Bob McPhail 4:30 p.m., Sept. 16
Stories by The Canyoneers
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 ...
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 ...
Hike Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in summer for spectacular desert views.
When the Anza-Borrego Foundation bought the ranch, they saved the ranch.
Add five strenuous miles to get to Potato Chip Rock.
Lake Poway is a full-facility recreation area that has something for everyone.
The oaks still stand, but Margaret’s cabin burned down.
This hike through Oakoasis Open Space Preserve has stunning views and shady riparian areas.
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 ...
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 ...
An easy walk through one of San Diego’s ecologically diverse urban canyons.
“Chi-ca-go chi-ca-go” in Rancho Mission Canyon
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 ...
A forest of communication towers
Enjoy views to the ocean on a clear day, and visit Potato Chip Rock.
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 ...
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 ...
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.
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.
Visit the T-rex, the Spinosaurus, and even Ricardo
Tour Borrego Valley’s spectacular southern Sky Art metal sculptures.
This way to the Borrego Springs gomphotheres.
Take a bicycle ride to view Borrego Valley’s spectacular northern Sky Art metal sculptures.
Explore two very different canyons while looking for bighorn sheep.
Stalk bighorn sheep in the Anza-Borrego...but don’t drink their water.
Walk an old Indian trail to a hidden playa
Here is your chance to walk on trails the Cahuilla used to travel between their old Santa Rosa village in Rockhouse Canyon and villages in Coyote Canyon. Although the trail is a little hard to ...
A wagon road in Plum Canyon is difficult to fathom.
Hike part of the California Riding and Hiking Trail to an overview of Shelter Valley.
Geologic processes at work in the Narrows Earth Trail and Quartz Vein Wash
The Narrows Earth Trail, located at the “Narrows” where San Felipe Creek turns abruptly northeast just east of the junction with Pinyon Wash, is the perfect place to observe geology and earth movement in action. ...
Visit a historic line shack made of rock on the vigorous Bow Willow-Rockhouse Canyon desert loop hike.
Hike where modern California began and Cahuilla Indians died.
Make your way through a lush riparian area and loop back to an overview of a historic spring.
Visit Dog Beach, take a bicycle ride on the Ocean Beach Bike Path to Mission Valley and back, or check out the waves on the pier.
Cascading waterfalls, pools, and an historic three-hinge bridge built in 1913 make this an interesting canyon to explore.
Hike into a lush desert riparian setting with waterfalls, pools, and shady trees.
Cougar Canyon is one of the delights of Coyote Canyon. It has willows, sycamores, and cottonwood trees in a lush riparian oasis where waterfalls cascade into deep pools surrounded by huge boulders and sandy beaches. ...
Colorful walls of metamorphic schist and intrusions of granite and quartz make this an interesting canyon hike.
Camp where the Kumeyaay lived in the Anza-Borrego.
Hike from a Kumeyaay seasonal village site to an elephant tree “forest” and palm groves.
Hike to a rare plant once thought to be the only one in the county.
The elephant tree (Bursera microphylla) is rarely found in the United States. It is found in the Gila Range of Arizona and, more commonly, in Baja California and Sonora, Mexico. For many years it was ...
Hike in a pristine desert wilderness where over 100 ironwood trees are found.
Ironwood Wash and Canyon are not on any map prior to March 11, 2010. That was the date that the U.S. Board on Geographic Names unanimously approved the official naming of this wash and canyon, ...
Hike to Raptor Ridge and see many species of raptors from this viewpoint.
Kumeyaays’ “valley of the eagles” still worthy of the name.
View Kumeyaay rock art, a rock shelter, and bedrock mortars in a cultural preserve.
The Morteros Trail is part of the 4757-acre Little Blair Valley Cultural Preserve that was created in December 2010 in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. The area was a seasonal home for the Kumeyaay people who ...
A bird’s eye view of Borrego Valley and the surrounding desert and mountains from a mountaintop.
