 0.9 mile. Turn right into the Black Mountain Open Space Park, and drive to the end of the road. No facilities. (GPS N32.992639, W117.116363)

Capacity is limited, and advance registration is required. Registration will open to members five weeks prior to the hike date and to non-members one month prior to the hike date.



Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve (Black Mountain Road Trailhead)

Saturday, February 11, 2023 9 AM | Capacity: 25 people.

Enjoy a short, level walk along Peñasquitos Creek through sycamore and eucalyptus trees. The longer walk takes you to a waterfall located midway through the preserve. Some of the oldest rock formations in San Diego County can be seen at the falls.

Two hike options will be offered: a shorter easy 2-mile hike with an elevation change of 100 feet, or continue on to complete an intermediate 6-mile hike with an elevation change of 300 feet. The hike is scheduled from 9–11 AM or 9 AM–1 PM. (Poway) From I-15, exit west on Mercy Rd. and go 1.4 miles. Continue straight at the signal to enter the parking lot and meet at the large trailhead sign. 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 N32.938450, W117.129769)

Capacity is limited, and advance registration is required. Registration will open to members five weeks prior to the hike date and to non-members one month prior to the hike date.