Roam-O-Rama

Coast to Cactus: The genesis of San Diego's definitive hiking guide

Not meant to compete with Trailmaster Schad’s

Since Afoot and Afield in San Diego County first appeared in 1986, Jerry Schad’s comprehensive guide to local hiking trails has been considered the definitive resource. But Schad’s death from liver cancer in 2011 sent ...

Plenty of options on the trail to Hellhole Canyon

Trail options offer elevation loss up to 4000 feet through various life zones

This 8-mile spur of the California Riding and Hiking Trail (CRHT) rewards hikers with a variety of desert habitats, providing exceptional views of the San Ysidro Mountains, Borrego Valley, Santa Rosa Mountains, and Salton Sea. ...

Soot on your pants, the price of entry to Oasis Spring

Indulge your inner botanist on a hike that wins the orchid and overlook award

Perennial water, even in the form of a seep, is a rarity in San Diego County in a biological zone generally adapted to drought. Add to this a steep east-west canyon in a north-south mountain ...

A city canyon with a great variety of native plants

Easy access to 32nd Street Open Space

Along with ease of access and walkability, a unique feature of 32nd Street Open Space is the breadth of variety of the most common chaparral plants found across the county, which include California sagebrush, laurel ...

How Lizard Canyon got its name is no surprise

Hike in a desert canyon for a breathtaking geologic landscape

Rangers began exploring Anza-Borrego Desert State Park systematically during the 1950s. They kept detailed logs and recorded their findings. When a wash or canyon did not have a name, they assigned one. Ranger Frank Fairchild ...

Always something amazing in Wright’s Field Preserve

Never judge a book by its cover, nor a field by the smattering of grasses that you see

The trails along the Wright’s Field Preserve are the perfect spot to walk the family dog, go jogging, or just take a stroll on a Sunday afternoon. Historically, this area was critical to the early ...

Juniper Canyon’s evidence of tectonic plate activity

Experience feeling alone with nature in the middle of the city

Juniper Canyon Open Space is mainly an urban remnant of the local native coastal sage scrub, with some intermingling of chaparral and some weedy growth along the trail. The trail itself varies from a narrow ...

Our beaches looked like the East Coast’s millions of years ago

Sandstone pinnacles and pockets guide your way to the crashing waves below

Established to protect the life forms found within it, the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve became an official state park in 1956. Found within its borders is the Torrey pine (Pinus torreyana), the rarest pine ...

A hike down in Maple Canyon

Explore a central city canyon under Quince Street and First Avenue bridges

An early start is highly recommended for prime parking, less traffic, and lower temperatures for this interesting walk below the Quince Street and First Avenue bridges that spanned Maple Canyon to allow access to streetcar ...

Sixty-five miles of trails in Balboa Park

Hike the perimeter loop

Balboa Park has 65 miles of trails that differ in length, difficulty, and scenery with 19 trails beginning at one of five gateways located at Golden Hill, Marston Point, Morley Field, Park Boulevard, and Sixth ...

Wet your toes on Torrey Pines Marsh Trail

The Marsh Trail is worth a visit for bird lovers, native-plant aficionados, and day-hikers.

The Torrey Pines Marsh Trail is not easily found, much like the cave of the hermit who carved a home out of the sandstone bluffs along the trail. The Marsh Trail does not appear on ...

Hosp Grove Park's east and west trails

An oasis in the heart of the city that many drive by daily never realizing it’s there

The dominant feature of Hosp Grove is the eucalyptus trees that were originally planted by F.P. Hosp in 1908. Believing that the fast-growing drought-tolerant Australian trees would be a great investment, he established the Hosp ...

Pleasant (if small) surprises in Mission Trail Regional Park

Rain reveals the most pleasant surprises

Mission Trails Regional Park (MTRP) is one of San Diego’s many treasures. It is one of the nation’s largest natural urban parks — one with a long history of use from Native Americans and Spanish ...

Noisy life along the Southern Wildlife Preserve

A hike along the San Diego River Estuary is a great way to see nature’s art in our own backyard.

Until the middle of the past century, the San Diego River flowed into a large wetland that encompassed parts of San Diego Bay as well as Mission Bay. However, periodic flooding deposited large amounts of ...

Rare oak dots the hike to Eagle Peak

This hike has breathtaking views of the San Diego River Gorge

The Eagle Peak Preserve, located about 4.5 miles north of Eagle Peak, is a conservation area managed by the San Diego River Park Foundation (SDRPF) that has breathtaking views of the San Diego River Gorge. ...

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