Look but don’t touch at Doane Valley’s stinging nettle station

This interesting trail winds through riparian, grassland, and a wooded hillside with views of meadows and mountainsides

The Doane Valley Nature Trail provides a sampling of the many plants and shrubs that can be found at Palomar Mountain State Park. Taking a hike on this trail is a great way to learn ...

Take time to smell the lemony leaves off Jasper Trail

Hike the transition from high to low desert on this old cattlemen’s trail

The name of this hike hints at the history found here. The Jasper Trail is named after Ranchita cattleman Ralph Jasper, who owned over 5500 acres in portions of Montezuma Valley, Grapevine Canyon, and Yaqui ...

Park in the hard-packed sand when visiting Bedrock

Let your imagination run wild among the bizarre shapes of wind-carved caves.

On the eastern edge of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park lies Split Mountain, the Carrizo Badlands, and a feature known as the Wind Caves. Here, the exposed sandstone of the marine beds from the five-million-year-old Imperial ...

Critters galore along the Sweetwater River Trail

Hike over a historic steel bridge then along an interpretive trail for a panoramic view of the watershed.

The Sweetwater River is the main artery of the Sweetwater watershed. Its headwaters are in the Cuyamaca Mountains, flowing into Sweetwater Reservoir and emptying into San Diego Bay at the Sweetwater Marsh. The Sweetwater Interpretive ...

Barker Valley

Hike in a secluded mountain valley in the shadow of Palomar Mountain

Barker Valley, sitting at the southern end of Palomar Mountain and between the peak of Palomar Mountain to the north and Lake Henshaw to the south, is one of the most remote and least-visited locations ...

Ain’t no water in Horsethief Canyon, but poison oak? You bet

Vistas of surrounding mountains and canyons in a protected wilderness area

Horsethief Canyon is within the 13,480-acre Pine Creek Wilderness area that is managed by the U.S. Forest Service. It is also part of the National Wilderness Preservation System and was so designated a wilderness area ...

Where Camino Ruíz and Peñasquitos Canyon got their names

Hike to a waterfall oasis amid towering rocks, cooling shade, and rich plant and wildlife.

Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve is a 4000-acre open-space area that includes both Los Peñasquitos Canyon and Lopez Canyon. Both canyons may be accessed from a western approach. The canyon walls are responsible for its name ...

Mind the endangered species on McGinty Mountain

Uncommon soils make for rare plants along this trail

McGinty Mountain lies within a collective ecological preserve managed by the Nature Conservancy, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s San Diego National Wildlife Refuge. Several rare and ...

Behold the roses, beware the bees at Otay Valley Delta

Stroll through a restored riparian habitat in South Bay

The Otay Delta Habitat Restoration Project is part of a much larger management plan to restore ecosystems and provide necessary habitat corridors for wildlife between San Diego Bay and Otay Mountain along the Otay River ...

No trailblazers wanted in Parry Grove

A quiet walk in lush chaparral, with Torrey pines and spectacular ocean views

The trail begins just north of the Torrey Pines Lodge Visitor Center at the top of the hill with a walk through Whitaker Native Plant Garden, named for Thomas W. Whitaker, a plant scientist and ...

Inaja Memorial Nature Trail

In memory of fallen firefighters in Santa Ysabel

This short hike explores the transition between forest and chaparral.

Tecolote Canyon’s history writ in stone and sediment

A pleasant walk along the southern section

Tecolote Canyon, featured on area maps for almost 200 years, is designated a natural park 6 miles in length, .25 to .5-mile wide, with a 2-mile tributary totaling just over 900 acres. Elevations range from ...

One of the last free-flowing rivers in Southern California

Follow the Santa Margarita River Trail

The Santa Margarita River Trails are managed by the newly merged Live Oak Coalition and the Fallbrook Trails Council. Through an agreement with the Fallbrook Public Utility District, which owns the property, the nonprofit group ...

Wildflowers bloom late on Wilson Peak

Follow an old jeep trail into a wilderness area with spectacular views

Wilson Trail and Peak were named for the rancher, Alfred Wilson, who ran cattle in this area in the first half of the 20th Century. The Wilson Trail goes southeast along Pinyon Ridge for several ...

Hike or four-wheel-drive on the desert’s edge

Expect showy displays of wildflowers on Jasper Trail

Hike the transition from high to low desert on this historic cattleman’s trail.

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