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Stories by The Canyoneers

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.

Borrego's own Jurassic Park

Visit the T-rex, the Spinosaurus, and even Ricardo

Tour Borrego Valley’s spectacular southern Sky Art metal sculptures.

Tour de Borrego

This way to the Borrego Springs gomphotheres.

Take a bicycle ride to view Borrego Valley’s spectacular northern Sky Art metal sculptures.

Canyon adventure two-for-one

Explore two very different canyons while looking for bighorn sheep.

Stalk bighorn sheep in the Anza-Borrego...but don’t drink their water.

In the footsteps of the Cahuilla

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 ...

Hedgehog, teddy bear, staghorn

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.

Movement, pressure, and force

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. ...

Layers of history in Bow Willow

Visit a historic line shack made of rock on the vigorous Bow Willow-Rockhouse Canyon desert loop hike.

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 ...

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