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Stories by The Canyoneers

Anza-Borrego’s forest of miniature trees

Popular hike leads to a pinyon forest and spectacular views

Whale Peak, though not the highest peak in the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, is high enough at 5349 feet to offer spectacular views of much of the park and mountain ranges in Mexico and Arizona. ...

Waterfall to rocky summit

Bighorn sheep possible while climbing Indianhead.

Hike to the top of this profile that looms 3000 feet above Borrego Springs.

Water? In the desert? Yup.

Rich riparian areas and shaded grottos await adventurous hikers in Sheep Canyon

Sheep Canyon has one of the larger streams flowing east out of the San Ysidro Mountains. Its bubbling waters cascade over boulders and down waterfalls into clear pools, and its banks are lined with shady ...

Find your way to the woodland

This popular hike leads to a pinyon forest and spectacular views.

One of the highest peaks in Anza-Borrego has fascinating plant life and gorgeous views.

Photogenic fun at the Truckhaven Rocks outside Borrego Springs

Mountain range in miniature

These wind-eroded sandstone blocks are fun to explore.

The highest and most remote point in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Don’t drink the water — it’s for through-hikers.

Combs Peak is the fifth highest peak in San Diego County and also one of the most remote. Surprisingly, it is in the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. From this lofty summit there are views of ...

How did this support life?

Thousands of years of human habitation on display at Indian Hill

Visiting Indian Hill gives us a renewed appreciation for this desert area. Humans have used the area for perhaps several thousand years. The last Indian cultural group to occupy this area was the Kumeyaay. It ...

Hoof it in Anza-Borrego’s Sandstone Canyon

Look up at 5 million years of layered history

Sandstone Canyon is one of several long canyons that stretch down the flanks of the rapidly eroding Vallecito Mountains. Frequent visitors to this part of the Anza-Borrego Desert consider Sandstone Canyon to be the most ...

Geology in motion

A good place to peer into Hellhole Canyon

Church Spur provides overviews of Borrego Valley and the work of profound geological forces.

Rock out in Rattlesnake Canyon

Geology is the highlight of this Anza-Borrego hike

Look for cheese bush.

Big Laguna for little legs

Casual hike to Monument Peak accessible for all ages, but watch out for... lasers?

Keep the kids off the antennae and away from the laser targets on Monument Peak.

360 degrees of spectacular

Plenty of color on the journey to Cuyamaca Peak

Hike to the roof of San Diego County and see Mexico and Arizona from one spot.

Ramble along the shores in Encinitas

The ocean is the high point at this legendary surf spot.

The hike begins at the top of a cliff adjacent to a small park with a few artistic statues. A long stairway leads down to the beach. Here, the ocean is the high point as ...

The last remnant of the Mission Bay wetlands

Better bring binoculars

The Famosa Slough State Marine Conservation Area is a 25-acre wetland that connects to the San Diego River Estuary via a 12-acre natural channel. The slough includes fresh water, brackish, and salt-marsh habitats. It is ...

Splash in the Devil's Punchbowl

Nobody’s allowed to jump in.

Be prepared for this challenging but rewarding hike to one of San Diego County’s most spectacular waterfalls.

A historic route used by Indians, Spaniards, and the Jackass Mail

An oriflamme or “golden flame” appeared on the red battle standard of the King of France during the Middle Ages. It is unlikely that Oriflamme Canyon was named for this, although a red banner could ...

Between food and flood

Over 100 years of history at the Sikes family’s adobe

Hike through the colorful past in southern Escondido.

Soon, frogs will be serenading in Cottonwood Creek

Accessible, subtle beauty

Cottonwood Creek Falls offers a restful setting in a deep East County canyon.

Step back in time at Santa Rosa Plateau

This Old California can’t disappear in Murrieta

Hike along a boardwalk to a vernal pool.

A North County hike into San Diego history

This segment of the San Dieguito River Park crosses an agricultural preserve.

The San Pasqual Valley has continuous, completed segments of the planned, 55-mile-long, Coast to Crest Trail of the San Dieguito River Park. When finally realized, the Coast to Crest Trail will extend from Volcan Mountain ...

Abundant signs of renewed life

Post-fire Garnet Peak hike boasts a flurry of wildflowers.

Hike this peak for dramatic views of the desert, mountains, and ocean all from one spot.

Centennial stroll

A deliberate trek through Balboa Park, 100 years later

Visit Balboa Park during the 100-year celebration of the 1915 Panama-California Exposition.

Borrego Badlands, here we come

Seeking out Fonts Point and Inspiration Point in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Hike along this cliff edge for a spectacular view of the western and southern badlands.

Decision at the Overlook

See rare “elephant trees” and a view into the desert wilderness.

You might want trekking poles for that descent into Indian Valley.

La Jolla's Pottery Canyon: Steep climb or slow stroll?

This destination offers both a relaxing and a challenging hike.

Pottery Canyon is a historical site that was named after the La Jolla Clay Products Company. This small company developed because a potter from Mexico found raw clay in the area and took up residence ...

Escape to Palomar Mountain

Look out! It's beautiful!

