Jeff Smith 12:15 p.m., April 24
Stories by The Canyoneers
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.
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.
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’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.
Early morning or late afternoons are the best times for birding on this section of the Pacific Flyway.
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.
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.
Anza-Borrego’s high elevation multiuse trails appeal to hikers, bikers, and equestrians.
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.
This short hike and visitor center are perfect introductions to coastal birds and marsh habitat.
Easily accessible falls and multiple crossings of the Sweetwater River through chaparral, riparian, and meadow habitats.
Unusual rock formations, views, and a variety of landscapes and habitats make this one of the better hikes in the county.
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.
Discover a hidden treasure in the heart of Ramona.
This hike includes trails beneath an old oak canopy, morteros, open meadows, two creeks, and a small pond with a stone weir.
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 does not give up surprises easily. Hike this trail for woodlands, streams, and panoramic views in the Laguna Mountains.
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.
Water birds on the lake and chaparral vegetation on the slopes make this a pleasant walk.
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.
This Los Peñasquitos tributary canyon has varied natural resources and a rich biodiversity of species.