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Hike or bike the Rim Trail east of Tierrasanta for broad views of the city.

Behind the easternmost houses and condominiums in Tierrasanta, a sparsely vegetated landscape of rounded ridges -- a part of Mission Trails Regional Park -- stands head and shoulders above the urban plain. Months of heat and drought have literally cooked the place and made it as dry as dust. Don't even think of coming here during September's midday heat. Around six in the evening, though, the sun turns a mellow yellow hue, and a westerly breeze usually helps to lower the air temperature into a tepid register. By then, intrepid hikers, runners, leashed dogs, and mountain bikers appear. This is a fine time of day to enjoy some fresh air and hopefully catch a splendid view of the sun sinking into the ocean.

Many people like to follow a four-mile route along the Rim Trail, a signed route that was pieced together out of existing utility and fire roads. The starting point is at the corner of Calle de Vida and Colina Dorada in Tierrasanta, where curbside parking is available. Once on the trail, proceed northwest, following a wide dirt path, to a saddle (elevation 730 feet) at 0.8 mile. The structures on the hilltops hereabouts are associated with the Second San Diego Aqueduct, which helps import water from the Colorado River Aqueduct and California Aqueduct systems.

At the saddle, veer left on the Rim Trail. Some 2.4 miles later you will return to this saddle, after looping counterclockwise on a route that stays high on the ridgelines and does not descend very far into any ravines. Just follow the Rim Trail signs.

The view is panoramic along much of the trail. Off to the east, Fortuna Mountain rises like a scruffy hog's back, and below, at its foot and draining toward Mission Gorge, lies the oak-lined valley known as Suycott Wash. In the west, you look upon San Diego's unique canyon-and-mesa topography, spreading outward to the shimmering ocean a dozen or more miles away.

When you get back to the 730-foot saddle, return to the starting point the way you came.

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Behind the easternmost houses and condominiums in Tierrasanta, a sparsely vegetated landscape of rounded ridges -- a part of Mission Trails Regional Park -- stands head and shoulders above the urban plain. Months of heat and drought have literally cooked the place and made it as dry as dust. Don't even think of coming here during September's midday heat. Around six in the evening, though, the sun turns a mellow yellow hue, and a westerly breeze usually helps to lower the air temperature into a tepid register. By then, intrepid hikers, runners, leashed dogs, and mountain bikers appear. This is a fine time of day to enjoy some fresh air and hopefully catch a splendid view of the sun sinking into the ocean.

Many people like to follow a four-mile route along the Rim Trail, a signed route that was pieced together out of existing utility and fire roads. The starting point is at the corner of Calle de Vida and Colina Dorada in Tierrasanta, where curbside parking is available. Once on the trail, proceed northwest, following a wide dirt path, to a saddle (elevation 730 feet) at 0.8 mile. The structures on the hilltops hereabouts are associated with the Second San Diego Aqueduct, which helps import water from the Colorado River Aqueduct and California Aqueduct systems.

At the saddle, veer left on the Rim Trail. Some 2.4 miles later you will return to this saddle, after looping counterclockwise on a route that stays high on the ridgelines and does not descend very far into any ravines. Just follow the Rim Trail signs.

The view is panoramic along much of the trail. Off to the east, Fortuna Mountain rises like a scruffy hog's back, and below, at its foot and draining toward Mission Gorge, lies the oak-lined valley known as Suycott Wash. In the west, you look upon San Diego's unique canyon-and-mesa topography, spreading outward to the shimmering ocean a dozen or more miles away.

When you get back to the 730-foot saddle, return to the starting point the way you came.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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