Hike the Boucher Loop in Palomar Mountain State Park to a historical fire lookout and enjoy incredible views on the return.

Kitchen Creek clamber

Hike to the top of a waterfall 150 feet above the pool below.

Even in a dry year, Kitchen Creek can look like a green oasis.

Borrego Palm Canyon

It had its beginnings as “Borrego Palms Desert State Park”

Hike to the palm grove that was the inspiration to create California’s first desert park.

One of La Jolla’s best-kept secrets revealed

A little-known preserve hosts views, critters galore, and a beautiful bridge.

Must-see Mast Park

Enough open space in Santee to forget about busy city life.

Follow a San Diego River trail through sycamores, cottonwoods, and willows to bird-watch.

Abundant evidence of the Kumeyaay

Hike Kumeyaay Trail through oak woodlands and chaparral strewn with boulders and beautiful views of Lake Wohlford.

The crew did a heroic job clearing Kelly Ditch Trail

Popular hiking trail in the Cuyamacas is open again.

The Kelly Ditch Trail is a 5.6-mile hiking path extending from William Heise County Park to Lake Cuyamaca. Prior to 2003, it passed through one of the most magnificent oak and coniferous forests in San ...

Crushed seashells + limestone + Kumeyaay “laborers” = the Mission Dam

Get a close up view of rugged Mission Gorge and a national historic landmark.

This hike goes through scenic Mission Gorge and leads to the Old Mission Dam that impounded the San Diego River to provide water for the Spanish Mission San Diego de Alcalá. The dam is a ...

Lake Cuyamaca loop

Cuyamaca is a Spanish corruption of the Kumeyaay phrase “Ekwiiyemak”

An easy stroll around the shores and meadows of this picturesque mountain lake that abounds with alpine plants and wildlife.

Hacked-out, spectacular view

A view of an unbroken 3000-foot drop to the desert floor.

Views of the desert and an exploration of part of the original Sunrise Highway.

Drought on display

Bernardo Mountain, for views and illustrations of drought

Bernardo Mountain, with an elevation of 1150 feet, rises steeply from the north shore of Lake Hodges, southwest of Escondido. It offers a relatively short, vigorous hike to the peak for dramatic views of this ...

A lush riparian area despite a year of drought

The Azalea Glen Loop Trail is on the slopes of Cuyamaca Mountain, the second-highest peak in San Diego County. Despite the fact that the area is still recovering from the 2003 Cedar Fire that devastated ...

Straddle the Sunrise

Hike Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in summer for spectacular desert views.

When the Anza-Borrego Foundation bought the ranch, they saved the ranch.

Varied habitats, outstanding views

Add five strenuous miles to get to Potato Chip Rock.

Lake Poway is a full-facility recreation area that has something for everyone.

Scenic road through recovery

The oaks still stand, but Margaret’s cabin burned down.

This hike through Oakoasis Open Space Preserve has stunning views and shady riparian areas.

Wide-open space abounds

Watch hawks soar on a stroll through oak-studded open grasslands.

Wide-open space abounds at Barnett Ranch, the 728-acre preserve that is now owned by the County of San Diego. The historic cattle ranch is part of the property that was once the home of Augustus ...

A look down on Escondido from Dixon Lake

Dixon Loop Trail offers great views of the lake and city below.

Dixon Lake is a multipurpose recreation area adjacent to the Daley Ranch Open Space Preserve. Both are managed by the City of Escondido, but separately. Dixon Lake provides drinking water for Escondido, so swimming isn’t ...

Rancho Mission Canyon Open Space

An easy walk through one of San Diego’s ecologically diverse urban canyons.

“Chi-ca-go chi-ca-go” in Rancho Mission Canyon

In search of coastal sage scrub

Remnants remain in some of our coastal canyons and in special reserves.

The coastal sage plant community has been nearly eliminated in San Diego County, replaced by housing developments, shopping centers, business centers, and golf courses. However, remnants remain in some of our coastal canyons and in ...

Many ways to the top at Woodson

A forest of communication towers

Enjoy views to the ocean on a clear day, and visit Potato Chip Rock.

Serious climb for a serious view

This is a challenging hike with a variety of habitats and great views.

North Fortuna Mountain, at 1291 feet, is the third-tallest mountain in Mission Trails Regional Park after Cowles Mountain and Pyles Peak but the most challenging to climb because of the steep ascent and descent. The ...

Cross the bridge and take the stairs

South Fortuna Mountain offers a challenging and varied hike in Mission Trails.

The top of 1094-foot South Fortuna Mountain has sweeping views of all of the major peaks found in the City of San Diego’s largest regional park. South Fortuna is part of a long arced mountain ...

Witness to a reef

An abundance of ocean life awaits discovery on a beach walk.

Walk at low tide to discover multiple tide pools. Get to know your anemones from Cardiff to Carlsbad.

Southern jewels and feral pigs

Bump into feral pigs and/or international hikers on this Lake Morena hike.

Hike a portion of the Pacific Crest Trail parallel to Lake Morena’s southern shore for views and interesting vegetation among boulders.

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