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Stories by The Canyoneers

Cantebria Trail was part of the Ecke poinsettia empire

This coastal Encinitas trail offers surprising diversity in an urban setting

You will be pleasantly surprised to discover so many varieties of California native plants along this short urban canyon walk. This is an easily accessed trail, welcoming all levels. The trail is popular with neighbors ...

Many rewards at “the Knoll” — Scripps Coastal Reserve

Spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean await visitors after a short, easy walk through coastal sage scrub.

The Scripps Coastal Reserve, or ”the Knoll,” offers spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean from coastal bluffs and an easy walk through coastal sage-scrub habitat. Owned by the University of California as part of their ...

Tunnel of shrubs and countless species in the Cuyamacas

Take this short hike to view wildflowers, insects, and post-fire habitat recovery.

This short walk has such an array of habitats, insects, and plant species that a longer trek may not reveal much more of nature’s palette in the Cuyamaca Mountains. The loop is a triangle of ...

Zigzag, climb, and loop for miles in Crestridge eco reserve

Take your choice of trails and explore a multitude of preserved habitats.

The Crestridge Ecological Reserve is one of 16 California Department of Fish and Wildlife Ecological Reserves in San Diego County. The current 136 statewide ecological reserves provide habitat for a wide diversity of plant and ...

See more than 100 species of birds at Silverwood

Learn about birds and plants on this educational hike.

There is something for every nature lover and even those who only want to get a bit of exercise at Silverwood Wildlife Sanctuary. With a network of nearly 5 miles of trails, there are both ...

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.

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 ...

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