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Explore the new Boden Canyon Ecological Reserve, outside Ramona.

Comely Boden Canyon, rich with live-oak woodland and nestled between baked hillsides redolent with the sweet fragrance of sage, has become a part of San Diego County's newest parcel of protected open space. The Boden Canyon Ecological Reserve, west of Ramona, contains 2068 acres administered by the California Department of Fish and Game and the city and county of San Diego.

With dirt roads of varying width featuring gentle ascents and descents, the reserve is a perfect place for casual hiking and jogging. Mountain bikes, horses, and all forms of motorized transport are prohibited.

The as-yet-unmarked trailhead (a dirt-road intersection) is located on the north side of Highway 78, seven miles east of the San Diego Wild Animal Park and five miles west of the Highway 78/67 intersection in Ramona. Park on the dirt road so as not to block access to other vehicles, and walk downhill, passing a locked vehicle gate. Just beyond is a small bulletin board with a box of maps.

Continue descending to a hairpin turn, where the road swings around the bottom of Clevenger Canyon. The sycamores and oaks in the canyon bottom, draped with poison oak and wild grape, give a foretaste of much more of the same kind of scenery to come. At 1.7 miles, you cross Santa Ysabel Creek (with little or no water flowing until this winter's rains arrive) on a concrete ford. A little before this crossing, the Lower Santa Ysabel Road branches to the right, but it is so little traveled that you won't likely go astray.

Your course is now steadfastly north, with little wiggles here and there, as you make your way up the wide crease in the landscape known as Boden Canyon. Extravagant growths of coast live oak cast dense pools of shade upon the trail at frequent intervals. You'll also spot scattered Engelmann oaks, with gray-green foliage, and sycamores of all sizes, some with trunks twisted into fanciful shapes. Eucalyptus grows at two spots, probably the location of former ranch dwellings. At 5.5 miles into your hike or run, you come to the turnaround point, a locked gate with private land beyond. An old, tumbledown corrugated metal shack hides in the foliage nearly.

The cooler half of the year is unquestionably best for a visit to Boden Canyon; but with an early enough start, early autumn visits are worthwhile, too. Be sure to take along plenty of drinking water. The Fish and Game department has established an interim hunting zone in the northernmost accessible part of the canyon, encompassing the last mile of the trail. Be aware that hunting for various game animals may take place in this zone at intervals during the year.

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Comely Boden Canyon, rich with live-oak woodland and nestled between baked hillsides redolent with the sweet fragrance of sage, has become a part of San Diego County's newest parcel of protected open space. The Boden Canyon Ecological Reserve, west of Ramona, contains 2068 acres administered by the California Department of Fish and Game and the city and county of San Diego.

With dirt roads of varying width featuring gentle ascents and descents, the reserve is a perfect place for casual hiking and jogging. Mountain bikes, horses, and all forms of motorized transport are prohibited.

The as-yet-unmarked trailhead (a dirt-road intersection) is located on the north side of Highway 78, seven miles east of the San Diego Wild Animal Park and five miles west of the Highway 78/67 intersection in Ramona. Park on the dirt road so as not to block access to other vehicles, and walk downhill, passing a locked vehicle gate. Just beyond is a small bulletin board with a box of maps.

Continue descending to a hairpin turn, where the road swings around the bottom of Clevenger Canyon. The sycamores and oaks in the canyon bottom, draped with poison oak and wild grape, give a foretaste of much more of the same kind of scenery to come. At 1.7 miles, you cross Santa Ysabel Creek (with little or no water flowing until this winter's rains arrive) on a concrete ford. A little before this crossing, the Lower Santa Ysabel Road branches to the right, but it is so little traveled that you won't likely go astray.

Your course is now steadfastly north, with little wiggles here and there, as you make your way up the wide crease in the landscape known as Boden Canyon. Extravagant growths of coast live oak cast dense pools of shade upon the trail at frequent intervals. You'll also spot scattered Engelmann oaks, with gray-green foliage, and sycamores of all sizes, some with trunks twisted into fanciful shapes. Eucalyptus grows at two spots, probably the location of former ranch dwellings. At 5.5 miles into your hike or run, you come to the turnaround point, a locked gate with private land beyond. An old, tumbledown corrugated metal shack hides in the foliage nearly.

The cooler half of the year is unquestionably best for a visit to Boden Canyon; but with an early enough start, early autumn visits are worthwhile, too. Be sure to take along plenty of drinking water. The Fish and Game department has established an interim hunting zone in the northernmost accessible part of the canyon, encompassing the last mile of the trail. Be aware that hunting for various game animals may take place in this zone at intervals during the year.

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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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