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Mission Trails Regional Park and the Suycott Wash

Last May, Mission Trails Regional Park opened a new trailhead parking lot and gateway that provides easy access to the park's western area from the community of Tierrasanta. To check out and make use of this new entry, simply follow Clairemont Mesa Boulevard to its east dead-end in Tierrasanta. On foot or bike you can proceed farther east using a dense network of dirt roads and trails covering the hills and valleys like a tattered net.

A sign at the start advises that the parkland ahead encompasses part of the former Camp Elliott, a World War II gunnery range. Thorough sweeps for unexploded ordnance have largely (though presumably not totally) eliminated the chance of coming across decades-old duds.

A nice, easy two-mile-loop hike to Suycott Wash, perfect for the cool of a summer morning or early evening, can be fashioned out of the trails radiating from the new trailhead. First you cross over a deep ravine on a sturdy, wood-planked bridge, built several years ago to support truck traffic during an upgrade project along the Second San Diego Aqueduct. On the far side of the bridge, turn left and hike for a minute on an old roadbed toward a narrow path intersecting on the right. Follow this contouring path a few minutes to a wide dirt road on a saddle, cross that road, and head east on another road descending into a valley. Follow the signs to "South Suycott," taking care that you do not swing too far right and descend the steep road leading to the bottom of Mission Gorge.

Suycott Wash, better described as a ravine than a wash, harbors shade-giving live oaks and (just recently) puddles of water left over from the meager rains of last winter. When you reach the bottom of the ravine, look for a shady picnic site on your left. Just two weeks ago, I startled a deer near here, who departed from my sight in a blur.

From the picnic tables, follow the shady Suycott ravine northward (upstream), then go left at the next dirt road you encounter. Use this to climb back up to the saddle, and then retrace your steps on the narrow, contouring trail you followed earlier.

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Last May, Mission Trails Regional Park opened a new trailhead parking lot and gateway that provides easy access to the park's western area from the community of Tierrasanta. To check out and make use of this new entry, simply follow Clairemont Mesa Boulevard to its east dead-end in Tierrasanta. On foot or bike you can proceed farther east using a dense network of dirt roads and trails covering the hills and valleys like a tattered net.

A sign at the start advises that the parkland ahead encompasses part of the former Camp Elliott, a World War II gunnery range. Thorough sweeps for unexploded ordnance have largely (though presumably not totally) eliminated the chance of coming across decades-old duds.

A nice, easy two-mile-loop hike to Suycott Wash, perfect for the cool of a summer morning or early evening, can be fashioned out of the trails radiating from the new trailhead. First you cross over a deep ravine on a sturdy, wood-planked bridge, built several years ago to support truck traffic during an upgrade project along the Second San Diego Aqueduct. On the far side of the bridge, turn left and hike for a minute on an old roadbed toward a narrow path intersecting on the right. Follow this contouring path a few minutes to a wide dirt road on a saddle, cross that road, and head east on another road descending into a valley. Follow the signs to "South Suycott," taking care that you do not swing too far right and descend the steep road leading to the bottom of Mission Gorge.

Suycott Wash, better described as a ravine than a wash, harbors shade-giving live oaks and (just recently) puddles of water left over from the meager rains of last winter. When you reach the bottom of the ravine, look for a shady picnic site on your left. Just two weeks ago, I startled a deer near here, who departed from my sight in a blur.

From the picnic tables, follow the shady Suycott ravine northward (upstream), then go left at the next dirt road you encounter. Use this to climb back up to the saddle, and then retrace your steps on the narrow, contouring trail you followed earlier.

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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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