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Stories by The Canyoneers

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.

Rancho La Costa Habitat Conservation Area

Carlsbad’s high point offers a 360-degree view from the coast to the mountains.

Ruffin Canyon Open-Space Preserve

Hike cobbled streambeds with small groupings of palm trees and chaparral plants lining the canyon.

Inner Pasture view via Moonlight Canyon

Hike to a viewpoint overlooking an area where Indians once lived and enjoy the silence and isolation.

Butler Canyon Loop, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Visit an old Indian village site and hike down a high-walled serpentine gorge.

Tecolote Canyon Natural Park

Enjoy a pleasant walk along the southern section of the Tecolote Canyon Nature Park

Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail along Agua Caliente Creek

Stands of majestic oaks and sycamores line a bubbling stream along a section of the trail.

Indian Gorge to Palm Bowl

Discover a little-known route to one of Anza-Borrego’s remote palm groves

Yaqui Well, Anza-Borrego State Park

This historic watering hole is a premier birding site in San Diego County.

North Shore, Lake Hodges Dam

A walk to the Hodges Dam and back through coastal sage scrub habitat.

Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic Park

Once a mecca for the Hollywood set; includes trails connected to the City of Carlsbad

Desert View Trail, William Heise County Park

Hike up to 4927 feet for Glen’s View, with panoramic views that include North Peak, Julian, and the desert.

Anza-Borrego's all-access trails

Paved and dirt trails encourage all visitors (including those in wheelchairs) to experience the desert

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