• Outdoor San Diego alerts

Cross-Country Skiers are in for a short-lived treat late this month through February. As the clouds are clearing, you may be able to take advantage of good skiing conditions along Highway 79 through Cuyamaca Rancho State Park and along Sunrise Highway through the Laguna Mountain Recreation Area. More limited opportunities for cross-country skiing may briefly exist on Palomar Mountain. Farther north in Southern California and higher in elevation, the forested crests of the San Gabriel, San Bernardino, and San Jacinto Mountains offer more dependably good snow conditions.

Toyon, or "Christmas-berry," one of the more distinctive shrubs of Southern California's native chaparral plant community, are now flaunting clusters of bright red berries. In coastal San Diego, toyon can be found wherever large patches of native vegetation survive, but especially in the thick chaparral covering some north-facing slopes. Toyon branches may look inviting to cut as a Christmas wreath -- but they're protected by California state law.

Tree Aloes, the familiar succulent plants with red-hot-poker-like flower clusters, are at their showy best in January. Large clumps of aloes can be seen at La Jolla Cove, Mission San Diego de Alcalá, and scattered along the embankments overlooking Highway 163 in Balboa Park.

  • Outdoor San Diego alerts

Comments

nan shartel Dec. 26, 2010 @ 2:04 p.m.

cross country skiing...what fun...is there enough snow up there for that??

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Jerry Schad Dec. 30, 2010 @ 10:18 a.m.

Nan,

The snowfall in our local (SD County) mountains is highly variable. It's often of high quality for cross-country skiing when it's fresh, but it melts quickly. I've gone x-c skiing in the Lagunas or Cuyamacas an average of about two times a year for more than 30 years.

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nan shartel Dec. 30, 2010 @ 1 p.m.

aaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh nice to know...time to pull out the old cross country skis ;-D

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