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Stories by The Canyoneers

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.

Hike along one of the three rivers that discharge into San Diego Bay

Otay Valley Regional Park Loop features ponds, rare flora, and lots of options

Natives populated Otay Valley 9000 years ago.

Tour the Cuyamacas from creek to peak in just one hike

Stonewall to Upper Green Valley offers a beautiful and comprehensive perspective

This hike offers an opportunity to experience the beauty and diversity of the Cuyamaca Mountains. The loop travels along Cold Stream Creek under shady, ancient oaks with the sound of water gently flowing over rocks, ...

On the lookout for buffleheads in Del Mar

Hike the San Dieguito River Park courtesy of the Dust Devils

Bird watching and scenic views of seasonal ponds are highlights.

Panoramic views without the crowds

A strenuous climb up unique Sycuan Peak

Put on your sturdiest boots and enjoy this short workout climb near Jamul.

Hike in rolling grasslands in this scenic mountain preserve

Santa Ysabel Open Space Preserve is growing in size

Santa Ysabel Open Space Preserve is within the San Dieguito River watershed that is the drainage area from the rivers’ headwaters in Volcan Mountain to the Pacific Ocean via the San Dieguito Lagoon in Del ...

Uphill both ways to El Cap

A most challenging hike in mountain-lion country

Take a strenuous hike to enjoy views from the Cuyamacas to the Coronado Islands.

Hiking the Hollenbeck Canyon loop

Discover relics of days gone by

Explore a wildlife area with open grasslands and riparian oak woodlands that once belonged to the last Mexican governor of California.

Exercise both your body and spirit in Monserate Mountain Preserve

Climb to vistas in northern San Diego County

Monserate Mountain Preserve, located in San Diego’s North County, is the second largest of 11 preserves within the 2700-acre Fallbrook Land Conservancy. The preserve began with an acquisition of 225 acres in 2000; more acreage ...

Odds-on favorite for the most scenic hike in San Diego

Thank Guy Fleming for this hike among Torrey pines

Follow the trail as it winds through old groves of Torrey pines and opens up to wonderful ocean views.

Find a return to yesterday in the heart of the city

150 acres of coastal sage scrub provide an important habitat for wildlife

That dropped Ping-Pong ball song would be the wrentit.

Experience dramatic transition in Sloan Canyon

No city hustle here

Dry chaparral becomes lush riparian habitat on this East County hike.

Your destination is the pigeon roost

Hike through this Palomar Mountain forest thick with oaks and conifers

Parts of Fry Creek Trail are reminiscent of forests much farther north.

Your rewards are amazing views and vigorous exercise

Clevenger Canyon is rich in wildflowers and blooming chaparral shrubs in season

Clevenger Canyon is part of the Coast to Crest Trail of the San Dieguito River Parkway, a 70-mile trail that will eventually connect Volcan Mountain with the ocean at Del Mar. The Clevenger Canyon North ...

Best to wake up early for this La Jolla Cove walk

Views of seals, pelicans, and sea lions in their natural habitat

Stroll along one of the most picturesque parts of the San Diego coastline.

Views of San Pasqual Valley and its agricultural preserve

This section of the Coast to Crest Trail is the wildest and most interesting

San Dieguito River Park’s (SDRP) planned Coast to Crest Trail when completed will extend some 70 miles from the coast at Del Mar to Volcan Mountain near Julian. Part of the Coast to Crest Trail ...

Not the highest peak but maybe the best view

A walk among the survivors of the Cedar Fire to Eagle Peak

Enjoy a 360-degree view of the San Diego River canyon and its surrounding peaks.

Hot day? Hop in the Harper Creek pools

Vegetation, views, and more on this Cuyamaca-area hike

Harper Creek Trail puts on a colorful show!

Walk the river

Stroll through tree-shaded walkways in Mission Valley

Although located in the midst of metropolitan San Diego, this trail segment meanders along a lush wooded watercourse that winds its way to the Pacific Ocean. It is part of the San Diego River Park ...

At the Loveland Dam, on the Sweetwater River

Shorebirds and chaparral abound at Alpine’s manmade lake.

Loveland Dam, also known as Sweetwater Falls Dam, is a thin arch design of concrete built in 1945. Loveland Reservoir is one of the two manmade lakes made by dams along the Sweetwater River. It ...

Views of wildfire recovery

See how it grows on the once-scorched Pine Ridge Trail

A hike in the Cuyamacas with views in a wilderness setting.

Lake Jennings is a hidden gem for wildlife sightings close to urban areas

Begin from any starting point you choose

Lake Jennings is a manmade 9800-acre-foot capacity reservoir owned by the Helix Water District. In 1962 the Helix Irrigation District built Chet Harritt Dam, which forms the reservoir, storing water that is treated and used ...

Golfers left, nature right

Golfers provide the surreality on the Santa Fe Valley Trail.

A hike along a river and golf course for an overview of the San Dieguito River.

Simon's small but special

Hike through grasslands, chaparral, and riparian habitats with views

Gnatcatchers and meadlowlarks you may only hear in Ramona.

Off the beaten path in Mission Trails

The trek to Pyles Peak via Cowles Mountain

Start with familiar and popular Cowles, then take a detour for views west to the ocean and east to the Cuyamacas.

Del Dios Gorge Trail, a small piece of the Coast to Crest Trail

Hike to the “Rattlesnake” Viewing Platform to view Lake Hodges Dam

This trail is part of the Coast to Crest Trail of the San Dieguito River Park. The 70-mile planned Coast to Crest Trail will extend one day from Volcan Mountain near Julian to the shore ...

Begin where the jeep road ends

If it rains, look out for violent cataclysms in Clark Valley

Hike through a canyon with towering walls to some old and remote rock-house ruins.

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 ...

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