Sunset Mountain takes its name from the last rays of sunshine that enshroud the top with the setting sun. The 3657-foot peak is located south of SR-78 between Pinyon Wash and Harper Canyon. From the ...
Hike along a bubbling creek and beside a towering riparian forest festooned with native grape vines.
The Lower Santa Ysabel Trail, now reserved for hikers and equestrians, takes you beside a lush riparian forest of towering sycamores, willows cottonwoods, and spreading oaks, draped with native grape vines as it travels beside ...
Hike from lake to lake while passing through shady oak woodlands and lush chaparral.
Lake Poway Recreation Area is a convenient starting point since it provides abundant free parking during much of the year. The lake also provides numerous additional recreational opportunities. The hike to Lake Ramona offers a ...
Hikers have wide open views of the peak in the aftermath of the Cedar Fire.
In 1907, General Land Office (GLO) survey records note “Mid Peak” as the peak between North and Cuyamaca peaks. It was not until 1970 that “Middle” Peak appeared on forest maps. Middle Peak used to ...
Ascend and sign the peak register at the top of San Diego’s “Half Dome.”
Bring friends, as this is a trail less traveled. The route averages a 7 percent steady climb with short sections of 60 percent (stairs) at the 4588 peak before reaching the plateau to Corte Madera ...
Walk, jog, or bike in this friendly community park that has a pond.
East Shepherd, or Greenbelt, trail is interesting in all seasons, with a combination of native coastal sage scrub and nonnative plants in the canyon. Walk north on Santo Road for about 160 feet, where the ...
This hike offers a serpentine slot canyon and a forever view.
This is one of the most popular hikes in the Anza-Borrego Desert. From the top, there is an almost 360-degree view that includes a major part of both the state park and the state vehicular ...
Hike through a narrow desert canyon with lush vegetation.
This is one of the most popular hiking trails in the Anza-Borrego Desert. Where else can you camp in comfort with full facilities, including hot showers, and soak in pools of geothermally heated mineral water ...
The Highland Valley Trail travels east along the grasslands.
The Highland Valley Trail is part of the San Dieguito River Park trail system. Eventually it will extend 55 miles from Volcan Mountain near Julian to the Pacific Ocean at Del Mar. The Highland Valley ...
Hike down to a canyon floor through scrub oak “tunnels."
This is the only trail that accesses Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve from the south rim between Black Mountain Road and the West End parking lot off Sorrento Valley Blvd. Before the Camino Ruiz Trailhead was ...
Views to Mt. San Jacinto and the San Bernardino Mountains on this scenic hike.
You are unlikely to encounter any horses, wild or tame, on this trail, but it offers a chance to hike through beautiful oak and sycamore-shaded canyons and lush chaparral that can be ablaze with color ...
Explore San Diego’s backcountry history on this hike.
Julian’s Old Banner Road, now a hiking trail, starts in a suburban-like setting among Coulter pines and black oaks and descends through lush chaparral, providing a chance to explore a fascinating bit of San Diego’s ...
Take this hike for dramatic views of the Anza-Borrego Desert and a different view of Borrego Valley.
One of the best scenic rides in San Diego, which includes a trip on the ferry
This ride offers scenic views of San Diego Bay from downtown to the South Bay, and up to Coronado. There are sweeping views of the ocean along the Silver Strand and of downtown San Diego ...
Waaay bigger than the other one
Excellent panoramic view of Ramona’s wilderness area.
Trail to past tragedy in the Cuyamacas
Hike this year-round trail through chaparral and oak woodland to stunning views and to see a mounted 12-cylinder aircraft engine.
Get a good workout and avoid the crowd on Cowles Mountain
Kwaay Paay Peak is a good alternative to Cowles Mountain for anyone who wants a good climbing hike without a crowd. It is the fourth highest peak in Mission Trails Regional Park, at an elevation ...
Encounter several natural habitats and an Indian acorn-grinding area on this short trail.