Back to profile

Stories by The Canyoneers

Exploring a rare commodity in Anza-Borrego

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.

The treasures of Ocean Beach

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.

Black Canyon’s riparian habitat of waterfalls and pools

Cascading waterfalls, pools, and an historic three-hinge bridge built in 1913 make this an interesting canyon to explore.

Waterfalls, boulders, and beaches in Cougar Canyon

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. ...

Schist and intrusions in Cool Canyon

Colorful walls of metamorphic schist and intrusions of granite and quartz make this an interesting canyon hike.

Bow Willow to Mountain Palm Springs

Camp where the Kumeyaay lived in the Anza-Borrego.

Hike from a Kumeyaay seasonal village site to an elephant tree “forest” and palm groves.

Elephant Tree Trail, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

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 ...

Ironwood Wash and Canyon

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, ...

Coast to Crest Trail — Old Coach Staging Area to Raptor Ridge

Hike to Raptor Ridge and see many species of raptors from this viewpoint.

Kumeyaays’ “valley of the eagles” still worthy of the name.

Morteros Trail (Anza-Borrego Desert State Park)

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 ...

Sunset Mountain, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

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 ...

Lower Santa Ysabel trail to Boden Canyon

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 ...

Lake Ramona via Lake Poway

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 ...

Middle Peak

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 ...

Corte Madera Mountain

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 ...

East Shepherd Canyon

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 ...

West Butte, Borrego Mountain

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 ...

Moonlight Trail, Agua Caliente County Park

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 ...

San Dieguito River Park, Highland Valley Trail

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 ...

Los Peñasquitos Canyon, Camino Ruiz Trailhead

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 ...

Wild Horse Trail, Agua Tibia Wilderness

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 ...

Old Banner Road, Julian

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 ...

Coyote Mountain's South Shoulder, Anza-Borrego

Take this hike for dramatic views of the Anza-Borrego Desert and a different view of Borrego Valley.

Coronado Bike Loop

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 ...

Ramona’s Black Mountain

Waaay bigger than the other one

Excellent panoramic view of Ramona’s wilderness area.

Airplane Monument

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. 

Kwaay Paay Peak, Mission Trails Regional Park

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 ...

A view back into geologic time at La Jolla Shores

Encounter several natural habitats and an Indian acorn-grinding area on this short trail.

Mission Trails, Visitor Center Loop

The nation’s largest urban natural park, right off I-8

Encounter several natural habitats and an Indian acorn-grinding area on this short trail.

Mission Trails, Oak Grove Loops

Discover a Kumeyaay dwelling nestled in a shady oak grove.

The highlights of this short hike include the transition from grasslands and coastal sage scrub habitats to small shaded oak woodland with majestic coast live oaks and rare Engelmann oaks found along a stream where ...

Tijuana Estuary

Tijuana Estuary’s endangered annual hemiparasite, only found in ten locations.

Reddish egrets and yellow-headed night herons are sometimes seen in this section of the Pacific Flyway.

Coast to Crest Trail, Del Mar

Early morning or late afternoons are the best times for birding on this section of the Pacific Flyway.

Viejas Mountain

Enjoy great views of San Diego all the way up to the top of Viejas Mountain, which is green again after the Cedar Fire in 2003.

Mt. Woodson via the Blue Sky Reserve

Stroll through one of San Diego’s more scenic oak woodlands and experience a diversity of vegetation types on your way up to the top of Mt. Woodson where rock climbers may be seen.

Sunrise Trailhead, Soapstone Loop

Anza-Borrego’s high elevation multiuse trails appeal to hikers, bikers, and equestrians.

Gonzales Canyon, Torrey Pines Loop

Find two rare plants on the Torrey Pines Loop Trail — bush rue when descending into Gonzales Canyon and Torrey pine trees when ascending to the mesa top.

Living Coast Discovery Center Trail

This short hike and visitor center are perfect introductions to coastal birds and marsh habitat.

Green Valley Falls Loop

Easily accessible falls and multiple crossings of the Sweetwater River through chaparral, riparian, and meadow habitats.

Mt. Gower Open Space Preserve, South Route

Unusual rock formations, views, and a variety of landscapes and habitats make this one of the better hikes in the county.

Lakeside Linkage Preserve and Whitaker Trail

Panoramic views of Lakeside and East County mountains from “God’s Hill”

This ridge climb to a historic site has panoramic views of Lakeside and East County mountains.

Palomar Mountain: Weir-French Valley Loop

This hike includes trails beneath an old oak canopy, morteros, open meadows, two creeks, and a small pond with a stone weir.

Louis A. Stelzer County Park Trails

Hike from a tree-shaded riparian area to a mountain peak

The varied topography and ecosystems of Louis A. Stelzer County Park make this 420-acre reserve a delight to visit. It is situated along Wildcat Canyon Creek and includes the rocky hillsides, ridgeline, and a peak ...

Indian Creek Trail Loop

Indian Creek Trail does not give up surprises easily. Hike this trail for woodlands, streams, and panoramic views in the Laguna Mountains.

Big Laguna-Gatos Spur

Aromas of butterscotch and grape soda in Cleveland National Forest

Pines, oaks, and incense cedar on this six-mile loop of the Gatos Big Laguna Trail Spur.

Miramar Reservoir

Water birds on the lake and chaparral vegetation on the slopes make this a pleasant walk.

Lakeside's River Park

Sand mine becomes riparian willow forest in Lakeside.

This hike features the work of a local conservancy to restore this section of the San Diego River.

Lopez Canyon, Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve

This Los Peñasquitos tributary canyon has varied natural resources and a rich biodiversity of species.

Stonewall Peak Loop

Beware of Stonewall Peak's poodle-dog bush

Follow this switchback trail to granitic 5730-foot-high Stonewall Peak for views of Cuyamaca Reservoir and the nearby peaks of Cuyamaca, Middle, and North.

Lute Ridge, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

The largest known fault scarp on the North American continent existing on unconsolidated sediments.