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A variety of challenges for weekend hiking warriors

Climbing high into the chaparraled, boulder-frosted hills at the east end of San Pasqual Valley, the San Dieguito River Park's San Pasqual/Clevenger Canyon trail system offers a variety of challenges for weekend hiking warriors. In the early 1990s the trails here were rather hastily carved out of a patchwork of public lands that had recently been incorporated into the emerging San Dieguito River Park. Since then, the rapid regrowth of vegetation following wildSan Dieguito River Park's San Pasqual/Clevenger Canyon trail system takes hikers to heights overlooking inland North County.fires has obliterated some of the outermost trails, especially in the north section of the trail system, which is profiled here.

You'll find the trailhead on the north side of Highway 78 at 5.6 miles east of the Wild Animal Park and 2.6 miles east of Bandy Canyon Road. When headed east on 78, the turnoff comes unexpectedly; it is 0.3 mile beyond the parking lot for the south trail system.

The initial 0.3-mile stretch of trail slanting down to the oak- and sycamore-shaded bank of Santa Ysabel Creek is easy enough. Fording the creek to get to the other side, though, could be problematical or downright dangerous. That depends solely on the water flow, which is normally indolent, but occasionally (in a wet year) powerful.

Beyond the Santa Ysabel Creek crossing, the narrowing trail ascends in a zigzag pattern up the hillside, and the view west toward San Pasqual Valley and the coast gets ever better and ever wider. You come to a trail junction about 2.5 miles from the creek crossing, about 1300 feet higher in elevation. At the trail fork there, decide where you want to go: right toward any of three viewpoints, or left toward any of six viewpoints. You aren't likely to get very far in any short period of time by either route, since most of this upper part of the trail system has been sorely neglected in the past decade. Emergent chaparral vegetation has a way of knitting itself together very quickly following a fire.

This article contains information about a publicly owned recreation or wilderness area. Trails and pathways are not necessarily marked. Conditions can change rapidly. Hikers should be properly equipped and have safety and navigational skills. The Reader and Jerry Schad assume no responsibility for any detrimental experience.

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Climbing high into the chaparraled, boulder-frosted hills at the east end of San Pasqual Valley, the San Dieguito River Park's San Pasqual/Clevenger Canyon trail system offers a variety of challenges for weekend hiking warriors. In the early 1990s the trails here were rather hastily carved out of a patchwork of public lands that had recently been incorporated into the emerging San Dieguito River Park. Since then, the rapid regrowth of vegetation following wildSan Dieguito River Park's San Pasqual/Clevenger Canyon trail system takes hikers to heights overlooking inland North County.fires has obliterated some of the outermost trails, especially in the north section of the trail system, which is profiled here.

You'll find the trailhead on the north side of Highway 78 at 5.6 miles east of the Wild Animal Park and 2.6 miles east of Bandy Canyon Road. When headed east on 78, the turnoff comes unexpectedly; it is 0.3 mile beyond the parking lot for the south trail system.

The initial 0.3-mile stretch of trail slanting down to the oak- and sycamore-shaded bank of Santa Ysabel Creek is easy enough. Fording the creek to get to the other side, though, could be problematical or downright dangerous. That depends solely on the water flow, which is normally indolent, but occasionally (in a wet year) powerful.

Beyond the Santa Ysabel Creek crossing, the narrowing trail ascends in a zigzag pattern up the hillside, and the view west toward San Pasqual Valley and the coast gets ever better and ever wider. You come to a trail junction about 2.5 miles from the creek crossing, about 1300 feet higher in elevation. At the trail fork there, decide where you want to go: right toward any of three viewpoints, or left toward any of six viewpoints. You aren't likely to get very far in any short period of time by either route, since most of this upper part of the trail system has been sorely neglected in the past decade. Emergent chaparral vegetation has a way of knitting itself together very quickly following a fire.

This article contains information about a publicly owned recreation or wilderness area. Trails and pathways are not necessarily marked. Conditions can change rapidly. Hikers should be properly equipped and have safety and navigational skills. The Reader and Jerry Schad assume no responsibility for any detrimental experience.

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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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